B.C. Misra, J.
(1) This revision petition has been filedunder the proviso to sub-section (8) of section 25B of the DelhiRent Control Act. 59 of 1958 (hereinafter referred to as 'the Act').as amended by Act No. 18 of 1976 with effect from 1/12/1975.
(2) The material facts of the case are that the respondent landlady is the owner and landlord in respect of the premises in dispute,which consists of the first floor of the house No. B-3/4, RameshNagar, New Delhi. It was let out to the petitioner at the rate ofRs. 75.00 per month. The respondent had instituted a petition on 27/01/1976 for eviction of the petitioner on the grounds ofbona fide personal necessity, the tenant not living in the premises formore than one year, and unlawful subletting being the groundsmentioned in clauses (e), (d) and (b) of the provisos to sub-section(1) of section 14 and 14A(1) of the Act. Notice of this petition wasissued and served on the petitioner, who filed a written statementto the same. While this petition has been contested, the respondentlandlady stated before the Controller that she pressed only the groundmentioned under section 14A of the Act as amended and no otherground. The Controller thereforee, served the summons according tothe amended procedure, on the petitioner on 8/03/1976. the petitioner thereafter made an application for permission to appearand contest the petition and he raised various pleas. The Controllerbelow found that there was no substance in the contentions of the petitioner tenant, in particular against the bona fides of the claimof the respondent owner and the sufficiency of the accommodationavailable with her and as such he refused the application for leave tocontest, and in accordance with the provisions of law passed an orderfor eviction allowing the petitioner two months time to vacate the premises. This order has been passed on 6/09/1976 andhas been assailed in this revision by the petitioner tenant.
(3) The respondent landlady is also owner of the ground floor of property bearing No. B-3/3, Ramesh Nagar, and she instituted apetition for eviction against another tenant, named R. K. Sharma, on 26/04/1976 claiming eviction under section 14A of the Act,on the allegations that she was a Government servant, and her allotment of Government accommodation had been cancelled and she hadno other residence available to her and so she claimed eviction of thetenant. This petition was registered and was tried in the summarymanner provided by section 25B of the Act. The Controller by orderdated 5/05/1976 rejected the application of the other tenant,R. K. Sharma, for leave to defend the petition. As a result, an orderfor eviction of that tenant was passed. The aforesaid order for eviction has become final and binding upon the parties. It may, however,be stated that the rate of rent in that case was Rs. 150.00 per monthwhile the accommodation is the same.
(4) The petitioner before me brought to the notice of the Controller by an application that the respondent landlady had obtainedan order for eviction against R. K. Sharma, and as such she was notentitled to proceed with the petition, which has given rise to thisrevision. The respondent landlady on 7/07/1976 stated thus:
'UNDERthe proviso to section 14A(1) of the amended RentAct, 1976, the petitioner elects to get possession of thesuit premises and not that of Ground Floor for whichan order for eviction has already been passed'
Here, is significant to mention that the stand of the respondent was not that the ground floor and the first floor constituted one dwellinghouse and so she was entitled to the possession of both. Her casewas that she was interested in obtaining possession of the premisesin dispute from the petitioner. The Controller found that the questionof sufficiency or otherwise of the accommodation with the landlordwas of little consequence. So he repelled the contention based on the order for eviction passed in the other petition and consequentlyrefused leave to the present petitioner and passed an order as noticedabove.
(5) Mr. Talwar has assailed the said order in this revision and has contended that the respondent landlady is not entitled to haveeviction order in respect of the premises in dispute in the instantcase, since she has already obtained an order for eviction againstanother tenant. The scope of section 14A and the proviso of section 25B were, inter alia, considered by me in Smt. V. L. Kashyap v.R. P. Puri, Cr 369 of 1976, decided on 22/09/1976(1).In this decision, I have held that where a petition is pending underclause (e) of the proviso to sub-section (1) of section 14 of the Act,the same will continue to be governed by the procedure existing priorto the amendment, unless and until that petition be withdrawn withliberty to file another, or if there is a new cause of action, the newpetition could be filed. I have also indicated that the procedure prescribed by section 25B could by its very nature not be adopted in thepending petition, as this section requires issuing of summons in a.prescribed form and the application by the tenant for permission toappear and contest the petition for eviction. This will not be an appropriate procedure if the petition for eviction is already pending and awritten statement has already been filed. Nothing has been broughtout to show that this observation of mine in the said case is incorrect.I hold that the view expressed by me therein is correct and the petition for eviction field by the respondent in the instant case givingrise to this revision is not maintainable and must be dismissed.
