Leila Seth, J.
1. This revision petition is by the petitioner-tenant. He challenges the order of the Rent Controller dated 4th September, 1982, evicting him from the dispute premises and submits that it is not in accordance with law. He contends that the entire approach is erroneous.
2. The premises in dispute is the ground floor of house No. S-96, Greater Kailash-I, New Delhi. The owner-landlord is the respondent Ramji Dass. The tenant is the petitioner I.D. Rajput. He has been a tenant in the said premises since May, 1970. The premises were let out to him for his residence and are being used for this purpose.
3. Originally he was inducted under a limited tenancy under Section 21 of the Delhi Rent Control Act, 1958, (to be referred to in short as ''the Act') for eleven months at a rental of Rs. 550/- per month After a short while the rent was increased to Rs. 650/- per month. On the expiry of eleven months, the landlord again applied for and obtained an order under Section 21 of the Act for creating a limited tenancy for a further period of eleven months at a rental of Rs. 650/-. Thereafter, permission under Section 21 of the Act was regularly sought and obtained at the expiry of every eleven months until 5th February, 1976. when the Rent Controller refused to grant further permission. The tenant, then, continued in the premises as a regular tenant on a rental of Rs. 800/- per month.
4. On 17th December, 1979, the landlord filed an application under Section 14(1)(e) read with Section 25B of the Act. In the said application he asserted that he required the premises bona fide for his residence and that of the members of his family. He stated therein that he was in occupation of the first and 'barsati' floors of S-96, Greater Kailash-I which was not adequate ; further, neither his wife not he kept good health and their ages were 66 and 73 respectively. She was, inter alia, a patient of arthrIT is and he of gout and they needed to live on the ground floor.
5. With regard to the other members of his family he mentioned that he had four married sons and two married daughters. Though, three of his sons were living and settled abroad, the fourth son Mr. Chaman Prakash and his wife and two daughters aged 13 and 11 years were residing with him. However, his sons settled abroad and his married daughters visited him occasionally.
6. The tenant applied for leave to defend. On 24th May, 1980, the landlord's wife died. On 11th July, 1980 leave was refused by Mr. J.D. Kapur. However, that order was subsequently set aside by this court and the tenant was permitted to contest the suit.
7. The landlord examined three witnesses. The first two were of a formal nature. The third witness was the landlord, Ramji pass himself. He also filed a plan of the premises which is Ext. A.W-3/1. This plan indicates that the premises in his occupation on the first floor are almost identical with the premises on the ground floor.
8. The tenant has also filed a plan. It is a copy of the sanctioned plan Ext. R.W. 3/1. According to both the plans, there are four rooms on the first floor. The measurements of which are approximately 15' x 12', 15' x 12', 10' x 15' and 13 1/2' x 21 1/2'. There is also a kitchen measuring 8 1/2' x 12', two toilets, a lobby, two verandahs as also a balcony. One of the verandahs is glazed. On the second floor, apart from the terrace and toilet, there is a large room measuring 15' x 21 1/2'.
9. The only real difference between the two plans is with regard to the nomenclature of the rooms. In the plan filed by the landlord, Ext. A.W. 3/1, the first two rooms have been shown as bed rooms, the third as a dining room and the fourth room as a living room. However, with regard to the identical accommodation on the ground floor, the first two rooms have been similarly shown as bed rooms, but the third room has been shown as a guest room and the fourth as a living room.
10. In the sanctioned plan Ext. R.W. 3/1, the first three rooms on the first floor premises have been indicated as bed rooms and the fourth room as a drawing-cum-dining room. thereforee, the real difference is with regard to the third and fourth rooms. But not too much turns on this. For whatever might be the description of the rooms in the sanctioned plan, the real point is, how are and have the said rooms been used, especially if there is no whimsical user. thereforee, the query is, is the third room a bed room and the fourth a drawing-cum-dining or is the third room a dining room and the fourth a living/drawing room only It would appear the latter.
11. The tenant himself has stated in his evidence that the said room was being used as a dining room in 1975, when he visited the landlord. It would, thereforee, appear that though the sanctioned plan does indicate that this room is a bed room, the actual user of the room by the landlord was as a dining room. The landlord, thereforee, is and has been in occupation of two bed rooms on the first floor as also a large room on the second floor, plus a dining room, and a living room, and bath rooms, verandahs etc. This accommodation was admittedly more than sufficient for him, his wife, son Chaman Prakash, son's wife and two daughters, in 1976. Chaman Prakash is a Supervisor in the Central Government earning about Rs. 1500/- per month.
12. Ramji Dass, the landlord has stated in his evidence that he gave the ground floor premises on rent as he did not require them at the time. He enhanced the rent subsequently, because the 'rents in the market went up'. However, the tenant has specifically stated that the premises were taken on rent sometime in May, 1970 at the rate of Rs. 550/- per month under Section 21 of the Act for a period of eleven months. But he was forced to increase the rent within three months as he was being pressurized to vacate the premises. As such, he started paying rent at the rate of Rs. 650/- per month. Thereafter a number of petitions under Section 21 of the Act were filed and permission was granted every eleven months. In October, 1975 the period of the last limited tenancy expired.
