Prakash Narain, J.
(1) [ONE Rattan Singh and Asa Singh were owners of suit property. They had taken plot on lease from Govt. They sold premises to respondents. Latter sued appellant for eviction on the ground of personal need. Controller and Tribunal granted eviction order In second appeal, appellant made an application saying that as sale by Rattan Singh etc was without the permission of Govt., same was invalid and Govt. had cancelled the lease and effected reentry and the appellant attorney to Govt. Respondents admitted cancellation but pleaded that appellant was estopped u/s 116 of Evidence Act.] After narrating these facts, judgment para 7 onwards is :-
(2) The only ground for eviction is the bonafide personal need of the respondents. If that ground subsists even to day then only can the order of eviction against the appellant be upheld. The fact that the Govt. has determined the lease in favor of Asha Singh and Rattan Singh and has also exercised its option of re-entry is not in dispute. It is also established that Asha Singh and Rattan Singh as well as the respondents challenged the governmental action but that challenge was unsuccessful. thereforee, it has to be taken note of that the respondents or their alleged predecessors-in-interest have ceased to be the owners of the property. In that view of the matter ground of personal bona-fide need ceases to be available to the respondents. The question that, however, arises is. whether note should be taken of this subsequent development in deciding the present second appeal. There is absolutely no doubt that the proceedings in second appeal under Section 39 of the Rent Control Act are proceedings under the Act and constiute rehearing of the case. There is high authority for this view (see Karam Singh Sohti vs. Partap Chand, 66 Plr 210). The Rent Act is a statute giving protection to tenants and restricts the reasons on which they can be ejected. If however, it is shown in any such proceeding, whether the proceedings, are pending before the Controller, the Tribunal or in the High Court, that the ground on which an order of ejectment has been obtained by the landlord has ceased to exist the ejectment cannot be ordered or upheld lam fortified in taking this view by a judgment of Falshaw, C J., in Mis. Gulab Rai Kishore Lal v. Shri Bynarsi Dass Chandiwala Seva Samark Trust Delhi 1964 Plr 731. Further in my opinion, the legislative intent being protection against eviction, the existance, continued existence or disapppearance of the grounds which dissentitle the tenants to the protection under Section 14(1) of the Rent Act must be taken note of all throughout the period when the proceedings of eviction are pending. This period would include the period during which the eviction petition is pending before the Controller or appeals are pending before the Tribunal and the High Court. As was observed by P.N. Khanna J. in Gian Parkash Bedi Vs Gurdit Singh and another, Sao 52-D of 1964 decided on April, 13, 1971, the High Court in deciding the appeal must take subsequent circumstances into consideration at the time when the appeal was being decided. In that cage at the time of filing of the eviction petition on the ground of bonafide requirement, the question of ownership of landlord was not in dispute. During the pendency of proceedings, the paramount landlord exercised his right of re-entry and the eviction petition was dismissed as the landlord ceased to be owner of the premises. At the stage of appeal, the matter was settled and the order of re-entry was withdrawn by the paramount landlord. So, the court took note of these facts existing at the time of the hearing of the appeal and granted an eviction order. It was observed that the court should mould the relief to conform to the conditions prevailing on the date of its judgment.
(3) In Phool Rani & others v. Nobat Rai Alluwalia 1973 RLR 319 the Supreme Court observed that if during the pendency of an eviction petition under the Rent Act filed on the ground of the bonafied personal need of the owner landlord, he dies, the need of his heirs cannot be equated to the need of the deceased owner and this aspect has to be taken note of.
(4) In this state of law I must take note of the subsequent events that today the respondents have no title to the property in dispute as owners, the paramount landlord having effected re-entry. The ground for eviction that the respondents who are owner- landlords of the property in dispute bonafide require the premises in dispute for occupation by themselves and members of their family dependant upon them, thereforee, no longer subsists and no eviction order on this ground can be passed against the appellant.
(5) It has been urged that the bar of section 116 of the Evidence Act would be attracted and the appellant is precluded from denying the title of the respondents. The argument has no force. Section 116 of the Evidence Act is as under :-(...)
(6) It is not in dispute that the appellant was a tenant under Rattan Singh and Asha Singh. So the appellant was not inducted into the premises by the respondents who allegedly became owners of the property subsequent to the commencement of the tenancy of the appellant. In terms, thereforee, Section 116 of the Evidence Act is not attracted. Apart from this the challenge is that even if it be assumed that the respondents became owners of the property in dispute they have lost that title subsequently. In these circumstances, where the tenant denies the title of his landlord it Is related to facts which have happened subsequent to the commencement of the tenancy. The bar of estoppel does not come into operation and it is open to the tenant to plead that the title of the landlord has passed to the Government so that he has no right to claim eviction or realise rent. I am supported in taking this view by the decision in Rev Luckman Cahplaints Vs . Pearey Lal of the Allahabad High Court : AIR1939All670 .
(7) Without, thereforee, commenting upon the correctness or otherwise of the findings of the Additional Controller and the Tribunal, I thereforee, accept the appeal and set aside the Orders of eviction passed against the appellant.