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Shiela Tandon Vs. Om Parkash Suri - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
CourtDelhi High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCivil Revision Appeal No. 836 of 1980
Reported in23(1983)DLT208
ActsDelhi Rent Control Act, 1958 - Sections 14(1)
AppellantShiela Tandon
RespondentOm Parkash Suri
Advocates: K.L. Sethi and; Vijay Tandon, Advs
Cases ReferredBulaki Ram v. Suraj Bhan
tenancy - eviction - section 14 (1) of delhi rent control act, 1958 - revision petition against dismissal of eviction petition - landlady earning salary of rs. 200 per month - respondent-tenant in possession of one room with kitchen and an open court-yard in front of it - landlady had two rooms - landlady had three daughter married and one unmarried - live-in family reduced to two - person having income of rs. 200 per month not expected to keep room apart for other married daughters - landlady does not have bona fide need for further accommodation - held, eviction petition rightly dismissed. - .....controller, delhi dated 6th may, 1980. by the said order the eviction petition of the appellant-landlady filed under section 14(l)(e) of the delhi rent control act, 1958, hereinafter referred to in short as 'the act'), was dismissed. (2) on 9th october, 1975, the appellant filed the eviction petition. on 22nd october, 1975 the summons were issued for 18th december, 1975. they were served on the respondent on 26th october, 1975. (3) by act 18 of 1976, chapter iiia was inserted in the delhi rent control act, 1958, with effect from 1st december, 1975. the summary trial procedure was introduced. section 25b provided, inter alia, that if the landlord was asking per recovery of possession under section 14(l)(e), summons had to be served in the form specified in the third schedule. the.....

Leila Seth, J.

(1) This revision petition is directed against the judgment and order of the Additional Rent Controller, Delhi dated 6th May, 1980. By the said order the eviction petition of the appellant-landlady filed under Section 14(l)(e) of the Delhi Rent Control Act, 1958, hereinafter referred to in short as 'the Act'), was dismissed.

(2) On 9th October, 1975, the appellant filed the eviction petition. On 22nd October, 1975 the summons were issued for 18th December, 1975. They were served on the respondent on 26th October, 1975.

(3) By Act 18 of 1976, Chapter Iiia was inserted in the Delhi Rent Control Act, 1958, with effect from 1st December, 1975. The summary trial procedure was Introduced. Section 25B provided, inter alia, that if the landlord was asking per recovery of possession under Section 14(l)(e), summons had to be served in the form specified in the Third Schedule. The tenant had then to apply for leave to defend and only after it was granted could a written statement be filed.

(4) Though the summons had naturally not been issued in accordance with the Third Schedule, as it came into existence later, as above noticed, yet the respondent-tenant filed an application on 10th December, 1975, for leave to defend. This was by way of abundant caution, as Section 25B had been introduced by then. On 12th December, 1975 the appellant-landlady filed a reply to the said application for leave to defend. The Rent Controller granted leave to defend on 6th February, 1976.

(5) The landlady filed a review application against the order of 6th February, 1976. However, the review application was dismissed on 24th January, 1977. A revision was then filed in the High Court; this was dismissed in liming.

(6) As the Rent Controller had granted leave to defend on 6th February, 1976, a written statement was filed on 3rd March, 1976. On 21st January, 1977 an application for amendment of the written statement was filed. The said application was allowed and an amended written statement was filed on 2nd March, 1977.

(7) Thereafter evidence was led and arguments heard. On 6th May, 1980 Mr. Brajesh Kumar, Additional Rent Controller dismissed the eviction petition holding that the landlady did not have a bonafide need.

(8) On 20th May, 1980 the landlady filed an appeal in the court of the Rent Control Tribunal. She also filed the present civil revision petition in this Court, on 16th September, 1980.

(9) According to her counsel, Mr. Sethi, who is appearing both in the appeal and in the civil revision, the appeal was filed by way of abundant caution. This was because the eviction application had been filed prior to 1st December, 1975. But, since the summary procedure under Chapter Iiia had been followed, the revision petition was filed. As the matter is, thereforee, before two forums, Mr. Sethi presses for the hearing of this civil revision petition and undertakes to withdraw the appeal filed before the Rent Control Tribunal. In fact, he states that the said appeal may be treated as withdrawn. I, thereforee, proceed to deal with the matter on merits.

(10) The landlady is a primary school teacher earning a salary of Rs. 200.00 per month. She inherited these premises, i.e. H-1/92, Lajpat Nagar, New Delhi, from one Gurdevi by virtue of a will. The landlady has four daughters. Three of them are married; the youngest, Rita, who was 25 years old and unmarried at the time of filing of the eviction petition, was a student of M.A. and was living with the landlady.

(11) The respondent-tenant has a room in these premises, at a monthly rent of Rs. 17.00 . He was, earlier, a tenant of Ms. Gurdevi. He is using the premises for his own residence and that of his family.

