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Municipal Corporation Vs. S.N. Gupta - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectTenancy
CourtDelhi High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCivil Revision Appeal No. 95 of 1977
Judge
Reported in1977RLR470
ActsCode of Civil Procedure (CPC), 1908 - Order 8, Rules 1 and 5; ;Delhi Rent Control Act, 1958 - Sections 14A(1)
AppellantMunicipal Corporation
RespondentS.N. Gupta
Advocates: Uma Mehta and; S.S. Saluja, Advs
Cases ReferredBushin Schmitz Private Ltd. v. P. T. Menghani
Excerpt:
.....- - ' (3) the question is whether the above is a correct interpretation of the meaning of section 14a(i). (4) miss uma mehta, learned counsel for the petitioner, concedes that if the premises are residential they do not become non-residential because they are let out for a non-residential purpose but she contends that premises can be so constructed that they may be used for commercial as well as residential purposes. ' in the present case both these requirements have to be taken to be satisfied because of the pleading made by the landlord......premises are a part of one whole house. the rest of of the house which was formerly let out for a residential purpose has already come into the possession of the landlord. the premises in dispute were let out to the petitioner by municipal corporation of delhi, for running a ayurvedic dispensary. the learned rent controller in refusing permission for leave to defend observed that 'the house in dispute is residential in nature and is situated in residential area. the rooms let out to the respondent though are being used to run a dispensary, those are essential part of the dwelling house and the purpose of letting has, thereforee, little value.' (3) the question is whether the above is a correct interpretation of the meaning of section 14a(i). (4) miss uma mehta, learned counsel for the.....
Judgment:

F.S. Deshpande, J.

(1) If tenanted portion and another portion forms one dwelling house then eviction may be ordered. This revision petition is by the tenant against whom an order was passed by the Rent Controller refusing leave to defend and ordering the tenant to deliver possession of the premises to the respondent-landlord. The revision being under the proviso to sub-section (8) of Section 25B, I have to see whether the order of the Rent Controller was according to law.

(2) The pleading with which the landlord same to Rent Controller asking for eviction was (1) that the premises were residential, (2} that it was a dwelling unit and and (3) that it consisted of two rooms adjoining the courtyard and a latrine. The landlord also filed a map of the house which shows that these premises are a part of one whole house. The rest of of the house which was formerly let out for a residential purpose has already come into the possession of the landlord. The premises in dispute were let out to the petitioner by Municipal Corporation of Delhi, for running a Ayurvedic dispensary. The learned Rent Controller in refusing permission for leave to defend observed that 'the house in dispute is residential in nature and is situated in residential area. The rooms let out to the respondent though are being used to run a dispensary, those are essential part of the dwelling house and the purpose of letting has, thereforee, little value.'

(3) The question is whether the above is a correct interpretation of the meaning of section 14A(I).

(4) Miss Uma Mehta, learned counsel for the petitioner, concedes that if the premises are residential they do not become non-residential because they are let out for a non-residential purpose But she contends that premises can be so constructed that they may be used for commercial as well as residential purposes. For instance, a building may be so constructed that the front portion may be capable of being used for commercial purposes and the back portion for a residential purpose, even though the front portion can be used for residential purpose without any structural alteration. After all rooms can be so constructed that they can be used either for commercial or for residential purposes. Learned counsel's main contention is that these premises are non-residential firstly, because by structural alteration they have been used for non-residential purpose and there is nothing inherent in the construction of these premises which brand themselves as residential and which shows that they cannot be non-residential accommodation. It is secondly argued that the premises in themselves are two rooms and a latrine, i.e., it does not have the other convenience which are necessary for residential accommodation such as a kitchen, bath etc.

(5) The question as to what is a residential accommodation within the meaning of section 14A(I) was considered first in Om Prakash Gupta v. Ram Nath and others, 1977 (1) RLR 406=1976 Rlr 617. In paragraph 21 it was observed as follows ; 'The phrase 'a residential accommodation' means that the accommodation should be capable of being used as residential or should have been built as a residence.' In the present case both these requirements have to be taken to be satisfied because of the pleading made by the landlord. This pleading has not been specifically traversed in the application for leave to defend or in the affidavit filed by the tenant. The decision of the Rent Controller was based on the pleadings and as such it cannot be said that it was not in accordcanee with the law.

(6) As for the second contention that the premises cannot be called residential accommodation because they do not have a bath room or a kitchen, the answer is that they are a part of one whole house and the bath room and the kitchen which are provided in the house were intended to serve the purpose of those rooms also. The question as to the nature of the accommodation has to be considered by taking into account the building as a whole. It is only an accident that a part of the building has been let out for a non-residential purpose. It is not disputed by the learned counsel that the mere purpose of letting out does not change the nature of the premises.

(7) Learned counsel further contended that the landlord has already got possession of a part of the house which should be sufficient for him as a reasonably suitable accommodation. This consideration would have been relevant under clause (e) of the proviso to section 14(1) but is not relevant in the construction of section 14A(I) Since the landlord is wanting the possession under section 14A(I) of only one dwelling house, the possession of a part of the said building by him is not a bar to the eviction petition.

(8) The question of what is residential accommodation within the meaning of section 14A(I) was also recently considered by the Supreme Court in Bushin Schmitz Private Ltd. v. P. T. Menghani 1977. Rlr 283 The building in that case. in the words of the Supreme Court, was let 'to the appellant-tenant (a company) to carry on business and use part of it for its managers' residence.' Even on these facts the Supreme Court held that the building was residential accommodation. It is not possible to distinguish the facts of the present case from the facts of the case before the Supreme Court which were perhaps more in favor of the tenant than are the facts in the case before me.


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