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Madan Lal Vs. Hema Wati - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectTenancy
CourtDelhi High Court
Decided On
Case NumberSecond Appeal No. 102 of 1970
Judge
Reported inILR1970Delhi519
ActsDelhi Rent Control Act, 1958 - Sections 14(1)
AppellantMadan Lal
RespondentHema Wati
Advocates: R.M. Lal and; Y. Dayal, Advs
Cases ReferredIn Jai Gopal v. Ramesh Lal Sao
Excerpt:
delhi rent control article (1958) - section 14(1)-- clause (e) proviso to-- scope of--needs of members of family not dependent on landlord--whether can be taken into consideration.; that the needs of the members of the landlord's family, not dependent on him, can also be taken into consideration, while considering application under clause (e) of the proviso to section 14(1) of delhi rent control act. - .....of the appellant-tenant on the ground that the premises let for residential purposes, are required bona fide by her for occupation as a residence for herself. (2) the respondent-landlady had filed the petition for eviction of the appellant-tenant under section 14 of the delhi rent control act, 1958 on the ground, inter alia, that the premises were required bona fide by her for occupation as a residence for herself and the members of her family dependent on her and that she had no other reasonably suitable residential accommodation. she also stated in her petition that her 0 family consisted of herself, her husband, two sons, four daughters and one sister-in-law's son. the eldest son was aged 22 years. the other children were getting education in schools. the accommodation already with.....
Judgment:

P.N. Khanna, J.

(1) The only point urged in this appeal is, whether the needs of the members of the family of the respondent landlady, who are not dependent on her, can be taken into consideration, when she claims eviction of the appellant-tenant on the ground that the premises let for residential purposes, are required bona fide by her for occupation as a residence for herself.

(2) The respondent-landlady had filed the petition for eviction of the appellant-tenant under section 14 of the Delhi Rent Control Act, 1958 on the ground, inter alia, that the premises were required bona fide by her for occupation as a residence for herself and the members of her family dependent on her and that she had no other reasonably suitable residential accommodation. She also stated in her petition that her 0 family consisted of herself, her husband, two sons, four daughters and one sister-in-law's son. The eldest son was aged 22 years. The other children were getting education in Schools. The accommodation already with her consisted of one kotha, one kitchen and two small kolkis on the first floor of the house, which was said to be neither suitable nor sufficient for her needs.

(3) The Controller held that the respondent-landlady was the owner of the premises in dispute, which had been let for residential purposes; and that she bona fide required the same for occupation as a residence for herself and the members of her family, and that she had no other reasonably suitable residential accommodation. An order of eviction was accordingly passed in her favor against the appellant-tenant. The Rent Control Tribunal, in appeal, concurred with the findings of the Controller and dismissed the appeal. In second appeal the same contention was pressed by the learned counsel for the appellant.

(4) Clause (e) of the proviso to section 14(1) of the Delhi Rent Control Act, 1958, is one of many grounds, which enables the Controller to make an order for recovery of premises from the tenant and reads as follows:-

'(E)that the premises let for residential purposes are required bona fide by the landlord for occupation as a residence for himself or for any member of his family dependent on him. if he is the owner thereof or for any person for whose benefit the premises are held and that the landlord or such person has no other reasonably suitable residential accommodation; Explanationn.-For the purpose of this clause, 'premises let for residential purposes' include any premises which having been let for use as a residence are. without the consent of the landlord, used incidentally for commercial or other purposes.'

(5) It was urged on behalf of the appellant that the needs of the husband or the son, who were not dependent on the respondent-landlady, could not be taken into consideration as under the above clause (e), the landlord can claim eviction, only if, amongst other things, he bona fide requires the premises for occupation as 'a residence for himself'.

(6) In Suin Dass Berry v. Madan Lul Puri, Sag 110-D of 1966, decided on 9th December. 1970. a similar argument was raised when I had the occasion to observe as follows :-

'REGARDINGthe needs of the married son, the approach of the learned Rent Control Tribunal in the judgment under appeal, is quite erroneous. It is established in this case that the married son along with his family has been living with his father, the landlord, from the very beginning. His needs arc not being stressed now in order just to provide a sort of screen of bona fide requirements to cover an oblique motive or some other collateral purposes. In Jai Gopal v. Ramesh Lal Sao 401 of 1968. decided on February 5. 1970, while interpreting the phrase a residence for himself occurring in clause (e) of the proviso to section 14(1) of the Act, J had the occasion to observe that it 'cannot mean a residence for the landlord living in isolation. 'Himself' has to be interpreted in reference to a person living with his family with whom he is normally accustomed to live. Merely because the wife of the landlord in a given case is. earning her independent living, and, thereforee, is not dependent on him. cannot mean that while considering the needs of the landlord the needs of his wife have to be ignored. Likewise, the needs of the adult independent son, who normally is accustomed to live with his father, cannot be ignored, when considering the needs of the father. The words 'for himself' have to be interpreted to mean 'for himself as living along with his family members, with whom he is normally accustomed to live.' This interpretation has to be adopted when there is nothing to cast any doubt on the bona fides of the landlord, when he makes such a claim. The phrase 'or for any member of his family dependent on him', occurring in the clause is designed to meet an altogether different objec- tive. If the landlord himself is not to reside in the premises, as for instance, when he lives outside Delhi, he still is entitled to claim ejectment of his tenant, if the premises are required 'for any member of his family dependent on him' or 'for whose benefit the premises are held'. Ejectment in such a case may not be claimed, if the requirement is for a family member, who is not dependent on the landlord; or the premises are not being held for his benefit. But, in this case, when the premises are required by the landlord as a residence for himself, then the needs of the wife and other family members cannot be ignored, if normally, he is accustomed to reside in their company, even if they are not dependent on him. Another way of looking at this very problem would be to recognise that there is nothing to prevent the landlord from giving free accommodation to his near and dear ones, who may normally be accustomed to live with even though they may not be otherwise dependent on him. The right of the appellant, in the present case, to provide accommodation to members of his family, who are not dependent on him, but who normally reside with him, cannot be questioned. If the accommodation, now available with the appellant is sufficient for his son, son's wife and child, his two minor children and his wife, then he still needs an extra room for himself. In order to satisfy this need of his, he can either turn out his son or seek eviction of the tenant occupying the adjoining room. His bona fide cannot be challenged if he prefers to retain the company of his son and seeks the ejectment of the respondent instead.'

(7) Sain Dass Barry's case, is on all four with the present case. The contention of the learned counsel for the appellant that the needs of the members of the family not dependent upon the respondent-landlady, cannot be taken into consideration, while considering her application under clause (e) of the proviso to section 14(1) of the Delhi Rent Control Act, 1958 cannot, thereforee, be accepted.

(8) I do not find, under the circumstances, any merit in this appeal and the same is dismissed. The respondent-landlady, however, shall not be entitled to obtain possession of the premises before the expiration of six months from the date of this order. The appellant shall pay the respondent's costs. Counsel's fee Rs. 250.00.


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