Skip to content


Mohan Lal Ahuja Vs. Ramjas Foundation and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectTenancy
CourtDelhi High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCivil Writ Appeal No. 116 of 1969
Judge
Reported inAIR1972Delhi148; ILR1972Delhi492
ActsSlum Area (Improvement and Clearance) Act, 1956 - Sections 19; Delhi Rent Control Act, 1958 - Sections 14
AppellantMohan Lal Ahuja
RespondentRamjas Foundation and anr.
Advocates: R.K. Makhija and; Daljit Singh, Advs
Cases ReferredJyoti Prasad v. Administration
Excerpt:
.....functioning under the rent act which alone could consider those factors. section 19 of the slum areas act has to be complied with whether the landlord is going to evict his tenant under section 14 or under section 22 of the rent act.; (ii) delhi rent control act (1958) - sections 14 & 22--import of--both provisions restrict the eviction of tenants--slum areas (improvement & clearance) act 1956 section 19.; that the landlords who are entitled to file eviction petitions under section 22 of the rent act are not subject to the restrictions imposed by section 14 of the said act. nevertheless they are subject to the restrictions imposed by section 14 as well as in addition to those which are imposed by section 22 of the rent act, whether in a particular case a landlord is..........under section 19 of the um areas (improvement and clearance) act, 1956 (here- inafter called the slum areas act for permission to file a petition for eviction against the tenant under section 22 of the delhi rent control act, 1958 (hereinafter called the rent act). the permission was granted to the landlord by the competent authority by the impugned order dated 24-1-1969 at annexure c to the writ petition solely on the ground that the requirements of section 22 of the rent act were satisfied. the competent authority held that the tenant was not entitled to the protection of section 19 of the slum areas act inasmuch as he was liable to be evicted under section 22 of the rent act. the competent authority concluded that 'the question of status and means of the respondent (tenant) is not.....
Judgment:

V.S. Deshpande, J.

(1) The petitioner is a tenant of the premises of which Respondent No. I is the landlord. The-landlord made an application to Respondent No. 2 (Competent Authority) under section 19 of the um Areas (Improvement and Clearance) Act, 1956 (here- inafter called the Slum Areas Act for permission to file a petition for eviction against the tenant under section 22 of the Delhi Rent Control Act, 1958 (hereinafter called the Rent Act). The permission was granted to the landlord by the Competent Authority by the impugned order dated 24-1-1969 at Annexure C to the writ petition solely on the ground that the requirements of section 22 of the Rent Act were satisfied. The Competent Authority held that the tenant was not entitled to the protection of section 19 of the Slum Areas Act inasmuch as he was liable to be evicted under section 22 of the Rent Act. The Competent Authority concluded that 'the question of status and means of the respondent (tenant) is not discussed here. Permission asked for is granted'.

(2) The above-mentioned order granting permission is challenged by the tenant by this writ petition on the ground that it violates the provisions of section 19(4) of the Slum Areas Act which runs as follows :

'IN granting or refusing to grant the permission under subjection (3), the competent authority shall take into account the following factors, namely :-

(A)whether alternative accommodation within the means of the tenant would be available to him if he were evicted;

(B)whether the eviction is in the interest of improvement and clearance of the slum areas;

(C)such other factors, if any, as may be prescribed.'

INC. R. -Abrol v. Administrator under the Slum Areas, 2nd (1970) I Delhi 768(^), after a review of the case law it was pointed out that section 19(4) requires the competent authority to take into consideration only the factors stated therein before granting or refusing the permission to the landlord to file a petition for the eviction of the tenant. It was also pointed out that the competent authority could not take into consideration the factors which were relevant under the Rent Act. For, it is the Controller functioning under the Rent Act which alone could consider those factors. For the guidance of the competent authority, the following observation was made in that decision:-

'IT has constantly come to our notice that landlords applying for permission to the Competent Authority under section 19 needlessly state the reasons why they want to evict their tenants. These reasons have usually reference to the various provisos to section 14(1) of the Delhi Rent Control Act, 1958, which have to be satisfied before the Controller under that Act would pass an order of eviction. In our view, it is entirely unnecessary for the landlords to plead any of these grounds inasmuch as they are relevant under the Delhi Rent Control Act, 1958 but are completely irrelevant under the Slum Areas (Improvement & Clearance) Act, 1956. The Competent Authority is precluded from considering these grounds for the reasons stated above. At the same time the Competent Authority cannot shirk the consideration of such of the factors stated in section 19(4) as would be relevant on the facts of the particular case before it. If the Competent Authority were either to ignore the factors stated in section 19(4) or to take into account other factors such as these stated in the various provisos to section 14(1) of the Delhi Rent Control Act, 1958 then it would be guilty of construing section 19(4) in such a way as to evade its application altogether. The Competent Authority would then be doing the same work as is to be done later by the Controller under the Delhi Rent Control Act, 1958. There is absolutely no warrant for doing so. Taking into account such irrelevant considerations by the Competent Authority is not only a violation of section 19(4) but is also a usurpation of the powers given to the Controllers under the Delhi Rent Control Act, 1958. Such a practice can lead to serious anomalies.'

