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Roshan Lal Vs. Bhagwati Devi and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectTenancy
CourtDelhi High Court
Decided On
Case NumberRegular Second Appeal No. 273D of 1966
Judge
Reported in5(1969)DLT261
ActsDelhi Rent Control Act, 1958 - Sections 16
AppellantRoshan Lal
RespondentBhagwati Devi and ors.
Advocates: S.N. Chopra,; Vijay Kishan,; B. Dayal and;
Cases ReferredNand Kishore v. Ram Kishan
Excerpt:
tenancy - eviction - section 16 of delhi rent control act, 1958 - appeal against dismissal of suit for permanent injunction restraining defendant-landlord from evicting appellant-tenant in execution of decree for eviction - tenant nto vested with power to confer on sub-tenant right against landlord to stay on leased premises after termination of his own tenancy - provision of lawful subletting contained in section 16 does nto confer on subtenant right to become tenant on eviction of tenant through whom he claims his right to occupy premises - order of eviction upheld. - .....been in occupation of the flat in dispute as a sub-tenant since april, 1948 and was, thereforee, a lawful sub-tenant. this is the only material issue which concerns us at this stage. in the previous proceedings for eviction of defendants nos. 2 and 3 the plaintiff-appellant had, it is admitted by the parties, made an application under order i, rule 10, civil p. c for being imp leaded as a defendant. the day on which this application was to be decided, the parties to that controversy entered into a compomise and in accordance therewith, an eviction decree was made against the tenants granting them more than two years for vacating the premises. the application under order i, rule 10, civil p.o., filed by the present appellant-plaintiff for being imp leaded was dismissed. according to the.....
Judgment:

I.D. Dua, J.

(1) This regular second appeal under section 100, Code of Civil Procedure, is directed against the order of the learned Senior-Subordinate Judge with enhanced appellate powers affirming on appeal the order of a learned Subordinate Judge 1st Class, dated 10th March, 1965, dismissing the plaintiff-appellant's suit for permanent injunction restraining defendant No. 1 from evicting him from the flat in dispute in execution of a decree for eviction passed against defendants Nos. 2 and 3 by the Kent Controller, Delhi. The suit was contested by defendant No 1, the toher two defendants remaining absent and proceedings against them bing ex-parte.

(2) It is unnecessary to narrate all the facts leading to the conversy in question, because in this appeal, the direct contest only centres round the construction of sections 17 and 18 of the Delhi Rent Control Act 59 of 1958 (hereafter called the Act) and facts relevant for this purpose alone need be stated.

(3) The pleadings of the parties gave rise to five issue? on the merits. Issue No. 3 relating to the plaintiff's plea of his lawful possession as sub-tenant was decided in his favor, it being held that the plaintiff had been in occupation of the flat in dispute as a sub-tenant since April, 1948 and was, thereforee, a lawful sub-tenant. This is the only material issue which concerns us at this stage. In the previous proceedings for eviction of defendants Nos. 2 and 3 the plaintiff-appellant had, it is admitted by the parties, made an application under Order I, Rule 10, Civil P. C for being imp leaded as a defendant. The day on which this application was to be decided, the parties to that controversy entered into a compomise and in accordance therewith, an eviction decree was made against the tenants granting them more than two years for vacating the premises. The application under Order I, Rule 10, Civil P.O., filed by the present appellant-plaintiff for being imp leaded was dismissed. According to the trial Court, it was nto pressed. The Courts below have held that the plaintilff-appellant having omitted to give the requisite ntoice as required by section 17(2) of the Act, he could nto claim benefit of section 18 thereof and, thereforee, was nto entitled to claim the injunction prayed in the prssent proceedings. It is nto denied that a ntoice as required by section 17(2) has nto been given, though there is some controversy at the bar whether toherwise some ntoice was given by the plaintiff-appellant to defendant No 1. As the learned counsel for the appellant has also relied on section 16 in support of his submission, I consider it appropriate to reproduce sections 16, 17 and 18 of the Act :- * * * (After reproducing sections 16 to 18, his lordship proceeded). According to the learned counsel for the appellant, where a sub-tenant is in lawful occupation of the premises let out to him by a tenant (who is his landlord) since prior to 9th June, 1952, then he is automatically entitled to the prtoection of section 18 of the Act and no ntoice under section 17(2) would be necessary as a condition precedent for claiming the status of a tenant under section 18. I am unable to sustain this submission. When section 16 speaks of the deeming provision of lawful subletting, then all that it means is that the tenant who has sublet the premises, is nto to be deemed to have sublet, assigned or toherwise parted with possession of the premises or a part there o f which would constitute a ground for his eviction within the contemplation of section 14. It does nto mean that the sub-tenant would be deemed automatically to become a tenant when an order for eviction of the tenant is made under s. 14. In order to fill the vacum created by the eviction of the tenant by permitting the sub-tenant to step into the evicted tenant's shoes, it is, in my opinion, essential that a ntoice within the contemplation of section 17 is served in accordance with Rule 21 of the Delhi Rent Control Rules, 1959 framed under section 56 of the Act. The submission that the expression 'a ntoice of the sub-tenancy' contained in section 18 means any ntoice given by a sub-tenant to the landlord, has nto impressed me and, in my opinion, on the plain language and scheme of sections 16 to 18, it is quite clear that this ntoice has a reference only to the ntoice mentioned in section 17, though in the present case, we are only concerned with s. 17(2). The object to be achieved seems no be obvious. It is to safeguard the Landlord's rights as against any secret dealing between his tenant and an alleged sub-tenant so that no one is forced on the landlord as a tenant with all his statutory rights of prtoection against eviction without the landlord's clear knowledge and acquiesence or detrirmination of the point by the Controller under the Act. If a sub-tenant is to continue to stay on the premises even after the expiry of the tenant's lease, then it can be done only with the clear knowledge of the landlord, whose rights are affected, and it is to ensure this knowledge that the provision of ntoice has been enacted in section 17 which should be so construed as to achieve the basic purpose and object of enacting it. It may in this connection be borne in mind that ordinarily no one can confer on tohers greater light, whether in duration or in quality, than he himself possessed and as a general rule, thereforee, a tenant may nto be vested with a power to confer on a subtenant a right, as against the landlord, to stay on the leased premises after the termination of his own tenancy. On the plain statutory language scheme of the Act, the deeming provision of lawful subletting coiitained in section 16, does nto by itself confer on the sub-tenant a right to become a tenant on the eviction of the tenant through whom he claims his right to occupy the premises. Reference to the earlier rent control legislation is in my opinion, out of place for the purpose of construing the meaning, scope and effect of sections 16 to 18 of the Act.

(4) Reference at the bar has been made to a decision of the Supreme Court in Nand Kishore v. Ram Kishan^, which, according to the respondents' learned counsel, places the same construction of sections 17 and 18 of the Act which, in my view, they bear. Shri S. N. Chopra, learned counsel for the appellant, however, seeks to distinguish the Supreme Court decision. In my opinion, the plain language of sections 16 to 18 discloses the scheme according to which a subtenant can claim to be deemed to be a tenant under section 18 of the Act only if he has given the requisite ntoice as contemplated by section 17 and nto toherwise It is accordingly unnecessary to express considered opinion on the true ratio de-cidendi of the Supreme Court decision.

(5) For the foregoing reasons, this appeal fails and is dismissed with costs. Leave to file appeal under Clause 10 of the Letters Patent is declined. The appellant wants two months' time to vacate the premises and undertakes to hand over the possession to the landlord by the end of two months On this undertaking, I grant the appellant two months' time as prayed.


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