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Suniti Bala Datta Vs. State of Uttar Pradesh and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectTenancy
CourtDelhi High Court
Decided On
Case NumberSecond Appeal Order No. 272 of 1979
Judge
Reported in24(1983)DLT205
ActsDelhi Rent Control Act, 1958 - Sections 14(l)
AppellantSuniti Bala Datta
RespondentState of Uttar Pradesh and anr.
Advocates: R.K. Anand and; I.S. Mathur, Advs
Cases ReferredIn DwarKa Prasad v. Central Taxes
Excerpt:
- - this would clearly show that the said officer was duly authorised and was acting as an agent of the state of u......been served on the tenant. (2) the appellant had filed an eviction petition originally against the export trade development officer, government u.p. handicrafts and government u.p. so there were two respondents in the original eviction petition. the ground taken for eviction was under clause (a) to proviso (1) to section 14 of the delhi rent control act i.e. non-payment of rent. subsequently the eviction petition was amended and state of u.p. was imp leaded as a party through its secretary. (3) the written statement filed on behalf of the respondents assigned by one joint industrial director and the main plea was that no valid notice terminating the contractual tenancy was served. a copy of the notice which had been served on the respondent was placed on record and was proved. it was.....
Judgment:

N.N. Goswamy, J.

(1) This second appeal by the landlady is directed against the judgment and order dated July 6, 1979 passed by the Rent Control Tribunal, Delhi whereby her first appeal was dismissed only on the ground that no proper notice terminating the contractual tenancy of the tenant State of Uttar Pradesh, has been served on the tenant.

(2) The appellant had filed an eviction petition originally against the Export Trade Development Officer, Government U.P. Handicrafts and Government U.P. So there were two respondents in the original eviction petition. The ground taken for eviction was under clause (a) to proviso (1) to Section 14 of the Delhi Rent Control Act i.e. non-payment of rent. Subsequently the eviction petition was amended and State of U.P. was imp leaded as a party through its Secretary.

(3) The written statement filed on behalf of the respondents assigned by one Joint Industrial Director and the main plea was that no valid notice terminating the contractual tenancy was served. A copy of the notice which had been served on the respondent was placed on record and was proved. It was marked as Aw 1/2 which is addressed to the Export Trade Development Officer and leas been served on that Officer vide A.D. receipt Ex. Aw 1/4.

(4) On consideration of the notice and the arguments addresssed, the learned Addl. Rent Controller came to the conclusion that the notice was addressed and served on the Export Trade Development Officer, Government U.P. Hadicrafts. The said officer could neither be said to be the agent of the State of U.P. nor the State of U.P. itself and as such the notice terminating the tenancy was invalid. The petition for eviction was consequently dismissed on this ground alone.

(5) Aggrieved by the aforesaid order) the landlady filed an appeal before the Rent Controller Tribunal, which met with the same fate.

(6) In this second appeal, the contention of the learned counsel for the appellant is that no notice of termination of tenancy is necessary in view of the latest pronouncement of their lordships of the Supreme Court and law on this subject now stands settled. There is no dispute regarding this part of the case. However, the notice Ex. AWI/2 is a composite notice i.e. terminating the tenancy and the demand for the arrears of rent. The notice for demand of the arrears of rent is a condition precedent for filing a petition under Section 14(1)(a) of the Delhi Rent Control Act. However, there is no magic in the word 'notice'. The object of notice is to make demand of rent on the tenant so that he may pay up and the matter may not go to Court. The demand is to be for rent and nothing else and the notice must comply with this requirement. If it can be shown that the notice was served on the authorised agent of the tenant, particularly, when the tenant had full knowledge of the same, it is not open to the tenant to plead that the notice as required was not served on him or was invalid. This Court in Prem Lal v. Nand Kishore, laid down that if the import of the notice is clear then the validity of the notice should ordinarily be upheld. In DwarKa Prasad v. Central Taxes, : AIR1956All187 it was found that the notice was not properly addressed but it was accepted by the defendant and he replied to that notice, the mere fact that the notice was not properly addressed, does not make the notice invalid.

(7) In the present case, undoubtedly, the notice was addressed to the Export Trade Development Officer. Reply to the notice was sent by one P.O. Ray, Assistant Director of Industries on behalf of the Director of Industries, U.P. the Export Promotion Section. In the reply it was stated that I he arrangements are being made to remit the arrears very goon. It is not disputed that the written statement in the present case has also been signed by the Director of Industries on behalf of the State of U.P. The question to be considered is whether the notice served on the Export Trade Development Officer can be said to be a valid notice. It cannot be disputed that the notice served on an agent of the tenant is valid. During the course of arguments, before me, the learned counsel for the appellant produced lease deed signed and executed between the parties regarding the property in dispute. The lease deed is signed by the same officer i.e. Export Trade Development Officer on behalf of the state of U.P. This would clearly show that the said officer was duly authorised and was acting as an agent of the State of U.P. for the purpose of this tenancy. This document was, however, not produced before the learned Addl. Rent Controller. In any case, the entire trial has proceeded on the basis that the notice of termination of tenancy was invalid. As I have already held that there is no requirement to serve a notice of termination of tenancy, the impugned judgment cannot be sustained on that ground. As regards the second ground, an opportunity has to be given to the parties to show that the Export Trade Development Officer acted as an agent of the State of U.P. with respect to the tenancy in dispute and if it can be proved that he had the authority to sign the lease deed as also deal with the landlady then admittedly he was an agent of the State of U.P. and in that event the notice served on him would be a valid notice. Since no such document was placed on record before the Addl. Rent Controller, the case has to be sent back to the Addl. Rent Controller for determining the aforesaid question.

(8) For the reasons recorded above, this appeal is allowed and the case is sent back to the Addl. Rent Controller, Delhi for determining whether the Export Trade Development Officer acted as an agent of the State of U.P. with regard to the tenancy in question and the notice served on him for arrears of rent was a valid notice. This question will be decided in the light of the observations made above. The parties are directed to appear before the Addl. Rent Controller on 12-8-1983. In the circumstances, there will be no order as to costs.


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