(12) That landlady, Ms. Sheila Tandon, has asserted, that apart from her daughter Rita, her daughter Vijay, son-in-law, Vijay Kumar and their two children as also Vijay's brother-in-law, are residing with her. According to her, she has two rooms and she is living in one of the said rooms with Rita; Vijay and her family live in the other room. She also has a court-yard, a bath room, a latrine and a varandha.

(13) Two other other daughters who also reside in Delhi often visit her with their families. She requires the accommodation for them. In fact, one of them, i.e. her daughter Promila wants to come and reside with her on a permanent basis.

(14) The respondent Om Prakash Suri had originally filed a written statement in which he had admitted that Vijay, her husband and her children were living with the landlady. This written statement was dated 23rd February, 1976 but was filed on 3rd March, 1976. Subsequently, during the pendency of the proceedings, according to him, Vijay quarrelled with her mother and she and her family went off to live separately.

(15) In this connection, it is significant to mention that on 20th December, 1975 an affidavit had been filed by Vijay that she was residing with her mother. Her husband, two minor children and brother-in-law were also residing with her. This affidavit was filed at the time the leave to defend proceedings were going on. Subsequently, when the suit was tried, she did not come to depose. The plaintiff's evidence started on 10th August, 1977 and was closed on 23rd July, 1979. During this entire period, neither Vijay, nor her husband Vijay Kumar, nor her brother-in-law, came to court to depose; and on the last date of the plaintiff's evidence, the evidence was closed and it was stated that the landlady's daughter Vijay was recently operated on and as such it could not be said as and when she would be in a position to make a statement. thereforee, counsel requested that the evidence be closed.

(16) The facts as they emerge are: that the landlady is in possession of two rooms both of which arc 14 feet 3 inches by 10 feet. There is a small verandha but no store-room. At point 'C' in Ext. A1, there is a kitchen; there is also a court-yard and a bath room and latrine.

(17) Rita is living with her mother, though there is a suggestion that she has been betrothed.

(18) The respondent-tenant is in possession of one room with a kitchen and an open court-yard in front of it.

(19) With regard to the residence of Vijay and her family the matter is in issue. The case of the petitioner is that Vijay and her family reside with her. The case of the respondent is that they used to reside with her but are now residing in Lawrence Road. In her examination-in-chief the landlady did state that her daughter Vijay and her family reside with her But in cross-examination she has admitted that Vijay's ration card is at the address of her sister-in-law in Lawrence Road. She has also stated in her examination-in-chief that some of Vijay's goods are lying with her sister-in- law, for want of accommodation. Neither Vijay nor any of her family members have come forward to depose and support the landlady's case. Vijay's earlier affidavit on 20th December, 1975 indicating that she was residing with her family at her mother's place is of no consequence in view of the subsequent amended written statement. No statement having been made thereafter, especially in view of the categorical assertion by the respondent that she had left the premises, is indicative of the true position.

(20) thereforee, the finding of the trial court that Vijay and her family are not living with the petitioner appears to be justified.

(21) With regard to her daughter Promila wanting to come and live with her on a permanent basis, there is only the landlady's statement. Apart from that, this aspect of the matter was not pressed, before the Rent Controller. As such, the Rent Controller has not dealt with it. Further, no grievance has been made of this in this revision petition.

(22) So it would appear, that Ms. Sheila Tandon, the landlady, is residing in the two rooms with her daughter Rita. Her other daughters come and visit her.

(23) In order to appreciate the genuineness of the landlady's requirements, it would be correct to collate all the connected considerations, such as, her financial position and status, social customs and conventions as also the number of members of her family. In the present case, the landlady was earning about Rs. 200.00 per month as a teacher in a primary school. She had been living in these two rooms for a long time i.e. even when the other daughters were unmarried. Her income is meagre. She is not used to living in style. She was managing in these two rooms even when her family consisted of many more persons; the live-in family has now been reduced to two. It would, thereforee, appear to me that she does not have a bonafide need for further accommodation.

(24) It is no doubt true, as here been observed by Mr. Justice J.D. Jain, in Bulaki Ram v. Suraj Bhan, : AIR1982Delhi117 , that the requirement of additional rooms for married daughters who are visiting, is also to be considered; and a landlord is not expected to huddle his sons and daughters together in one room.

(25) But the matter, as already observed, has to be looked at in the context of the financial position and status and conventions of the person who is the landlord/landlady. In that case, Bulaqi Dass, the landlord had an income of about Rs. 27,000.00 per annum; and each of his sons had an income of Rs. 4,000.00 per annum. The family consisted of the landlord, his four sons and their wives and his twelve grand children; he also had three daughters, of whom two were married, when the eviction petition was filed and the third was married while it was pending. Having regard to the financial position of the landlord and his family status the court observed that it was not expected that the sons, daughters and grand children should be huddled in one room and held that an additional room was required for the visiting daughters. The matter has always to be looked at in the context of the facts and circumstances of the case. So although in the present case there are married daughters, who reside in Delhi, it cannot be expected that a person having an income of Rs. 200.00 would keep a room apart for this purpose. In the result, and for the reasons outlined above, the petition is dismissed, but the parties arc left to bear their own costs.

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