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Gordhan Das and ors. Vs. Dhan Mala Devi Jain - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectTenancy
CourtPunjab and Haryana High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCivil Regular Second Appellant No. 282 of 1978
Judge
Reported inAIR1984P& H247
ActsHaryana Urban (Control of Rent and Eviction) Act, 1973; Madhya Pradesh Accommodation Control Act; Punjab Act
AppellantGordhan Das and ors.
RespondentDhan Mala Devi Jain
Cases ReferredSawan Ram v. Gobinda Ram
Excerpt:
- sections 80 (2) & 89 & punjab motor vehicles rules, 1989, rules 85 & 80: [t.s. thakur, cj, jasbir singh & surya kant, jj] appeal against orders of state or regional transport authority imitation held, a stipulation regarding the period of limitation available for invoking the remedy shall have to be strictly construed. that is because any provision by way of limitation is in the nature of a restraint on the remedy provided under the act. so viewed two inferences are clear viz., (1) sections 80 and 89 of the act read with rule 85 of the rules make it obligatory for the authorities making the order to communicate it to the applicant concerned and (2) the period of limitation for any appeal against the order is reckonable from the date of such communication of the reasons would imply..........trespassers. she subsequently filed a suit for possession. of the shop and a sum of rs. 1,000/- as mesne profits from 9th dec. 1972, till the date of the suit. he also claimed a decree for future mesne profits at the said rate from the date of the suit till delivery of possession of. the shop.3. the defendants contested the suit and denied the allegations of the plaintiff: they inter alia pleaded that ghotan mal took the shop on rent as head of thc joint hindu family of m/s. raja ram pt,saa mel and thereafter kishan lal his son continued to be in its possession as:a: tenant. they further pleaded that the relationship of the landlord and tenant between the parties did not come to an end. they also challenged the jurisdiction at the civil court.4. the learned trial court came to the.....
Judgment:

Rajendra Nath Mlttal, J.

1. This judgment will dispose of R. S. A. Nos. 282 and 297 of 1978 As they involve common: questions of taw and fact. The facts in the judgment are being given from R. S. A. No: 282 of 1978.

2. The plaintiff is the owner of the shop in dispute. One Ghotan Ma1 took it on lease under an oral agreement from her on l6th March, 1960, for a period of eleven months at the rate of Rs. 37.50 per month. later, Ghotan Mal executed the rent note dated 30th March, 1960. Exhibit P. 1, in her favour. It is alleged by the plaintiff that the tenancy came to an end on l5th February, 1961, by eflux ot 'time. However, Ghotan Mal became a statutory tenant under the East Punjab Urban Rent Restriction Act, 1949 hereinafter referred t as the Punjab Act), end continued in possession of the shop. He died on 9th Dec., 1972, and thereafter the defendants who are his legal heirs continued to be in its possession. It is alleged that their possession is that of trespassers. She subsequently filed a suit for possession. of the shop and a sum of Rs. 1,000/- as mesne profits from 9th Dec. 1972, till the date of the suit. He also claimed a decree for future mesne profits at the said rate from the date of the suit till delivery of possession of. the shop.

3. The defendants contested the suit and denied the allegations of the plaintiff: They inter alia pleaded that Ghotan Mal took the shop on rent as head of thc joint Hindu family of M/s. Raja Ram Pt,saA Mel and thereafter Kishan Lal his son continued to be in its possession as:a: tenant. They further pleaded that the relationship of the landlord and tenant between the parties did not come to an end. They also challenged the jurisdiction at the Civil Court.

4. The learned trial Court came to the conclusion that Joint Hindu Family firm Raja Ram Puran Mal was the statutory tenant and after the death of Ghotan Mal, the members of the family continued to be tenants under the plaintiff, the: the plaintiff was not entitled to mesne profits or damages on account of use and occupation and that the Civil Court had no jurisdiction to try the suit. Consequently, it dismissed the suit of the plaintiff.

