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Prem Chand Vs. the District Judge, Dehradun and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectTenancy
CourtSupreme Court of India
Decided On
Judge
Reported inAIR1977SC364; (1977)1SCC254; [1977]2SCR170; 1977(9)LC20(SC)
ActsUttar Pradesh Urban Buildings (Regulation of Letting, Rent and Eviction) Act, 1972 - Sections 21(1); Uttar Pradesh Urban Buildings (Regulation of Letting, Rent and Eviction) (Amendment) Act, 1976;
AppellantPrem Chand
RespondentThe District Judge, Dehradun and anr.
Excerpt:
.....held to be applicable by high court - appellant contended that building under tenancy is not residential building as tenant running a tailoring shop in one of two rooms under his occupation and hence the house ceases to be residential building - tests for application of explanation (iv) are that building should be a residential building and landlord must be in occupation of part of building for residential purposes other part being in occupation of tenant - fact that tenant runs a tailoring shop in one of rooms is not sufficient to convert a residential buildings into non-residential building - appeal dismissed. - section 11:[r.v. raveendran & h.l.dattu,jj] arbitral tribunal held, serving officers of one of parties as members of tribunal - serving officers are transferred on..........district magistrate) rejected the application.the respondent then preferred an appeal to the district judge, dehradun, who allowed the same on the sole ground of bona fide requirement relying the on the ground that explanation (iv) to section 21(1) of the act was applicable to the facts of the case. the appellant being aggrieved by the order of the district judge preferred a writ application before the high court which, as stated earlier, was disallowed. 3. before we deal with the question of law raised in this appeal we may note the findings of fact reached by the district judge.the district judge found as follows: it will appear that the house in question is a residential building. it has been built for residential purposes and is being primarily used therefore. simply because.....
Judgment:

P.K. Goswami, J.

1. This appeal by special leave is by the tenant (to be described hereinafter as the appellant) and is directed against the judgment of the High Court of Allahabad in a writ petition at his instance which was dismissed. The District Judge, Dehradun, who had earlier dismissed his appeal, has been impleaded as respondent No. 1.

2. The facts may briefly be stated : The appellant is admittedly the tenant under the 2nd respondent (to be described hereinafter as the respondent) in respect of two rooms of House No. 11, Raipur Road, Dehradun. This house has four rooms of which only two rooms are in occupation of the appellant. The other two rooms are in occupation of the respondent whose two sons stay there; the elder one Jiving with his wife. The respondent is an old lady with an ailing husband and wants to have vacant possession of the two rooms so that the entire family can reside at the same place. With that end in view, on June 22, 1972, the respondent filed an application under Section 3 of the United Provinces (Temporary) Control of Rent and Eviction Act, 1947 (U.P. Act No. 111) of 1947) for permission to bring a suit against the appellant for his eviction on the ground of bona fide personal requirement. During the pendency of this application before the Rent Control and Eviction Officer, the U.P. Urban Buildings (Regulation of Letting, Rent and Eviction)Act 1972 (U.P. Act No. 13 of 1972) (hereinafter to be referred to as the Act)came into force with effect from July 15, 1972, repealing the earlier Act of 1947 with certain savings as mentioned in Section 43 of the Act. As a consequence of enforcement of the Act the proceedings under Section 3 that were pending under the earlier Act were converted into one under Section 21 of the new Act (U. P. Act No. 13 of 1972). The prescribed authority,(The Additional District Magistrate) rejected the application.The respondent then preferred an appeal to the District Judge, Dehradun, who allowed the same on the sole ground of bona fide requirement relying the on the ground that Explanation (iv) to Section 21(1) of the Act was applicable to the facts of the case. The appellant being aggrieved by the order of the District Judge preferred a writ application before the High Court which, as stated earlier, was disallowed.

3. Before we deal with the question of law raised in this appeal we may note the findings of fact reached by the District Judge.The District Judge found as follows:

It will appear that the house in question is a residential building. It has been built for residential purposes and is being primarily used therefore. Simply because the tenant is also carrying on the business of tailoring in one of the rooms will not convert it into non residential building. The landlady is admittedly occupying the remaining portion thereof.

Even the prescribed authority at the first instance had observed as follows in his order:

I have inspected the demised premises situate at 11, Raipur Road Dehradun in the presence of both the parties. On inspection it was found that disputed house is one building in which one portion is in the possession of the respondent-tenant. The one portion of the building is in the occupation of the applicant for residential purposes. The respondent has two small rooms and a very small courtyard. Out of those two rooms each one is about 2' Wide and 8' long, there is a tailoring shop of the respondent. The other room is being used for residential purposes. The applicant has two rooms of the same size and one additional courtyard.

4. The question that arises for consideration is whether Explanation (iv) of Clause (1) of Section 21 of the Act has been correctly held to be applicable by the District Judge and the High Court to the facts as found. Explanation (iv) of Section 21(1) reads as follows:

In the case of a residential building-

X X X X X(iv) the fact that the building under tenancy is a part of a building the remaining part whereof is in the occupation of the land-lord for residential purpose, shall be conclusive to prove that the building is bona fide required by the landlord.

5. It is submitted by the appellant that the building under tenancy is not a residential building and therefore, the condition precedent to the application of Explanation (iv) is absent in this case. According to counsel since the tenant is admittedly running a tailoring shop in one of the two rooms under his occupation the house ceases to be a residential building.

6. We are unable to accept this submission. The appellant has only two small rooms in which he resides with his wife, two young sons and one daughter and although he may have a tailoring shop in one of his rooms it is not unlikely that that very room is utilised as bed room for one or two members of his family at night. The fact that he runs a tailoring shop in one of the rooms is not sufficient to convert what otherwise to all intents and purposes is a residential building into a non residential building. The tests for application of Explanation (iv) are as follows:

(1) The building should be a residential building; and

(2) the landlord must be in occupation of a part of the building for residential purposes, the other part being in the occupation of the tenant.

If the above two tests are fulfilled in a case it will furnish under the law a conclusive proof that the building is, bona fide, required by the landlord. There is no need for the landlord to establish any other requirement. Explanation (iv) provides a conclusive and irrebuttable presumption of bona fide requirement once the conditions mentioned therein are established. The two tests are fulfilled in this case on the findings of fact as noted above. We are of opinion that the District Judge was right in his finding that explanation (iv) of Section 21(1) was applicable which view was also later upheld by the High Court. The High Court was, therefore, right in dismissing the writ application.

7. We may observe that we are not required to consider, in this appeal, the effect of the Amendment Act 28 of 1976, which came into force on July 5, 1976, whereby Explanation (iv) was omitted; for has any argument been advanced in that connection.

8. There is no merit in this appeal which is dismissed. We will, however, make no order as to costs. The appellant may continue in possession of the suit premises till 30th April, 1977. He shall hand over vacant and peaceful possession thereof on May 1, 1977 to the respondent.


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