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Harjeet Singh Vs. Giani Ram Singh - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectTenancy
CourtDelhi High Court
Decided On
Case NumberFirst Appeal No. 174 of 1970
Judge
Reported inILR1972Delhi132
ActsDelhi Rent Control Act, 1958 - Sections 15(1)
AppellantHarjeet Singh
RespondentGiani Ram Singh
Advocates: M.L. Sharma and; T.N. Sethi, Advs
Cases Referred and Rampiari v. Ramautar
Excerpt:
.....eviction - sections 14 and 15 (1) of delhi rent control act, 1958 - order under section 15 (1) for depositing arrears of rent within one month passed on 23.01.1969 - deposit required to made on 23.02.1969 - appellant-tenant failed to deposit concerned amount - further protection under section 14 (2) not available to tenant - no bar in passing order of eviction by rent control tribunal under clause (a) to proviso to section 14 (1) - by not complying with provisions of section 15 (1) tenant disentitled himself to specific benefit afforded under section 14 (2) - held, landlord entitled to obtain order of eviction - appeal dismissed. - - inspire of that he failed to pay the arrears of rent due from him with effect from january 1, 1967. the respondent thereforee, filed an eviction..........by order dated january 3, 1969 under . section 15(1) of the act, directed the appellant to deposit arrears of rent at the rate of rs. 20.00 per month with effect from january 1, 1967 up to date within one month of the order and future rent month by month by the 15th of the next following month. on february 3, 1969, thei tenant filed an application saying that he had been asked by the municipal corporation of delhi not to pay rent to the landlord-respondent, as a sum of rs. 1165.18 was said to be due to the corporation from the respondent towards arrears of house-tax. a request for proper order was made. the additional controller on february 27, 1969 ordered the appellant tenant to deposit the arrears of rent in court within two days.(3) it appears that no deposit was made within.....
Judgment:

P.N. Khanna, J.

(1) The appellant-tenant is in occupation of shop No. 3, in property No. 152, Sarai Jullena, Okhla Road, New Delhi, at a rent of Rs. 20.00 per month. A notice of demand dated June 22, 1968 terminating the contractual tenancy was sent by the respondent-landlord to him, which he refused to accept. inspire of that he failed to pay the arrears of rent due from him with effect from January 1, 1967. The respondent thereforee, filed an eviction application against the appellant on November 27, 1968, which was contested. The non-payment of rent was not disputed. The receipt of notice was not admitted and the standard rent for the shop was said to be Rs. 15.00 per month only.

(2) The Additional Controller, by order dated January 3, 1969 under . section 15(1) of the Act, directed the appellant to deposit arrears of rent at the rate of Rs. 20.00 per month with effect from January 1, 1967 up to date within one month of the order and future rent month by month by the 15th of the next following month. On February 3, 1969, thei tenant filed an application saying that he had been asked by the Municipal Corporation of Delhi not to pay rent to the landlord-respondent, as a sum of Rs. 1165.18 was said to be due to the Corporation from the respondent towards arrears of house-tax. A request for proper order was made. The Additional Controller on February 27, 1969 ordered the appellant tenant to deposit the arrears of rent in Court within two days.

(3) It appears that no deposit was made within the said two days. On thei other hand, a sum of Rs. 350.00 was deposited on March 13, 1969 and another sum of Rs. 40.00 was deposited on March 17, 1969. A sum of Rs. 130.00 had also been paid by the appellant to the Corporation for which adjustment was claimed. On March 17. 1969 the respondent-landlord filed an application under section 15(7) of the Act praying for the striking out the appellant's defense against his eviction, as he had failed to deposit the rent as required by the order under .section 15(1) of the Act. The appellant in his reply dated March 20, 1969, stated that his wife had been taken seriously ill and the Collector, House-tax Department, had been pressing him and harassing him, and that he had deposited the whole of the arrears of rent prior to March 15, 1969, the date fixed for further proceedings in Court. The period of two days allowed by the Additional Controller was said to be very short and due to his wife's illness he had been unable to deposit the arrears within two days as ordered. It was. thereforee, prayed that the respondent's application be rejected. No specific prayer for condensation of delay as such was made. On April 3, 1969, the learned Additional Controller passed an order that in view of the fact that the Corporation had attached the rent and the appellant had felt difficulty in depositing the same in Court and that as all up to date rent had by the date of the order been deposited, it was not a fit case for striking out the defense'. Accordingly he condoned the delay in the deposit of rent, subject to payment of Rs. 20 as costs. In case, the costs were not, paid by April 18, 1969 the appellant's defense against eviction was ordered to stand as struck out.