5. The plaintiff went up in appeal before the Additional District Judge, Sonepat, who held that Ghotan Mal was a statutory tenant in his individual capacity, that in his death, his heirs became trespassers, that the plaintiff was entitled, to mesne profits of the shop. at the rate of Rs. 37.50 per month up to the date of the suit and that she was entitled to future mesne profits from the date of !he suit till the date of delivery of its possession at the same rate. By further held that the Civil Court had jurisdiction to try the suit. Consequently, he accepted the appeal and decreed the suit of the plaintiff for possession of the shop; He also passed n decree for recovery, 'f Rs. 487.50 as mesne profits from 16-2-1973 to 14-3-1974 and for future mesne profits at the same rate from the date of the suit till delivery of the possession of the shop in her favour. The defendants.came to this Court in second appeal. The appeal was admitted to Division Bench and was ordered to be heard with L. P. A. No.. 72 of 1979, which involved similar point. However, it could not be listed with the L. P. A. That is how the matter has been placed before us.

6. The main question that arises for determination is whether the statutory tenancy of Ghotan Mal regarding the shop was heritable. In Dec. 1972, when Ghotan Ma1 died, the Punjab Act was in force and, therefore; the question is to, be examined in the 'light of 'its provisions. The matter does not require a detailed discussion as the controversy has been settled by a decision of the Supreme Court and a chain of decisions of this Court. The Supreme Court examined a similar matter in Damadital v. Parashram, AIR 1976 SC 2229. That case was under the Madhya Pradesh Accommodation Control Act, wherein the word 'tenant' has been defined. in Section (ii). That definition is analogous to the definition of the word 'tenant' in the Punjab Act. A: C. Gupta, J., speaking for the Bench, held that a statutory tenant under Section 2(i) had a heritable in interest in the property under that Act. The property in dispute is that case was also a shop. That case was followed by S: P. Goyal, J. in Mohan Lal v. Ram Dass (1977) 1 Ren CJ 756 (Punj & Har). It was observed by the learned Judge that the statutory tenant had a heritable interest In the shop in dispute and after his death the tenancy rights devolved on his heirs. Consequently, they could no'. be held to be trespassers in the demised premises after the death of the statutory tenant. The judgment was affirmed by the Letters Patent Bench in L. P. A. No. 72 of 1972 (Mohan Lal v. Ram Dass), decided on 4th Dec. 1979 (since reported (1980) 1 Ren CJ B07) (Punj & Har)). Similar view was taken by this Court in Manmohan Nath v. Smt. Kesra Devi (1980) 1 Ren CJ 437, Ranjit Singh v. Smt. Chandrani Puri, (1981) 2 Ren CJ 290, Ram Kumar v. Bahal Kaur, (1983) I Ren CJ 11 and R. S. A. No. 857 of 1975 (Rameshwar Dass. v. Smt. Ramti Devi), decided up llth Nov. 1983: (reported in AIR 1984 Punj & Har 248). In all the above cases,.the properties in dispute were the shops., and the provisions of the Punjab Act were interpreted therein..

7. The contention of the learned counsel for the respondent is that under the Haryana Urban (Control of Rent and Eviction) Act, 1973, (hereinafter called the Haryana Act) statutory tenancy regarding a non-residential building is not heritable. He further submits that the suit was fled after coming into force of the Haryana Act and, therefore, the provisions of that Act and not those of the Punjab Act, are to be taken into consideration for determining the question.

8. We regret our inability to accept the contention. It is well-settled that the succession never remains in abeyance. The appellants inherited the tenancy rights on 9th Dec. 1972, when Ghotan Mal died. At ?hat time, the Punjab Act. was in force in the State of Haryana. Consequently, the question as to a the appellants have inherited the tenancy rights or not is to be decided taking into consideration the provisions of the Punjab Act and not the Haryana Act. According to the Punjab Act the statutory tenancy is heritable as has been noticed above. Once the heirs of a deceased tenant inherited tenancy rights under the Punjab Act, they became tenants under the Haryana Act when it came into force, In order to arrive at this conclusion we have taken into consideration the definition of the word 'tenant' as given in the Haryana Act, which: is as follows:--

'2(h). 'tenant' means any person by whom or on whose account rent is payable for a building or rented land and includes a tenant continuing in possession after the termination of. his tenancy and in the event of such person's death, such of his heirs as are mentioned in the Schedule appended to this Act and who were ordinarily residing with him et the time of his death, but....,...

