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Kanti Lal Vs. Heera Lal - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectTenancy
CourtDelhi High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCivil Revision Appeal No. 321 of 1980
Judge
Reported in1981(2)DRJ85
ActsDelhi Rent Control Act, 1958 - Sections 14(1)
AppellantKanti Lal
RespondentHeera Lal
Advocates: S.K. Bisaria and; R.P. Kathuria, Advs
Cases Referred and Raj Kumar v. Vijay Singh. The
Excerpt:
.....which is to be surrendered on her retirement--tenant has made vague allegation that the landlord is in possession of suitable accommodation within the four walls of delhi city--he further alleges that the respondent-landlord is a disabled person and the suit premises situated at first floor will not be suitable for his residence.; that the allegation of the petitioner-tenant that the landlord is in occupation of suitable accommodation is vague. further, whether the premises would be suitable or not for the landlord is not the concern of the tenant and the fact whether the landlord is a disalbed person or not will not affect the eviction petition. - - and one verandah covered like room measuring 11x6 ft. it is for him to choose the tenant against whom he would like to..........proceed for eviction. respondent-landlord in the present case has cho sen to evict the petitioner-tenant in occupation of the first floor. on a reference to the plan it appears that the first floor premises may be better for occupation of the respondent-landlord. in any case, the petitioner- tenant cannot dictate a landlord to file an eviction application against one or all the tenants. (10) the other objection raised by the petitioner-tenant is that the landlord is trying to convert the suit house from residential to commercial use on the basis that in the locality where the suit premises are situated some properties have been converted from residential use to commercial use. this is not a ground. the respondent has not converted as yet. after eviction if he converts the property for.....
Judgment:

Sultan Singh, J.

(1) This is a petition under section 25B(8) of the Delhi Rent Control Act, J 958 (hereinafter called 'the Act') directed against the order dated January 8, 1980 of the Additional Controller whereby he refused leave to contest the eviction application and order for eviction of the petitioner under section 14(l)(e) of the Act was passed by him.

(2) The respondent landlord filed the eviction application on the grounds mentioned in clause (e) of the proviso to sub-section (1) of Section 14 of the Act. It reads as under :

'SECTION 14(l)(e): that the premises let for residential purposes are required bona fide by the landlord for occupation as a residence for himself or for any member of his family dependent on him, if he is the owner thereof, or for any person for whose benefit the premises are held and that the landlord or such person has no other reasonably suitable residential accommodation'.

THElandlord is entitled to an order for recovery of possession if he proves the following ingredients of this clause (e) : (i) the premises were let out for residential purposes; (ii) the landlord is the owner of the premises; (iii) the premises are required bona fide by the landlord for occupation as a residence for himself or any member of his family dependent upon him; (iv) the landlord has no other reasonably suitable accommodation.

(3) The respondent-landlord made the following allegations in paragraph No. 18(a) of his application :

'BONAfide necessity. That the premises let for residence are bona fide required by the petitioner for his own use and the members of his family dependent upon him for residential purpose and that he is the owner of the premises and has no other residential accommodation for himself and his wife. The petitioner's wife was in service as a Nurse in the M & Cw Centre, Municipal Corporation of Delhi. During service she was allotted accommodation by the Municipal Authorities in the centre itself and since then the petitioner is residing in the said allotted accommodation with his wife. The petitioner's wife, Smt. Sewa Devi, retired from service on 30-4-1974 and, thereforee, she has to surrender back [he allotted accommodation to the Municipal Authorities. Neither the petitioner nor his wife own any other residential property in Delhi for their residence. The property in question is the only property owned by the petitioner where he can accommodate himself and his wife. No other portion in the building is lying vacant for use as a residence by the petitioner. The requirement of the petitioner is urgent and immediate because of the retirement of his wife. The petitioner requested the respondent several times in the past for vacating the premises; but now he has refused to do so despite his promises.'

(4) The respondent-landlord states that the petitioner is a tenant in one room with store inside, one kitchen on the 1st floor and common use of bathroom and latrine on the ground floor of the building insuit and that the tenancy portion is shown in red colour in the attached plan. The plan is attached to the eviction petition wherein the portion under the tenancy of the tenant on the 1st floor is shown in red colour. The remaining portion on the 1st floor is open terrace. On the ground floor there are various portions wherein the names of various tenants are mentioned. It is further alleged that the premises were let to the petitioner w.e.f. December 19, 1962. The monthly rent is Rs. 36.00 . The petitioner-tenant filed the application for leave to contest. The tenant does not contest the letting purpose of the suit premises, the ownership of the respondent-landlord. The tenant, howerver, alleges that the landlord does not require the premises and that he has suitable residential accommodation in his possession. So the only contest on behalf of the tenant is with respect to points (3) and (4) arising out of clause (e) of the grounds of eviction. The two points are in fact inter-connected. If a landlord has no other reasonably suitable accommodation in his possession it may be said that he requires the suit premises and if a landlord is in possession of a suitable residential accommodation it may be said that he does not bona fide require the suit premises. Thus it has to be seen what is the allegations made by the tenant in his application for leave to contest with respect to the availability of the premises for the residence of the landlord The landlord as already stated has stated that he was residing with his wife who was allotted accommodation by the Municipal Authorities, that his wife has since retired w.e.f. 30-4-1979 and, thereforee, she had to surrender the allotted accommodation. In other words, the landlord alleges that he is not in possession of any other accommodation. He is at the moment in possession of the allotted accommdation but the same is to be surrendered. In reply to this allegation the tenant makes a vague allegation that the landlord is already in occupation and possession of suitable accommodation within the four walls of Delhi city On a reference to the eviction petition the accommodation with the landlord in Delhi city refers to the accommodation allotted to his wife by the Municipal Authorities.

