1. This is landlady's petition whose ejectment application has been dismissed by both the authorities below.
2. The building, in dispute, is house No. 337, Sector 9-D, Chandigarh. The landlady Sheila Shamsher Singh purchased the same on Aug. 8, 1980, vide registered sale deed. Exhibit P. 1, for a sum of Rs. 3,40,000/-. At that time the father of respondent No. 1 i.e., late Shri Banwari Lal Nagpal was a tenant therein. On his death, respondent No. 1 became a tenant under the previous owner and landlord. On its purchase by the landlady, he became her tenant, on a monthly rent of Rs. 480/-, which was being paid earlier. His ejectment was sought inter alia on the ground that she bona fide required the premises for her own use and occupation. It was pleaded that the demised premises were required by her for her own use and occupation and that of her husband Kanwar Shamsher Singh, retired Inspector General of Police, Punjab, whose eyes were very badly affected by glaucoma and cataract. They were living at Katrain (Kuly Valley) Himahcal Pradesh and had to come to Chandigarh off and on for treatment and check up in the P. G. 1. In view of the eye disease of her husband, their requirement was most paramount and pressing as they wanted to live in comfort at Chandigarh. It was also stated that she had not vacated any such building without sufficient cause after the commencement of the East Punjab Urban Rent Restriction Act, nor they were occupying any other building in the urban area concerned. In the written statement, these allegations were controverted. It was pleaded that the husband of the landlady was an Inspector General of Police. After his retirement he had settled permanently at Katrain (Kulu Valley), Himachal Pradesh. The landlady and her husband had acquired many properties at Chandigarh and re-sold the same after getting heavy gains. The house, in dispute, was purchased at a low price and the landlady wanted to sell it at a fancy price. With that motive, she had filed this petition. The other allegations made in the eviction petition were also controverted. The learned Rent Controller found that the landlady did not bona fide require the house, in dispute. The other contentions raised on her behalf were also negatived. Consequently, the eviction application was dismissed. In appeal, the Appellate Authority affirmed the said findings of the Rent Controller and, thus, maintained the order dismissing the ejectment application.
3. The learned counsel for the petitioner vehemently contended that from the evidence on the record, it has been amply proved that the requirement of the landlady and her husband was most bona fide and that the approach of the authorities below in this behalf was wrong, illegal and misconceived. According to the learned counsel, the transfers of the properties made by the landlady or her husband were prior to the enforcement of the afore-mentioned Act in the Union Territory of Chandigarh, and, therefore, the same were of no consequence so far as the present eviction petition was concerned. Besides, the circumstances under which the properties were previously sold by the landlady and her husband have been fully explained. In any case, argued the learned counsel, the landlady and her husband did not own or occupy any other residential building in the urban area concerned, nor have they vacated any after the commencement of the above-mentioned Act, without reasonable cause and, therefore, the whole approach of the authorities below being wrong, the findings arrived at by them are vitiated.
4. I have heard the learned counsel for the parties and have also gone through the relevant evidence on the record.
5. It is quite evident that the whole approach of the authorities below is wrong, illegal and misconceived. Admittedly, the husband of the landlady retired as an Inspector General of Police in the year 1971. Somewhere in June, 1980, the eye trouble developed to the husband of the landlady and he started its treatment her at Chandigarh in the P. G. I. Since they had to come off and on to Chandigarh in this behalf, they purchased the house, in dispute, on Aug. 8, 1980. The present ejectment application was filed on April 20, 1981. The other House No. 309, Sector 9-D, Chandigarh, which was constructed in the year 1959 was sold in 1966 on the reorganisation of the State of Punjab as her husband was allocated to the State of Himachal Pradesh. House No. 255 in Sector 9 was constructed in the year 1966 and was sold in the year 1971 on his retirement when they went to Delhi. The landlady owned house No. 260, Sector 9, Chandigarh, which was built in 1960-61 and was sold in 1963-64. Obviously, all these sales were made much earlier to the coming into force of the above said Act in the Union Territory of Chandigarh. Therefore, those transfers are not at all relevant to come to the conclusion whether the requirement of the landlady was bona fide or not. The approach of the authorities below, in this behalf, was wholly misconceived and, therefore, the findings arrived at are vitiated. It has been brought on the record that during the pendency of the eviction proceedings, the husband of the landlady has undergone two eye operations on Nov. 29, 1982 and Feb. 24, 1983. Earlier, they had planned to go to U. S. A. for the eye treatment, but later on, in view of the ejectment proceedings, the idea was dropped and the operation was done here in Chandigarh in the P. G. I. It is also not disputed that the landlady and her husband do not own any other house at Chandigarh. Of course, earlier in the year 1977, they vacated house No. 198, Sector 11, Chandigarh, which they were occupying as tenants. Much stress was laid on behalf of the respondent to the effect that it had not been explained why the said house was vacated by the landlady and her husband without any sufficient cause. However, I do not find any merit in this contention. Since the said house was on rent with them, they vacated the same in the year 1977 because they were otherwise living at Katrain (Kulu Valley) Himachal Pradesh where they had settled permanently. It was because of the eye trouble which had developed somewhere in the year 1980, that they had to change their idea and to decide to shift to Chandigarh for permanently settling here and for that purpose purchased the house, in dispute.
6. According to the Appellate Authority, the past history of the purchasing and selling of the houses at Chandigarh by the landlady and her husband makes an andication that the possibility of the deal being made for speculation purposes cannot be ruled out. As observed earlier, these observations are wholly unwarranted and without any evidence, based on conjectures an surmises. It has been further observed by the Appellate Authority that since the landlady and her husband wanted to go to U. S. A. for eye treatment, it weakens her case. I do not find any relevance of this observation either. It is admitted by the husband of the landlady himself that he wanted to go to the U. S. A. for eye treatment, but later on abandoned the idea because of the ejectment proceedings and he had to undergo two eye operations here at Chandigarh itself. Moreover, even if he had gone to the U. S. A. for eye treatment, ultimately, he would have come back to Chandigarh and settled in his house. Thus, from the facts and circumstances of the case, it is amply proved that the landlady bona fide required the premises for the use and occupation of herself and her husband. There is absolutely nothing on the record to come to the conclusion that the requirement of the landlady was not bona fide.
7. In this view of the matter, this revision petition succeeds and is allowed. The orders of the authorities below are set aside and the order of eviction is passed against the tenant with costs. However, the tenant is allowed three months time to vacate the premises; provided all the arrears of rent, if any, and the advance rent for three months, are deposited with the Rent Controller within one month and he further gives an undertaking, in writing, before the Rent Controller that he will vacate the premises and hand over the possession thereof to the landlady after the expiry of the above said period of three months.
8. Petition allowed.