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Sobha Singh and anr. Vs. Vinod Kumar - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectTenancy
CourtDelhi High Court
Decided On
Case NumberSecond Appeal No. 304 of 1973
Judge
Reported inILR1975Delhi825
ActsDelhi Rent Control Act, 1958 - Sections 14(1)
AppellantSobha Singh and anr.
RespondentVinod Kumar
Advocates: Vijay Kishan and; M.L. Kapur, Advs
Cases Referred(Shyam Sunder v. Khem Chand
Excerpt:
.....for his needs. having taken vacant possession of the new premises for residence, he cannot refuse to vacate the earlier tenanted premises on the ground that the new premises, vacant possession of which he has acquired for his residence, are not sufficient for his requirement. all that the court has to examine under this clause is whether the tenant has acquired a vacant residence. whether that residence is dwelling of a superior kind e.g. a mansion, or of an inferior type is not the concern of the court.; whether the residence is fit for or appropriate to the tenant's needs, the character, condition or station in life is also not to be judged. - - i think the controller as well as the tribunal were right in taking the view that the question of suitability cannot be gone into under..........a person. all that the court has to examine under this clause is whether the tenant has acquired a vacant residence whether that residence is a dwelling of a superior kind e.g. mansion, or of an inferior type is not the concern of the court. whether the residence is fit for or appropriate to the tenant's needs, the character, condition or station in life is also not to be judged.(9) as a matter of legislative history it may be pointed out that under the old act, that is, act 38 of 1952, the legislature had used the expression ' suitable residence'. under that act it was necessary for the court (which took the place of the controller under the old act) to consider whether the residence acquired by the tenant was suitable or unsuitable. now that the word 'suitable' has been omitted it is.....
Judgment:

Avadh Behari, J.

(1) This is a tenant's appeal against the order of the Rent Control Tribunal dated October 20, 1973. There is no dispute about facts. The appellants are father and son. Years ago they took on rent the respondent's premises Z-57, situated in West Patel Nagar, New Delhi. Both of them are collectively referred to as the tenant for the sake of convenience. The respondent purchased the premises in 1969 but they were in occupation of these premises as tenant even before the purchase, by the present landlord.

(2) What appears to have happened later on is this. These very appellants took another premises subsequently on rent. They arc premises No. 26/78, also situated in West Patel Nagar.

(3) After the appellants had acquired vacant possession of house No. 26/7'8 in West Patel Nagar the landlord brought an eviction petition on November 26, 1971. His ground of ejectment was that the tenant had acquired another residence. This is ground (h) of the proviso to S. 14(1) of the Delhi Rent Control Act, 1958, ('the Act'). Though another ground of substantial damage to the premises was also taken that was abandoned at an early stage of the Litigation.

(4) On September 15, 1973, the Rent Controller passed an eviction order. The tenant's appeal was dismised in liming by the tribunal on October 20, 1973, by a speaking order. The tenant appeals to this Court.

(5) The tenant's case is this. They, the father and son, say that they have a large family of 15 persons. They, thereforee, require two houses to accommodate members of their family and the house in dispute-Z. 57-is not suitable for their requirements. It is just not enough, they say. In addition to that it is said they required another house which they have now taken on rent, namely, house No. 26/78. In other words they have acquired another residence for themselves.

(6) Both the controller and the tribunal held that the suitability of the acquired residence cannot be gone into under clause (h) of the proviso to S. 14(1) of the Act. Clause (h) reads as under:

'(H)that the tenant has, whether before or after the commencement of this Act, built, acquired vacant possession of, or been allotted, a residence.'

(7) What the Court in interpting this clause has to see is whether the tenant has acquired vacant possession of a residence. If he has he is liable to ejectment. The authorities under the Act have not been commanded by the legislature to examine the needs of the tenant and the suitability of the residence acquired by him. This is a mater outside their domain. It is for the tenant when he takes the new place for his residence to see that it is sufficient for his needs. Having taken vacant possession of the new premises for residence, he cannot refuse to vacate the earlier tenanted premises on the ground that the new premises, vacant possession of which he has acquired for his residence, are not sufficient for his requirement. (Shyam Sunder v. Khem Chand, 1966 Ii D.L.T. 223.

(8) It is important to notice that the legislature has used the word 'residence' in clause (h). In other clauses of the proviso to 14(1) the legislature has consistently used the expression 'premises'. I should think the legislature knows the difference between the two words. Residence means a dwelling place or abode of a person. All that the Court has to examine under this clause is whether the tenant has acquired a vacant residence Whether that residence is a dwelling of a superior kind e.g. mansion, or of an inferior type is not the concern of the Court. Whether the residence is fit for or appropriate to the tenant's needs, the character, condition or station in life is also not to be judged.

(9) As a matter of legislative history it may be pointed out that under the old Act, that is, Act 38 of 1952, the legislature had used the expression ' suitable residence'. Under that Act it was necessary for the Court (which took the place of the controller under the old Act) to consider whether the residence acquired by the tenant was suitable or unsuitable. Now that the word 'suitable' has been omitted it is not necessary to enquire into the suitability or otherwise of a residence. All that has to be proved by a landlord is the ac.juisitioof a vacant residence by his tenant.

(10) The counsel for the appellant submits that though the word 'suitable' has been omitted from the clause yet the authorities under the Act have to consider whether the residence acquired by the tenant 18 suitable for the requirements of his large family. I do not agree. If we were to read the word 'suitable' there we would be virtually rewriting the clause. It is certainly not open to a Court to usurp the functions of the legislature. Courts are very reluctant to substitute words in a statute or add words to it. The legislature appears to have omitted the word 'suitable' deliberately. It is an intentional modification of the law in favor of the landlord. Now the words in the clause must be given their ordinary plain clear meaning. I see no reason for introducing additional words into it. I think the controller as well as the tribunal were right in taking the view that the question of suitability cannot be gone into under the new Act.

(11) In the result I would affirm the decision of the tribunal and dismiss this appeal. In the circumstances I leave the parties to bear their own costs.


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