13. He was, then asked to increase the rent or vacate the premises. The rent demanded was between Rs. 1000-1200, but eventually an agreement was arrived at and Rs. 800/- per month was fixed with effect from November, 1975. Thereafter, on 19th January, 1976, an application under Section 21 of the Act was presented. But Mr. P.S. Sharma, Additional Rent Controller refused to grant the permission by his order dated 5th February, 1976. A certified copy of the said order is Ext. R.W. 1/1
14. This order is pertinent. In the said order the case of the landlord has been stated. His case is, that he wants to create a limited tenancy for eleven months as he is comfortably living in another portion of the disputed premises. However, he wishes 'to create limited tenancy to oust the respondent as it is difficult to eject tenant otherwise'. The landlord admitted before the Additional Rent Controller that these premises have been continuously on rent with various tenants and the rent has been increased from time to time. The court did not find any justification in permitting a limited tenancy to be created under Section 21 as it felt that the landlord did not make out any case and was using Section 21 as a handle to oust the tenant athis whims so that he could re-let the premises to some other tenant at a higher rent.
15. From this document as also the evidence, it is clear that right from 1970 the landlord had been obtaining permission under Section 21 of the Act. That as late as 19th January, 1976, the landlord himself indicated that he had no need for the premises for the next eleven months and that he was living comfortably in the accommodation available with him. This would mean that till 1977, at least, there was no requirement by the landlord. Further, before filing the application under Section 21 on 19th January, 1976, he had managed to ensure an increase in the rent.
16. There has been no substantial change in the landlord's situation since then. In fact, one of the main family members is no more. The landlord's wife has died. True, the two grand-daughters are a few years older, but this would be compensated by the reduction of one member. The sons settled in the Untied Kingdom as also the married daughters, who have spacious houses of their own in Delhi, visited him then, as now, occasionally. At that stage, he was apparently satisfied with one dining room, one living room and two bed rooms on the first floor as also the large room and terrace on the second floor. This accommodation of five large rooms as also glazed verandah etc. was, according to him, both satisfactory and sufficient, then. As such, it must be held to be sufficient now, for instead of the family increasing , it has decreased.
17. Realizing that not much head way was being made on the above aspect, learned counsel for the landlord submits that 'barsati', room on the second floor cannot be used as living accommodation. In this connection, he relies on the observations made in Bulaki Dass v. Suraj Bhan and Anr. 1982 (1) R.C.J. 162. In the said judgment Mr, Justice J.D. Jain has observed that a landlord can justifiably insist on not using such a room as a living room. But in the present case, the landlord has himself opined, even as late as January, 1976, that he was living comfortably in the first and second floors of the premises. He also indicated that till 1977, the accommodation would be sufficient; even though, at the time his wife was alive and his married sons and daughters also visited him. It is, thereforee, not possible to accept that the self some accommodation has now become unsatisfactory and insufficient, especially as the family has been reduced.
18. Further, in today's climate of shortage of accommodation and high rents, the use of the closed room on the second floor in most homes, is a well known fact of life. The old concept of the one side open 'barsati' room used just for dumping things for the purpose of sleeping on the terrace, is slowly dying out. The fully constructed closed room on the second floor is a 'barsati' only in name. In any case, in the facts of this case, and the past usage and conduct of the landlord, it would appear that the accommodation available with the landlord is adequate for his needs.
19. No doubt, the landlord is an elderly gentleman of 76 years of age. He suffers from gout and other ailments. As such, both in the trial court and in this court, an open offer was made to him, by the tenant, to exchange the first floor premises for the ground floor. But the landlord remained adament and categorically refused the offer. It would, thereforee, appear to me, that he is really not so concerned with living on the ground floor and is concerned only on somehow getting the accommodation vacated.
20. One other aspect of the matter has to be dealt with. Counsel for the landlord has urged that apart from his use, he needs the extra accommodation for the visits of his married daughters and his sons settled abroad.
21. It is the landlord's own case that his daughters are very well settled and are living in spacious homes and his sons are settled abroad, should the tenant, be turned out permanently for these transitory trips of the sons and daughters It would appear to me that in the facts and circumstances of the present case, this would be in violation of one of the primary objects of the Act.
22. The landlord admittedly accommodated them in the self some premises during their visits prior to 1976 and was more than willing to do so till the end of 1976 i.e. eleven months from the date of the application dated 19th January, 1976. As already noticed, both the daughters were married at the time and so were all the sons. But their visits do not appear to have caused the landlord any inconvenience or discomfort.
23. On this aspect, certain observations of Mr. Justice T.P.S. Chawla in a recent decision in Sat Pal v. Nand Kishore and Anr. 1983 R.L.R. 19, are extremely pertinent. The learned Judge dealing with the visits of married daughters and guests has observed :
'I think, it would be wrong to give too much importance or weight to this factor. After all, it must be remembered, that it is the eviction of a tenant from his established home which is at stake ; and he is pushed out into a world where accommodation is very scarce and expensive. One of the main objects of the Delhi Rent Control Act is to provide protection to a tenant against eviction. This protection is withdrawn, by the proviso to Section 14 of the Act, on limited grounds. One of them is, when the premises are actually 'required' by the landlord himself. Obviously, this exception should not be so worked as to defeat the whole purpose of the Act. It must be applied in a broad sense way, so as to hold the balance ; see Manghram Chuharmal v. B.C. Patel and Ors., : AIR1972Bom46 . Surely, it would be a total distortion of the law to make an order for recovery of possession against a tenant so that the married daughters and friends of the landlord may be more comfortable during their fleeting visits. And, the tenant is evicted not for the short spell while the visit lasts, but for ever. To my mind, that is no way of holding the balance.'
24. After discussing some of the previous cases he has observed that it is only in the most exceptional cases that visits of married daughters or other relations and guests would have any tangible effect on the result of a proceeding for eviction. I respectfully concur with his view.
25. In the result and for the reasons outlined above, the order of theRent Controller dated 4th September, 1982 is set aside and the revisionpetition is accepted. But, in the circumstances of the case, I make no orderas to costs.