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Hargopal Mehra and anr. Vs. Nand Lal and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
CourtDelhi High Court
Decided On
Case NumberSecond Appeal No. 46D of 1962
Reported in4(1968)DLT180
ActsDelhi Rent Control Act, 1958 - Sections 14(1)
AppellantHargopal Mehra and anr.
RespondentNand Lal and anr.
Advocates: D.K. Kapur,; H.D. Triyogi,; J.N. Seth,;
Cases ReferredGobind Ram v. Takhat Mal Kanungo
tenancy - cause of action - section 14 (1) of delhi rent control act, 1958 and delhi and ajmer rent control act of 1952 - application for ejectment filed by landlords rejected for want of cause of action - whether act of 1958 deemed to apply to subletting that came into being in 1955 - at time of subletting property in compensation pool - rent act 1958 nto applicable to property vested in compensation pool as it was government property - cause of action deemed to have arisen in 1955 when subletting was created - as rent act did nto apply at that time landlord cannto be taken to have cause of action at later date - held, act of 1958 cannto obviate vested right of tenant or sub-tenant under act of 1952. - .....the order of rent control tribunal. delhi, dated 5th of november, 1961 by which the judgment of rent controller, delhi concluding that the landlord had cause of action, was set aside. (2) the question, subject matter for decision, had arisen in the following circumstances. the property (house) in dispute was an evacuee property. the authorities under the evacuee act tenanted it to nand lal. in the year 1955 nand lal inducted a sub-tenant ram sarup by name. in 1956 the said property was purchased by one sat parkash. it might be stated that the property meanwhile had been acquired under section 12 of the displaced persons. (compensation and rehabilitation) act, was sold and it was in auction that said sat parkash had purchased the same. in the year 1958 sat parkash sold his light, title.....

R.P. Khosla, J.

(1) This second appeal is from the order of Rent Control Tribunal. Delhi, dated 5th of November, 1961 by which the judgment of Rent Controller, Delhi concluding that the landlord had cause of action, was set aside.

(2) The question, subject matter for decision, had arisen in the following circumstances. The property (House) in dispute was an evacuee property. The authorities under the Evacuee Act tenanted it to Nand Lal. In the year 1955 Nand Lal inducted a sub-tenant Ram Sarup by name. In 1956 the said property was purchased by one Sat Parkash. It might be stated that the property meanwhile had been acquired under Section 12 of the Displaced Persons. (Compensation and Rehabilitation) Act, was sold and it was in auction that said Sat Parkash had purchased the same. In the year 1958 Sat Parkash sold his light, title and interest in the said property to Hargopal and Rama Shankar. On 19th of November, 1963 the owners Hargopal and Rama Shankar maintained an application for eviction of the tenant Nand Lal on the ground of subletting without the written concent of the landlord. Process issued to the tenant. On the return having been filed an application was moved on 13th of March 1961 by the tenant pleading that there was no cause of action and, thereforee, landlord's petition ought to be dismissed. The contention raised was that at the time the sub-letting took place, e.g. in 1955, the property was with the Custodian and, thereforee. Rent Act did nto apply. The learned Rent Controller after directing ntoice to the landlords tried this matter as preliminary issue for it concerned the jurisdiction of the Controller. The Rent Controller while dismissing the petition of the tenant concluded that the landlord had a cause of action, because when the petition for eviction was filed the provisions of Rent Control Act 1958 were in force, and that the oral sub-tenancy created had nto matured into a lawful sub-tenancy as contemplated by the Act 1958. Learned Judge of the Rent Control Tribunal, on appeal, however, came to a contrary conclusion. It is found :-

'IT is conceded that the alleged subletting in favor of Ram Sarup respondent No 3 took place in the year 1905 and at that time the Delhi ana Ajmer Rent Control Act 1952, did nto apply to these premises. Consequently I am of the considered view that no ejectment can be ordered for a cause of action which arose when the Rent Act did nto apply.'

(3) In the result, as already observed, order of the Rent Controller was reversed and application for ejectment filed by the landlords, respondents Nos 1 and 2, was dismissed because the landlords were held to have had no cause of action.

(4) In the instant appeal, while challenging the order of the Rent Control Tribunal Mr. L..K. Kapur on behall of the landlords urged that the Rent Act (Delhi Rent Control Act 1958)was retrospective in nature. Section 14(1)(b) of the Delhi Rent Control Act 1958 which reads:-

'14(1) Nto with standing anything to the contrary contained in any toher law or contract no order or decree for the recovery of possession of any premises shall be made by any court or Controller in favor of the landlord against a tenant : provided that the Controller may, on an application made to him in the prescribed manner, make an order for the recovery of the premises on one or more of the following grounds only namely :- (a) * * * * * * * * * (b) That the tenant, has, on or after the 9th day of June, 1952, sub-let assigned or toherwise parted with the possession of the whole or any part of the premises without obtaining the consent in writing of the landlord.'

was relied upon for the contention. It was argued that though the Act came into force on 9th of February, 1959 by the provision that subletting since June 1952 was in view the sublettirg in the instant case was embraced giving the landlord cause of action for the ejectment of the tenant. Apart from the reading of the enactment reliance was placed on the finding in Gobind Ram v. Takhat Mal Kanungo etc. The perusal of that judgment would show that the decision was entered on the reading of the East Punjab Urban Rent Restriction Act. The ratio, thereforee could nto apply to the matter in hand. It is, thereforee, for determination whether in view of the provision of Section 14(1)(b) the tenancy created in 1955 admittedly when the Rent Act did nto apply to the property for the same was in custody of the evacuee authorities, the said subletting could be deemed to be repugnant and made use of as a ground for ejectment of the tenant. It might be stated that the previous Rent Acts, e.g. Act of 1947 and Act of 1952 did nto require subletting to be valid to have been with the previous permission in witing of the landlord and it was only by the Act of 1958 that the written permision of the landlord was imperative. The question would be whether Act of 1958 with its stringent requirement would be deemed to apply to suble tting that had come into being in 1955. Admittedly, at the time subtenancy was created, the property was in the compensation pool. Section 3 of the Delhi rent Control A.ct provided that the Act was nto applicable to premises that belonged to the Government. As the property vested in the compensation pool and for the matter of that was Government property, the Rent Act could nto be held to have applied. The cause of action would be deemed to have arisen in 1955 when the subletting was created. If the Rent Act did nto apply at that time, the landlord could nto be takean to have cause of action at a later date when he came to own the property. The sub-tenant had that vested right. The provisions of the Rent Act. 1958 by no manner could be deemed to have affected that right. It at all,the Act applicable at the relevant time was that of 1952 which had in view oral subtenancy. The Rent Law was enacted for prtoection of the tenant. Act 1958 cannto, thereforee, be construed to obviate a vested right that the tenant and sub-tenant had in view of the provisions of Act of 1952.

(5) For all these reasons and for the findings of the learned Rent Control Tribunal, with which I concur, this appeal must tail, and I would, thereforee. dismiss it. There will, however; in the circumstances, be no order as to costs.

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