It is clear from the definition 'that a person by whom rent was payable at the time of corning into force of the and Act became a tenant thereunder. The appellants as already seen were liable to pay rent under the Punjab Act as they inherited the rights of Ghotan Mal. It is not necessary to go into the question as to whether the statutory tenancy regarding the non-residential building is heritable under the Haryana Act or not. After taking into consideration the above position, we are of the view that the statutory tenancy of Ghotan Mal regarding the shop in dispute was heritable under the Punjab Act and the appellants, who inherited the said rights, continued to be tenants under the Haryana Act.

9. The next question that requires determination is whether the Civil Court has jurisdiction to try the suit for ejectment. This question also does not require any discussion as the matter has been settled by a Full Bench of this Court in Sawan Ram v. Gobinda Ram, ILR (1980) 1 Punj and Har 245: (AIR 1980 Punj & Har 106). After referring t various provisions of the Haryana Act, it was observed by the Full Bench that it was evident that both as regards the substantive law applicable and also the forum in which it was to be enforced, the Act covered the field to the total exclusion of all other taws. It excluded on the substantive aspect the general law of the tenant-landlord relationship and on the procedural aspect barred the forum of the ordinary rule of the Civil Courts. We, therefore, hold that the Civil Court has no jurisdiction to entertain the suit by a landlord !o eject a tenant and consequently the present suit qua the relief of ejectment was not maintainable.

10. The last question to be decided is whether the plaintiff-respondent is entitled to mesne profits from l8th Feb., 1973 to l4th March 1974 and, future mesne profits from l5th March 1974, till the delivery of possession of the shop to her. We have already held above that the appellants are tenants under the respondent. Therefore, she is entitled to recover rent from them and not mesne profits. It is well-settled that the relief can be moulded by the Court according to the circumstances of the case. We, therefore, upheld the decree for recovery of Rs. 487.50 passed in favour of the respondent but it shall be deemed to be on account of rent from l6th Feb. 1973, to l4th March 1974.

11. Now. the question arises whether the plaintiff could claim future rent in the suit, The learned counsel for the respondent has not been able to draw our attention to any provision of law under which such a suit could be filed. Therefore, we upset the decree of the appellate Court allowing future mesne profits from the date of the suit till delivery of possession of the shop to the respondent.

12. In R. S. A. 297 of 1978, the facts are that a room and a verandah on the first floor of the shop, the subject-matter mf the other appeal, was given on lease by the plaintiff to Ghotan Mal.at the rate of Rs. 5/- per mensem, with eject from 20th March 1960. for a period of 11 months. The plaintiff filed a suit for possession of the said premises and recovery of Rs. 100/- by way of mesne profits for use and occupation. till the date of suit, i.e. up to l4th March. 1974. She also claimed a decree for future mesne profit.

13. The first appellate Court granted a decree for recovery of Rs. T6.25 as mesne profit up to l4th March 1974 and also for future mesne profit till the delivery of possession at the rate of Rs. 5/per mensem, It also passed a decree fur possession of the property.

14. A fortiori the appellants are entitled to partial acceptance of the appeal as has been done in the other appeal.

15. For the aforesaid reasons, we partly accept the appeals, modify the decrees of the appellate Court and pass decrees for recovery of Rs. 487.50 in favour of the plaintiff in R. S. A. No. 28': of 1978 and for recovery ot Rs. 76.25 in R. S. A. No. 297 of 19T8 and dismiss her suits regarding the other reliefs. In view of the partial success of the appeals, we have the parties to bear their own costs.

16. Appeal partly allowed.


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