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Basheshar Nath Setia Vs. P.C. Tandon and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectTenancy
CourtDelhi High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCivil Revision Appeal No. 671 of 1979
Judge
Reported in17(1980)DLT202
ActsDelhi Rent Control Act, 1958 - Sections 14A
AppellantBasheshar Nath Setia
RespondentP.C. Tandon and ors.
Cases Referred and B.N. Mutto v. T.
Excerpt:
- - he required him to pay market rent because he had failed to vacate the government residential accommodation by the specified date. thereforee, he satisfied the first condition of s. section 14a thereforee furnishes the landlord with a matured cause of action to demand immediate redress if he satisfied the two pre-conditions laid down in the section. in my opinion these conditions are satisfied in the present case......(2) on september 9, 1975 the government issued a general order requiring government servants to vacate government residential accommodation by december 31, 1975 if they owned a residential house in the union territory of delhi. this order applied to tandon also. he informed his office that he owns a residential house in east patel nagar. the government thereforee, required him to vacate the government residential accommodation. he did not do so by the specified date i.e. 31st december 1975. (3) on february 25, 1976 the assistant collector of estates issued a special order addressed to tandon. he required him to pay market rent because he had failed to vacate the government residential accommodation by the specified date. tandon thereforee vacated the allotted premises on february.....
Judgment:

A.B. Rohatgi, J.

(1) This is a revision petition of the tenant against the order of the Rent Controller dated July 17, 1979. The respondents are the owners of premises No. 14/17, East Patel Nagar, New Delhi. These premises were let to the tenant Basheshar Nath Sethia on November 14, 1963. The tenant continues to be in possession of the said premises. One of the owners landlords P. C. Tandon was a Government servant at the relevant time. Now he has retired. As a Government servant he was occupying a Government accommodation allotted to him in B-13/476 Lodhi Colony, New Delhi.

(2) On September 9, 1975 the Government issued a general order requiring Government servants to vacate Government residential accommodation by December 31, 1975 if they owned a residential house in the Union Territory of Delhi. This order applied to Tandon also. He informed his office that he owns a residential house in East Patel Nagar. The Government thereforee, required him to vacate the Government residential accommodation. He did not do so by the specified date i.e. 31st December 1975.

(3) On February 25, 1976 the Assistant Collector of Estates issued a special order addressed to Tandon. He required him to pay market rent because he had failed to vacate the Government residential accommodation by the specified date. Tandon thereforee vacated the allotted premises on February 27,1976.

(4) On November 29, 1976 Tandon brought a petition for the ejectment of the tenant under the newly introduced provision of Section 14-A of the Delhi Rent Control Act, 1958 (the Act). He pleaded that since he had been asked to vacate the Government accommodation in the Union Territory of Delhi the tenant should be evicted and he should be placed in occupation of his property. The tenant contested the petition. The Rent Controller ordered the eviction of the tenant. The tenant has now come in revision under S. 25B(8). Section 14A(l) of the Act reads :

'WHEREa landlord who, being a person in occupation of any residential premises allotted to him by the Central Government or any local authority is required, by, or in pursuance of, any general or special order made by that Government or authority, to vacate such residential accommodation, or in default, to incur certain obligations, on the ground that he owns, in the Union Territory of Delhi, a residential accommodation either in his own name or in the name of his wife or dependent child, there shall accure, on and from the date of such order, to such landlord, notwithstanding anything contained elsewhere in this Act, or in any other law for the time being in force or in any contract (Whether express or implied) custom or usage to the contrary, a right to recover immediately possession of any premises let out by him.'

(5) Counsel for the tenant has raised two arguments. In the first place it is said that the landlord Tandon has not produced the general order dated September 9, 1975 and thereforee he is not entitled to an order of eviction. This argument is without substance. Tandon relied upon the special order dated February 25, 1976 which was produced in the case (Ex. Aw 1/3) and proved by the witness Jagdish Lal (AW 3). This special order was issued to Tandon. He was required to vacate the Government residential accommodation by December 31, 1975, in terms of the general order dated September 9, 1975. Two days after the receipt of this order he vacated the premises on February 27, 1976. He handed over the possession to the Government. The Government thereupon issued a certificate to him dated November 23, 1976 (Ex. Aw 1/4) which says :

'THATP. C. Tandon, Assistant Naval Headquarters was allotted quarter B-13/476, Lodhi Road, New Delhi on 'November 16, 1966 and was vacated by him on February 27, 1976. He was in occupation of the said quarter Along with his family during this period.'

