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Saroj Kumari Vs. Lalit Kumar - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectTenancy
CourtDelhi High Court
Decided On
Case NumberSecond Appeal No. 219 of 1968
Judge
Reported in5(1969)DLT268
ActsDelhi Rent Control Act, 1958 - Sections 14(1) and 38
AppellantSaroj Kumari
RespondentLalit Kumar
Advocates: Vijay Kishan and; R.N. Suri, Advs
Excerpt:
.....had let out the house, yet she cannto be denied the right of personal occupation of the house which she had purchased for herself, merely because she had once given it on rent to a tenant. ' (6) on second appeal, it has been very strongly argued on behalf of the appellant that the learned rent control tribunal has completely failed to notice that the additional rent controller had himself gone and inspected the spto and found that the landlady had just a room in a i building on the ground-floor wherein she laid stored furniture and household goods and that she was presumably cooking her meals etc. it is also somewhat surprising that the learned tribunal should have failed to discuss and consider the testimony on the basis of which the conclusion of the learned controller was reversed......of the rent control tribunal dated 27th march, 1968 whereby the order of the learned additional rent controller dated 30th august, 1967 ordering ejectment of the tenant from the house in dispute was reversed and the tenant's appeal allowed with costs.(2) the ejectment proceedings were initiated by the landlady on the ground of personal bona fide requirement. the house, as is clear from the order of the learned additional rent controller, comprises two rooms, a kitchen, a balcony, a common bath room and a. latrine it was rented out to the tenant on 11th may, 1963. the landlady who is stated to have been deserted by her husband had no other residential house for her and she averred that she required these premises for her own bona fide occupation.(3) this application was resisted by the.....
Judgment:

I.D. Dua, C.J.

(1) This is a landlady's second appeal under section 39 of the Delhi Rent Control Act No. 59 of 1958 assailing the order of the Rent Control Tribunal dated 27th March, 1968 whereby the order of the learned Additional Rent Controller dated 30th August, 1967 ordering ejectment of the tenant from the house in dispute was reversed and the tenant's appeal allowed with costs.

(2) The ejectment proceedings were initiated by the landlady on the ground of personal bona fide requirement. The house, as is clear from the order of the learned Additional Rent Controller, comprises two rooms, a kitchen, a balcony, a common bath room and a. latrine It was rented out to the tenant on 11th May, 1963. The landlady who is stated to have been deserted by her husband had no other residential house for her and she averred that she required these premises for her own bona fide occupation.

(3) This application was resisted by the tenant on the ground that the same had been filed merely because the standard rent of these promises had been fixed at the rate of Rs. 301.00 per month and nto with the bona fide desire of occupying the same. The landlady, according to the tenant's pleas, was desirous of letting the premises out to someone else on excessive rent. The needs of the landlady, so pleaded the tenant, had nto increased after the premises had been let out to him. The residential accommodation occupied by the landlady at the present moment was also pleaded to be reasonably sufficient for her requirements because she had no children.

(4) The learned Additional Rent Controller, after considering the entire evidence on the record, allowed her claim holding that the accommodation with the landlady was nto sufficient for a comfortable living. It may be pointed out that the Additional Rent Controller also visited the spto and according to his observation, he found that the landlady had one room in building on the ground-floor wherein she had also stored furniture and household goods. She had only one room in her possession and it appeared to the learned Additional Rent Controller that she was probably cooking her meals etc. in the courtyard. This portion was nto considered to be comfortable for the landlady, even though she was all alone. The observations of the learned Additional Rent Controller, which are worth reproducing, may now be read:-

'I have already discussed above that the present accommodation with the petitioner is nto sufficient for a comfortable living. It has nto been proved that the petitioner wants to let out the premises at higher rent after the same was vacated by the respondent. It is true that she has failed to prove that she owed debt to her relatives for the payment of which she had let out the house, yet she cannto be denied the right of personal occupation of the house which she had purchased for herself, merely because she had once given it on rent to a tenant. In my opinion, she bona fide requires it for her own occupation because she finds that it is no longer profitable for her to keep the house on rent. She being a deserted lady required some income for her maintenance. When that income also goes off, she must genuinely desire that she should herself reside in the house instead of living elsewhere uncomfortably.'

(5) The tenant took the matter on appeal to the learned Rent Control Tribunal who disagreed with the conclusions of the learned Additional Rent Controller with the following observations :-

'RESPONDENT' Statement that the let the premises in favor of the appellant in May, 1963 for the reason that she had to pay off her debts remained uncorrborated, as no person alleged to have advanced the debt was examined by her and cannto thereforee, be taken as correct. The appellant admittedly brought a petition for fixation of standard rent of the premises in dispute against the respondent and she having alleged that the agreed rent was Rs. 60.00 p.m. he stated that it was only Rs. 40.00 p.m. and the standard rent was fixed at the rate of Rs. 35.00 pm. There is thus animus for the respondent to evict the appellant from the premises in dispute and this is a circumstance showing bona fide. I have regard to the aforesaid circumstances feel inclined to believe the testimony of S. N. Sharma R. W. 1. 0. P. Kalhan R. W. 2, Mohinder Singh, R. W. 3, witnesses for the appellant, that she has a room, a kitchen and a common latrine and bath. I have, the refore, no hesitation in holding that the order of eviction made against the appellant for his eviction is erroneous and is liable to be set aside in appeal.'

(6) On second appeal, it has been very strongly argued on behalf of the appellant that the learned Rent Control Tribunal has completely failed to notice that the Additional Rent Controller had himself gone and inspected the spto and found that the landlady had just a room in a I building on the ground-floor wherein she laid stored furniture and household goods and that she was presumably cooking her meals etc. in the courtyard. The learned Tribunal's approach in holding that merely because the standard rent had been fixed at a lower figure than the contractual rent, the landlady must necessarily be disbelieved and the testimony of R.W. 1 to R.W. 3 be implicitly relied upon, without appropriate evaluation and discussion, is a grave error of law which vitiates the impugned order.

(7) The respondent's learned counsel has, on the other had, concentrated on the submission that the conclusion of the learned Tribunal is essentially and basically ore of fact and in any event, title appeal does nto involve any substantial question of law, even assuming there is some kind of legal infirmity in the order of the Tribunal. The learned counsel has also made an attempt to take me through the evidence for myself which I have declined on the ground that it is nto open to tills Court to appraise for itself the evidence on second appeal.

(8) In my opinion, the learned Tribunal has dealt with the case in an extremely superficial and unsatisfactory manner. When the Presiding Officer of a Court or Tribunal goes and inspects the spto to understand and appreciate the evidence and then comes to a conclusion on the factual position, then his finding is entitled to somewhat greater weight than otherwise. It is unfortunate that the learned Tribunal should nto live cared to advert to this aspect and should have attached no value to the inspection of the spto by the learned Additional Rent Controller. It is also somewhat surprising that the learned Tribunal should have failed to discuss and consider the testimony on the basis of which the conclusion of the learned Controller was reversed. But this is nto all. I must point out that merely because the standard rent was fixed at a lower figure than the contractual rate, it could not, for that reason alone, be considered necessarily to lead to the conclusion of main fides.


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