(3) It is unfortunate that this Division Bench decision and the observations contained therein were not brought to the notice of the Competent Authority. The result was that the Competent Authority fell into an error in basing its decision on irrelevant considerations which could be considered only by the Controller later under section 22 of the Rent Act but which could not be considered by the Competent Authority under section 19(4) of the Slum Areas Act. The only relevant consideration in the present case under section 19(4) of the Slum Areas Act was whether the tenant could find alternative accommodation within his means if he were to be evicted. This factor was not considered at all by the Competent Authority.

(4) Shri Daljit Singh learned counsel for the respondent No. 1 ingeniously tried to support the impugned order by the following argument :- It is only when the landlord wishes to file a petition under section 14 of the Rent Act to evict his tenant that the Competent Authority has to take into account the means of the tenant under section 19(4) of the Slum Areas Act before granting the permission. For, section 19 of the Slum Areas Act imposes a restriction on the right of the landlord to evict his tenant in addition to the restrictions already imposed on the landlord by section 14 of the Rent Act. But section 22 of the Rent Act is not a restriction on the right of the landlord. thereforee, section 19 of the Slum Areas Act is not an additional restriction on the right of eviction of a landlord who wishes to evict his tenant under section 22 and not under section 14 of the Rent Act.

(5) We are unable to accept this argument. In our view, the landlords who are entitled to file eviction petitions under section 22 of the Rent Act are not subject to the restrictions imposed by section 14 of the said Act. Nevertheless they are subject to the restrictions imposed by section 22 of the said Act. The difference is that the restrictions imposed by section 22 are less rigorous than those imposed by section 14. The restrictions imposed by section 19 of the Slum Areas Act are, thereforee, in addition to those which are imposed by section 14 as well as in addition to those which are imposed by section 22 of the Rent Act whether in a particular case a landlord is intending to evict his tenant under section 14DELHI RENT CONTROL ACT, 1958^ or under section 22 of the Rent Act.

(6) Learned counsel then relied upon the judgment of this Court in Nathu Ram Void v. Tibbia College Board 1970 Rcr 164, holding that the landlord who had been permitted by the Controller to grant a limited period tenancy to a tenant under section 21 of the Rent Act was not required to file a petition for the eviction of the tenant under section 14 of the said Act and, thereforee, he was also not required to obtain the permission of the competent authority under section 19 of the Slum Areas Act. Learned counsel submitted that section 22 was akin to section 21 and, thereforee, the landlord should be held to be exempt from obtaining the permission of the competent authority under section 19 of the Slum Areas Act if he intends to evict his tenant under section 22 of the Rent Act. We do not agree. In our view, section 21 of the Rent Act stands in a class by itself. It is different both from sections 14 and 22 because the Controller has already applied his mind under section 21 before the limited period tenancy is granted with his permission. This is why the landlord does not have to go to the Controller again under section 14 (or under section 22 for that matter) to obtain an order turn eviction of the tenant. On the other hand, sections 14 and 22 are both distinct from section 21 inasmuch as the landlord has to make an application for the eviction of a tenant there under to the Controller and has to fulfill the requirements of those sections before he can obtain an order for eviction. It is because the landlord has to 'institute ........a proceeding for obtaining ........an order for the eviction of a tenant' within the meaning of section 19(1)(a) of the Slum Areas Act when he intends to evict the tenant either under section 14 or under section 22 of the Rent Act. For that he has to obtain the permission of the competent authority under section 19(4) of the Slum Areas Act. On the other hand., a landlord does not institute a proceeding for obtaining an order for the eviction of a tenant within the meaning of section 19(1)(a) of the Slum Areas Act when the Controller places the landlord in possession under section 21 of the Rent Act on the expiry of the limited period tenancy by evicting the tenant.

(7) Learned counsel then referred to the decision in Smt Parvati Devi v. Tibbia College Board, , which was relied upon by the Competent Authority for the view that the protection of section 19 of the Slum Areas Act is not available to a tenant who is to be evicted under section 22 of the Rent Act. With great respect, it would be sufficient to point out that this decision was considered by the Division Bench in C. R. Abrol's case and it is only after such consideration that it was held that the decision of the Supreme Court in Jyoti Prasad v. Administration for Union Territory of Delhi : [1962]2SCR125 was sufficient for the Court to construe section 19(4) of the Slum Areas Act as being mandatory and exhaustive. It would follow, thereforee, that section 19 of the Slum Areas Act has to be complied with whether the landlord is going to evict his tenant under section 14 or under section 22 of the Rent Act.

(8) The writ petition is, thereforee, allowed. The impugned order is set aside. Parties are directed to appear before the Competent Authority on December 15. 1971 and the Competent Authority is directed to consider the issue arising under section 19(4)(a) as to whether alternative accommodation within the means of the tenant would be available to him if he were evicted. The Authority will grant opportunity to the parties to file fresh affidavits on this question before deciding it. As the decision has been already delayed, the Authority should dispose of the case within four months thereafter. We make no order as to costs.


Save Judgments// Add Notes // Store Search Result sets // Organizer Client Files //