(6) It is, thereforee, clear that Tandon was in occupation of the residential premises allotted to him by the Central Government. By special order made by the Government he was required to vacate the residential accommodation in his occupation. As he was in default he incurred the obligation to pay market rent. thereforee, he satisfied the first condition of S. 14-A. That Tandon owns in the Union Territory of Delhi the present residential accommodation in the occupation of the tenant is not disputed. In fact that is why he was asked to vacate the Government premises. From the two documents dated February 25, 1976 and November 23, 1976 and the oral testimony of the petitioner and his witness Jagdish Lal,aclerk from the Directorate of Estates, it is abundantly proved that Tandon was allotted Government accommodation on November 9, 1966 which he vacated on February 27, 1976 by reason of the special order made by the Government.

(7) The second argument raised by counsel is that the present petition was brought by the landlord Tandon on November 27, 1976 when he was no longer in occupation of Government accommodation. On this ground it is said that Tandon is not entitled to an eviction order because he does not satisfy the requirement of S. 14-A of the Act. In other words, what is pleaded is that in order to claim eviction under S. 14-A it is essential that at the time of the institution of the petition the landlord must be in occupation of Government residential accommodation and if he has vacated it he cannot avail of the provisions of S. 14-A and his remedy is to sue for ejectment as a private citizen under the ordinary law contained in S. 14 of the Act and not as a privileged Government servant. I was referred to Busching Schmitz Pvt. Ltd. v. P.T. Menghani : [1977]3SCR312 , Nihal Chand v. Kalyan Chand Jain : [1978]2SCR183 and B.N. Mutto v. T.K Kandi (1978)2 S C R 409. I am afraid I cannot agree. A plain reading of S. 14-A shows that the continued occupation of the Government residential accommodation at the time of the institution of the petition is not a requirement of the Section. All that is required is that the landlord must be in occupation of the residential premises allotted to him by the Central Government and being in such occupation he is required by general or special order made by the Government to vacate the said residential accommodation on the ground that he owns in the Union Territory of Delhi a residential accommodation either in his own name or in the name of his wife or dependent child.

(8) 'THERE shall accrue, on and from the date of such order, to such landlord.........a right to recover immediately possession of any premises let out by him.' These are the keywords of the non-obstantate clause. The right accrues to the landlord when the general or special order is passed and in pursuance of which he incurs certain obligations or vacates the Government allotted accommodation. This right he may enforce later on. It is not necessary that he must stick on the Government accommodation in order to enforce the right conferred on him under S. 14-A of the Act. Suppose the Government servant vacates the premises in obedience to the order of his master. After vacating he brings the ejectment suit against the tenant on the ground that he was required to vacate Government residential accommodation in pursuance of the general or special order and that he wants to shift to his own house which he owns in Delhi. It would be absurd to hold that he is not entitled to enforce the right-the 'right to recover immediate possession of premises.'

(9) A right is said to accrue when it vests in a person without his active intervention. The fact of a right accruing is called its accrual. It means to arise, to happen, to come into force or existence, to vest. The growth of the right is gradual as the word 'accrue' usually connotes. But where it is sudden, the immediacies of life demand an immediate right and immediate redress. The words 'Immediate possession' used in the margin convey the sense of urgency with which the whole thing has to be accomplished. The Government accommodation must be vacated immediately. The landlord must be given a right to recover immediate possession of his property. This is what the summary procedure of S. 25B must secure. This is the intention of the law giver. Section 14A thereforee furnishes the landlord with a matured cause of action to demand immediate redress if he satisfied the two pre-conditions laid down in the Section. A lagislature impatient of law's delays has provided for instant relief. Six months time to vacate the premises is cut down to two (S. 25C(2)). The law was amended in 1975 to meet the fugitive needs of the hour.

(10) Section 14A speaks of the accrual of the right. The right is to recover immediate possession by the landlord of his own property. The preconditions for the accrual of that right are two. Firstly that he was in occupation of residential premises allotted to him by the Central Government. Secondly that he was required to vacate such residential accommodation on the ground that he owns his own residential accommodation in the Union Territory of Delhi. In my opinion these conditions are satisfied in the present case. The right accrued to Tandon. He was entitled to bring the petition in November 29, 1976 even though he had vacated the Government accommodation on February 27, 1976.

(11) No other point has been urged. For these reasons the revision petition is dismissed with costs. Counsel fee Rs. 200.00 .

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