(5) As regards the said house which is situated at Gandhi Nagar, the tenant pleads and it is desirable to reproduce para 'B' of the application for leave to contest:

'PARA2(b). That the premises in question consist of three independent sets on the ground floor out of which one set is in occupation and possession of Shri Amar Nath Bedi as tenant, the second set is in occupation and possession of Shri C. D. Mehra and other tenant and the third set which consists of one room measuring 12x10 ft. and one verandah covered like room measuring 11x6 ft. is in occupation and possession of the petitioner as the same was vacated by Sardar Harjap Singh Gill and since then is in occupation and possession of the petitioner. Although the petitioner is not residing in the said portion but the same is in occupation and possession of the petitioner. While the respondent is in occupation and possession of one-room set on the first floor.'

(6) According to these allegations the ground floor of the suit house is in occupation of two persons, (1) Amar Nath Bedi, (2) C.D. Mehra, as a tenant. As regards the third set of one room and one verandah, the allegation of the petitioner tenant is that the same is in occupation and possession of the landlord. He, however, admits that the landlord is not residing in the said portion. If a reference is made to the plan attached to the eviction petition it is found that names of the various occupants on the ground floor are mentioned in the plan. The landlord in his petition for eviction has made a definite allegation that he is not in possession of any vacant portion of the suit property for his residence. This part of the landlord's case is not challenged by the petitioner-tenant. The tenant nowhere alleges that any portion of the suit property is lying vacant or landlord is residing therein. It is also not alleged that the landlord is in possession of any property or any premises in Delhi for his residence except the accommodation allotted by the Municipal Corporation of Delhi to his wite. The landlord, it appers came with the definite allegation that he has no other reasonably suitable residential accommodation and that he requires the premises for the residence for himself and his wife. The allegation of the petitioner-tenant that the landlord is in occupation and possession of the third set of the suit property is thus vague. The petitioner admits that the landlord is not residing. If the premises in possession of the landlord allotted to his wife are not available any more, it cannot be said that the landlord has got any accommodation for his residence. The family of the landlord admittedly consists of himself and his wife but if he has no accommodation for his residence surely he requires the suit premises. The allegation of the petitioner-tenant that the landlord is in possession of the suitable accommodation is thus vague and without any particular. This is also not denied by the petitioner-tenant that the wife of the landlord has since retired or that the accommodation allotted by the Corporation is not to be surrendered on her retirement. There is do allegation in the application for leave to contest')

(7) Thus it seems to me that the respondent-landlord alleged all the ingredients of clause (e) for claiming eviction of the petitioner and that the petitioner has not raised any fact which would disentitle the landlord from claiming eviction within the meaning of Section 14(l)(e) read with Section 25B(5) of the Act. Leave to contest is to be granted when allegations are made in his affidavit for leave to contest disclosing facts which may disentitle the landlord from obtaining an order for recovery of possession.

(8) The other allegation made by the petitioner tenant in his application. for leave to contest is that the landlord is a disabled person and, thereforee, the suit premises admittedly situated at the first floor would not be suitable for his residence. This is not a part of any ingredient of the ground of eviction mentioned in clause (e) of the Act. Whether the premises would be suitable or not for the landlord is not the concern of the tenant If a landlord has no other accommodation for his residence he has to use the premises that may be available or may be at his disposal at the relevant time. The fact that the landlord is a disabled person is not admitted and in any case it is not a fact which requires any evidence or its result would effect the eviction petition and hence this fact cannot be looked into.

(9) The next objection of the petitioner tenant is that the eviction petition has been filed only against him and not against the other tenants- occupants of the ground floor of the suit property. Such a defense is not available to a tenant. It is the right of a landlord to decide as to which portion he requires. It is for him to choose the tenant against whom he would like to proceed for eviction. Respondent-landlord in the present case has cho sen to evict the petitioner-tenant in occupation of the first floor. On a reference to the plan it appears that the first floor premises may be better for occupation of the respondent-landlord. In any case, the petitioner- tenant cannot dictate a landlord to file an eviction application against one or all the tenants.

(10) The other objection raised by the petitioner-tenant is that the landlord is trying to convert the suit house from residential to commercial use on the basis that in the locality where the suit premises are situated some properties have been converted from residential use to commercial use. This is not a ground. The respondent has not converted as yet. After eviction if he converts the property for commercial use or does not occupy the same as claimed by him, the tenant has his remedy in accordance with law as provided under Section 19 of the Act.

(11) The last objection raised by the petitioner-tenant is that the landlord has made a false allegation that he (petitioner-tenant) is in arrears from October 1, 1978. This allegation also has no bearing on the claim of the landlord for eviction of the petitioner tenant. Whether the rent is in arrear or not is immaterial for granting an order of eviction. Thus I find that no fact has been disclosed by the petitioner tenant in his application for leave to contest which would disentitle the respondent landlord from claiming eviction.

(12) The petitioner has referred to M/s. Jai Nath Gupta and Company v. Shri Mahabir Prasad, Shri G.R. Khan v. Shri Lakhmi Naroin, Shri J. Maha- Jan v. Smt. Lila Wati Kapoor, Varinder Kumar Mathur v. Shri Inder Narain, and Raj Kumar v. Vijay Singh. The facts of these authorities are not applicable to the facts of the present case and thereforee it is not necessary to discuss any of these authorities.

(13) Thus, I find that no fact has been disclosed by the petitioner-tenant in his application for leave to contest which would disentitle the respondent- landlord from claiming eviction. After going through the order of the Additional Controller I do not find any infirmity and there is no ground to interfere with the same. As a result the revision petition has no merit and the same is hereby dismissed with no order as to costs.


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