(6) The second ground raised by Mr. Talwar is still more important.The proviso to section 14A provides that nothing contained (insub-section (1)) 'shall be construed as conferring a right on thelandlard.........of two or more dwelling houses.........to recover thepossession of more than one dwelling house and it shall be lawfulfor such landlord to indicate the dwelling house, the possession ofwhich he intends to recover.' In the judgment mentioned above, Ihad occasion to consider this aspect of the matter also. (My apprehensions expressed in that case have turned out to be true by what has.happened in the instant case). In the said judgment, I had observedthat the right of the landlord under section 14A to recover possessionof the house was confined only to one dwelling house and the landlordwas not entitled to recover possession of more than one dwellinghouse under section 14A; in case the landlord owning two or moredwelling houses seeks to recover possession of one of them. he mustspecify all the houses owned by him or his wife or dependent childand indicate in the petition the one of which he elects to recover thepossession.
(7) After hearing the arguments by the counsel for the parties, it appears that my observations in the said judgment are correct and do not require reconsideration. In my opinion, the election mentionedin the proviso to section 14A must be made by the landlord at thetime of the filing the first petition and in the petition itself. It is notopen to him to file two or more petitions and postpone the making ofthe election until the final decision of the petitions. Mr, Sethisubmits that he has made an election to the effect that he wants possession of the house in dispute in the instant case only and not theother house, which obviously was fetching double the rent in respectof substantially the same accommodation.
(8) On the construction advanced by him. supposing a landlordowns four houses and he qualifies to obtain possession of one under section 14A. then he becomes entitled to institute the petition foreviction in respect of all the four houses and having obtained orderfor their eviction, then choose to take possession of only one of themin execution of that order. This result cannot be said to be envisagedby the Parliament when it amended the law. The word 'tenant' isdefined by claue (1) of section 2 of the Act as meaning any personby whom or on whose account or behalf the rent of any premisesis, or, but for a special contract, would be payable and includes......but not a person against whom an order or decree for eviction hasbeen made (except where such decree or order for eviction is liableto be reopened)........ In my opinion, as soon as the order foreviction has been passed against the tenants of the four houses, thosetenants cease to be tenants enjoying the protection of the Rent Actand the landlord would, if he could have his way, throw all of themout. This position will throw all the tenants at the mercy of the landlord,which is intolerable. As a result, I am of the view that the election ofthe landlord must be made in the petition for eviction itself and ifhe has at any time obtained an order for eviction in respect of anyother dwelling house, he is certainly debarred under section 14A from presenting or prosecuting another petition or obtaining an order foreviction in respect of the premises. But special right conferred uponthe landlord by section 14A to recover possession of only one dwellinghouse is exhausted as soon as the landlord has made his election andobtained an order for eviction in respect of one house. The provisoto the section bars the second petition for possession of another houseand the landlord cannot present or prosecute the same and obtainanother order for eviction. The question of sufficiency of accommodation, which arises in eviction petition on the grounds mentioned inclause (e) of the proviso is not relevant for the purpose of proceedings under section 14A of the Act. Consequently, the impugned orderis contrary to law and is reversed.
(9) I also wish to point out that it is not the case of the landlady that both the houses constitute one dwelling house. The contentionof the landlady, thereforee, need not detain us any further.
(10) Hence, the revision is allowed, the order of 'the Controller below for eviction of the petitioner from the premises in dispute is reversed and the petition of the respondent is dismissed. The partiesare left to bear their respective costs.