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Alfa Radios and Novelties (P) Ltd. Vs. Hari Nath and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectTenancy
CourtDelhi High Court
Decided On
Case NumberSecond Appeal No. 258 of 1978
Judge
Reported in16(1979)DLT80
ActsDelhi Rent Control Act, 1958 - Sections 14(1)
AppellantAlfa Radios and Novelties (P) Ltd.
RespondentHari Nath and anr.
Advocates: H.L. Sabarwal,; V.B. Andley and; Rajinder Mathur, Advs
Excerpt:
.....validly surrendered to landlords - appellant tried to create evidence to show existence of direct tenancy between landlord and appellant - impugned order justified. - - 259 of 1973, 271 of 1973 and 272 of 1973 as well as all these appeals arise out of a common order of the rent control tribunal. it was also pleaded that the permission from the competent authority under the slum areas (improvement and clearance) act was a condition precedent to the filing of the petition for eviction, which the landlords had failed to obtain. it was also held that the appellant had failed to prove that m/s. the rent control tribunal by very well considered judgment upheld the findings of the additional rent controller and dismissed the appeals by order dated august 31i 1973. it was against this..........(3) on february 8, 1967, shri hari nath filed an application against appellant and m/s. eastern radios and electric company for their eviction from shop no. 27. it was pleaded that the appellant tenant had towards the end of 1964 or in the beginning of 1965 sub-let, assigned or otherwise parted with the possession of the shop inquestion in favor of m/s. eastern radios & electric company, without consent in writing of the respondent landlord. this application was registered as no. 47 of 1967. a similar application was filed on the same day against the same appellant by shrimati chandrawati for their eviction on the same ground and this application for eviction was registered as application no. 46 of 1967. (4) both the applications were resisted by both m/s. eastern radios and.....
Judgment:

N.N. Goswami, J.

(1) This Judgment will also dispose of S.A.Os. 259 of 1973, 271 of 1973 and 272 of 1973 as well as all these appeals arise out of a common order of the Rent Control Tribunal.

(2) The dispute is in respect of two shops bearing Nos. 26 and 27 situated in Mangal Market, Jog Dyian Singh Colony, Chandni Chowk, Delhi. Both these shops had been let out to the appellant M/s. Alfa Radios and Novelties Private Limited at a rent of Rs. 71.00 per month each. Shop No. 27 was owned by Shri Hari Nath and Shop No. 26 was owned by his mother Chandrawati.

(3) On February 8, 1967, Shri Hari Nath filed an application against appellant and M/s. Eastern Radios and Electric Company for their eviction from Shop No. 27. It was pleaded that the appellant tenant had towards the end of 1964 or in the beginning of 1965 sub-let, assigned or otherwise parted with the possession of the shop inquestion in favor of M/s. Eastern Radios & Electric Company, without consent in writing of the respondent landlord. This application was registered as No. 47 of 1967. A similar application was filed on the same day against the same appellant by Shrimati Chandrawati for their eviction on the same ground and this application for eviction was registered as application No. 46 of 1967.

(4) Both the applications were resisted by both M/s. Eastern Radios and Electric Company as also by M/s. Alfa Radios on absolutely similar grounds. It was pleaded by the tenants that the tenancy was surrendered by M/s. Alfa Radios on November 30, 1964 and thereafter premises remained vacant till February 1, 1965 when they were let out by the landlords to M/s. Eastern Radios at the same rent, i.e.. Rs. 71.00 per month for each of the shop. It was further averred by the tenants that M/s. Eastern Radios had purchased the requisite stamp papers for executing the rent notes at the instance of the landlord and though the stamp papers were handed over to Shri Hari Nath but he did not get the terms of tenancy typed on the said stamp papers. It was also pleaded that M/s. Eastern Radios performed the opening ceremony on February 9, 1965 and invited the landlord in that function and the premises were also got insured with an Insurance Company and a telephone was also shifted by the tenants in the said premises. It was further pleaded that the landlords did not receive the rent inspire of several requests; that the rent was sent by money-order but the landlord refused to accept the same and as such application was not maintainable and wis mala fids and objection regirding the service of notice under Section 106 of the Transfer of Property Act was also raised. It was also pleaded that the permission from the Competent Authority under the Slum Areas (Improvement and Clearance) Act was a condition precedent to the filing of the petition for eviction, which the landlords had failed to obtain.

(5) The Additional Rent Controller, Delhi by his order dated May 25, 1970 held that the tenancy in favor of the appellant was for a fixed period and the said tenancy was terminated by the lapse of time and no new agreement of tenancy came into existence thereafter.

(6) He further found that the landlord were not required to obtain permission from the Competent Authority under the Slum Areas (Improvement & Clearance) Act as against the alleged sub-tenants. It was also held that the appellant had failed to prove that M/s. Alfa Radios had vacated the premises or surrendered the tenancy and that respondent No. 2 had not established that the landlords had let out the shop in his favor as alleged. As a consequence, it was found that the appellant-tenant had parted with legal possession to respondent No. 2 who was admittedly in exclusive possession of the shop in dispute which amounted to subletting, assignment or parting with the possession and landlords were entitled to an order for eviction under Section 14(l)(b) of the Rent Control Act, 1958 in respect of both these shops. He consequently granted eviction order for the shops in dispute in favor of the landlord and against the appellant and Respondent No. 2.