(4) On April 18, 1968 Rs. 20.00 as costs were offered .on behalf of the appellant to the respondent's counsel, who however, declined to accept the same'. On April 25, 1969 the Additional Controller dismissed the eviction application as it was considered that arrears of rent had been paid and the delay in payment, if any, had been condoned. The learned Tribunal, however, in appeal was of the view that the condensation of delay by the Additional Controller in depositing the arrears of rent was only for the purpose of the refusal to to strike out the appellants defense, in response to the respondent's application under section 15(7) of the Act. It did not involve question of the tenant's claim to the benefit under section 14(2) of the Act. In these circumstances, disagreeing with the Additional Controller, the appellant's eviction from the premises was ordered. The tenant, has, under these circumstances, come up to this Court in second appeal.

(5) The learned counsel for the appellant relied on a judgment of the Patna High Court in Ganga Charan Mukherji v. Mrs. (Dr.) Beba Bani Mazurndar and another, 1970 Rcj 1041(1), where it was held That the. Court in appropriate cases even if the rent is not deposited within the statutory period, can examine whether the tenant has substantially complied with the provisions of the Act. In that case, a strike in the State Bank made it impossible for the tenant to comply with the orders to deposit of rent on the due date and the maxim that the law doe's not compel a man to do that which he cannot possibly perform was applied and it was held that if a tenant did all that was in his power to do but still could not deposit the rent in time, it would not amount to failure on his part to make the deposit on the due date. It was, under the said circumstances, deemed to have been deposited within time. The facts of the Patna case are entirely different and afford no guidance for resolving the controversy in the present case.

(6) As contended by Mr. T. N. Sethi, the learned counsel for the respondent the bar to the passing of an order or decree for the recovery of possession of any premises, has been relaxed only in the cases enumerated in the various clauses of the proviso to section 14(1) of the Act and the first clause provides for the removal of such bar, if the tenant has neither paid nor tendered the whole of the arrears of rent legally recoverable from him within two months of the -date on which the notice of demand for the arrears of rent was served on him by the landlord. Such a notice was proved to have been served, in the present case. It is not disputed that the arrears of rent legally recoverable were not paid or tendered by the tenant within two months from the date of service of the said notice. The Controller, thereforee, could make' an order for the recovery of possession of the premises.

(7) Under sub-section (2) of section 14, however, a further protection is afforded to the tenant if he makes payment or deposits the arrears of rent as required by section 15. In the present case, an order under section 15(1) for depositing within one month the arrears of rent was made on January 23, 1969. The deposit was, thereforee required to be made by February 23, 1969. This not having been done, the further protection under section 14(2) was not available to the tenant. There was, thereforee, no bar to the passing of the order for eviction under clause (a) to the proviso to section 14(1) of the Act. The tenant himself by not complying with the provisions of section 15(1) disentitled himself to the special benefit afforded to him by section 14(2). The Controller had no jurisdiction to afford this protection which the law does not give to the tenant, by extending time or condoning delay. It was not a case. where it could be said that the tenant did everything, which he could do. to comply with the orders of the' Additional Controller. The landlord, thereforee, was entitled to obtain an order for eviction on the ground that the appellant had not paid the arrears of rent within two months of the' date on which a notice of demand for the arrears of rent was served on him. And there was nothing to deprive the land- lord of this right, (see Shri Munshi Lal v. Thakur Prem Chand, 1970 Rcr 583; and Rampiari v. Ramautar, : AIR1968MP87 ).

(8) The learned counsel for the appellant submitted that the delay in payment of rent as ordered under section 15(1) had been condoned by the Additional Controller and no appeal had been filed against the said order dated April 3, 1969. The respondent-landlord, it was contended, could not make a grievance of the same. This contention however, cannot be accepted; as the condensation of delay by the Additional Controller, even if he could condone, was only for the purpose to accepting his prayer for rejecting the respondent-landlord's application for striking out the: tenant's defense against eviction under section 15(7). It was specifically mentioned in the order itself that if the costs were not paid within time fixed by the Court, the defense would be struck out. It was not said that the failure to pay costs would amount to the cancellation of the condensation of delay in payment in accordance with the orders passed under section 15(1) for the purpose of section 14(1) of the Act. In fact, a perusal of the record shows that the appellant-tenant never applied for condensation of delay. Even in his reply to the respondent-landlord's application under section 15(7) he did not ask for any condensation of delay, the was only praying that respondent's application for striking out his defense be rejected. The order condoning the delay, thereforee, was only for the purpose of rejecting the said application and the question of condoning the delay of payment in accordance with the orders under section 15(1) did not arise. And as held in an earlier part of this judgment, the Additional Controller had no jurisdiction to extend time or condone thei delay in making payment for the purposes of section 15(1) read with section 14(2) of the Act.

(9) In view of the above, there is no infirmity in the order of the Rent Control Tribunal, which is maintained. The appeal has no merits and the same is dismissed. There shall, however, be no order as to costs. The appellant tenant, however, is allowed two month's time to vacate the premises.


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