(7) Dissatisfied with the aforesaid order of the Additional Rent Controller, the appellants filed the appeals in respect of both the shops before the Rent Control Tribunal. The contentions before the Rent Control Tribunal were similar to the one raised before the Additional Rent Controller. The Rent Control Tribunal by very well considered judgment upheld the findings of the Additional Rent Controller and dismissed the appeals by order dated August 31i 1973. It was against this order that the present appeals have been filed.

(8) The first contention of the learned counsel for the appellant was that he being the contractual tenant, his tenancy was never terminated and consequently the applications for ejectment were liable to be rejected on this short ground. It is true that the appellant was a contractual tenant which is apparent from the Rent-note (Exhibit A/I), but the tenancy according to the Rentnote was for a fixed period commencing from December 16, 1955 to November, 15, 1956 and thereforee, the same stood terminated by the lapse of time and after the period of tenancy, the status of the appellant was that of a statutory tenant only and as such no notice was required. Though originally there was some controversy on the question of requirement of notice even in the case of statutory tenants, but the controversy has been set at rest by the decision of their Lordships in the Supreme Court in the case of Firm Sardarilal Vishwanath & others V. Pritam Singh, reported as : [1979]1SCR111 . In this case, the distinction had been drawn between the contractual tenancy and statutory tenancy and it has been held that there is no requirement of notice for terminating the statutory tenancy. As such the first contention of learned counsel for the appellant has no merit and the same has to be rejected.

(9) The only other contention of the learned counsel for the appellant was that the totality of circumstances go to show that there were direct tenancy between the landlord and M/s. Eastern Radios. Reliance was placed on the following facts :-

(I)Cheques for rent were issued by M/s. Eastern Radios and same were deposited by the landlords in their account on 1.2.1965.

(II)Stamp papers were purchased by the tenants for executing the Rent-note on 2.2.1965.

(III)the tenants had performed the opening ceremony on Feb. 9, 1965 publically and landlord was invited to attend the said ceremony. Regular invitation cards were issued for this ceremony.

(IV)The shops in dispute were got insured by the tenants.

(V)The telephone was also installed in the premises.

(10) From all these facts, the appellant wanted me to infer that there was direct relationship of landlord and tenant between the appellant and the respondent-landlord. All these facts were duly considered by the Additional Rent Controller as also by the Rent Control Tribunal and concurrent findings are against the appellant. The said findings arc findings of fact and normally it is not open to this Court to reappraise the evidence in respect of the findings of fact, but in the interest of justice, I have heard the learned counsel for the parties at length.

(11) The first question to be seen is whether there was any valid surrender of the premises by the previous tenant M/s. Alfa Radios. The only evidence produced by the appellant is of R.W.I Shri C J. Mehta, its Manager and R.W.9 Shri Ved Parkash Luthra, its Managing Director. Shri Mehta has stated that he was an employee of the appellant and was working in the shop in Chandni Chowk. He further stated that he received instructions, from his head office to surrender the possession of the shop and hand over the keys to Hari Nath. He accordingly went to the .house of Shri Hari Nath and delivered the keys to him at Nai Sarak. How ever in cross-examination he admitted that he was not in a position to identify Shri Hari Nath and in fact he was unable to identify Shri Hari Math even in the court when he was asked to do so. Though he stated that he had gone to hand over the keys at his house at Nai Sarak, he was unable to say whether the house was-a single storey or double storey or -} three storeyed building. Shri Luthra has only stated that the possession was delivered to the landlord by Shri Mehta. On going through the evidence of these witnesses, I am of the opinion that they were rightly disbelieved by the Additional Rent Controller as also by the Rent Control Tribunal. As- such there is absolutely no evidence on record to show that the shops in question were validly surrendered to the landlords. .

(12) In regard to the contention of the learned counsel for the appellant that the totality of circumstances go to show that there was a direct tenancy between the landlord and M/s. Eastern Radios, I find that the cheques which were deposited by M/s, Eastern Radios, the amount, was never withdrawn by the landlord and document Ex. A-6 clearly shows that the said amount was put in the suspense account. There is no proof regarding the cheques having been 'received by the landlords and their depositing the same. The Tribunal is right in saying ihat right from the first day M/s. Eastern Radios were tiying to create eviderce in older to show that there was direct relationship of landlord and tenant between them and the landlords. It is significant to note that there is no rent rote, there no evidence to show that any rent was accepted by the landlord from M/s. Eastern Radios, and that the landlord ever attended the opening ceremony of the shops in question. On the contrary, the deposit of cheques by M/s Eustern ralios in the account of the landlord, the parchasing of stump pupers,issuing of invitation cards goes to show that right from the first day M/s. Eastern Rudios wera trying to create evidence. On periml of the entire evidence, I am ofthe opinion that the Tribunal was fully Justified in rejecting the evidence of the appellants in respect of handing over of cheques to the landlords, surrender of pJss;ssion by the tenants, the purchasing of stamp papers and regarding atteadiag of opening ceremony functionby Shri Hari Nath. No other point was raised by the learned counsel for the appellant and accordingly the appeals fail sad are dismissed with costs.


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