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Ashok Kumar and ors. Vs. Sri Kishan Dass and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectTenancy
CourtDelhi High Court
Decided On
Case NumberRegular First Appeal No. 521 of 1969
Judge
Reported inILR1983Delhi1a
ActsDelhi Rent Control Act, 1958 - Sections 2(1); Constitution of India - Article 14
AppellantAshok Kumar and ors.
RespondentSri Kishan Dass and anr.
Advocates: Y.K. Jain,; S.K. Mishra,; Usha Kumari,;
Excerpt:
.....namely, that a tenant whose tenancy had expired and who had been given a notice to quit had only a personal right under the act which came to an end on his death, his rights not being inheritable. this would mean that in the majority of cases when the tenant died, his heirs would have to leave hearth and home and seek some other premises because they no longer had the right to remain in occupation of the house they considered their home. to alleviate the distress which would be caused to such heirs, and also to combat the problem that would be caused by such displacement, the legislature appears to have stepped in to extend the definition of 'tenant' to include certain heirs and dependents of a protected tenant, such as the spouse, son, daughter, parents etc. this extension only..........was that a d tenant whose tenancy had expired and who had been given a notice to quit had only a personal right under the act which came to an end on his death. such a tenant, whose tenancy had expired, but who was protected from eviction by the delhi rent control act, 1958, was considered to be a merely 'statutory' tenant with a personal right to continue in possession. if was thought that the rights of such a person came to an end on his death; the right not being inheritable, this raised a question of general public importance affecting the lives of the citizens of delhi in the sense that the majority of the population are tenants whose occupation in their homes is protected only by the delhi rent control act. this would mean that in the majority of cases when the tenant died, his.....
Judgment:

D.K. Kapur, J.

(1) I have had the advantage of reading the judgment of Dayal J., and I fully concur with the answers to the questions referred to the Full Bench which have been proposed by him.

(2) The reference to the Full Bench is really the result, or consequence of the judgment of the Supreme Court in Damadilal and others V. Parashram and others, : AIR1976SC2229 . However, the amendment in the definition of 'tenant' which was introduced by the Delhi Rent Control Amendment Act No. 18 of 1976, was apparently based on the previously existing view regarding the nature of protection given to a tenant under the Delhi Rent Control Act, 1958. At that time, the view was that a D tenant whose tenancy had expired and who had been given a notice to quit had only a personal right under the Act which came to an end on his death. Such a tenant, whose tenancy had expired, but who was protected from eviction by the Delhi Rent Control Act, 1958, was considered to be a merely 'statutory' tenant with a personal right to continue in possession. If was thought that the rights of such a person came to an end on his death; the right not being inheritable, this raised a question of general public importance affecting the lives of the citizens of Delhi in the sense that the majority of the population are tenants whose occupation in their homes is protected only by the Delhi Rent Control Act. This would mean that in the majority of cases when the tenant died, his heirs would have to leave hearth and home and seek some other premises because they no longer had the right to remain in occupation of the house they considered their home. To alleviate the distress which would be caused to such heirs, and also to combat the problem that would be coursed by such displacement, the Legislature appears to have stepped in to extend the definition of 'tenant' to include certain heirs and dependents of a protected tenant, such as the spouse, son, daughter, parents, etc. The extension only applied to the persons who are actually living in the premises in question along with the deceased tenant, and only for their life times. It did not apply to the heirs of such additional persons.

'(1) 'tenant' means any person by whom or on whose account or behalf the rent of any premises is, or, but for a special contract, would be, payable, and includes (i) a sub-tenant; (ii) any person continuing in posession after the termination of his tenancy; and (iii) in the event of the death of the person continuing in possession after the termination of his tenancy; subject to the order of succession and conditions specified, respectively, in Explanationn I and Explanationn Ii to this clause, such of the aforesaid person's (a) spouse, (b) son or daughter, or, where there are both son and daughter, both of them, (c) parents, (d) daughter-in-law, being the widow of his predeceased son, A as had been ordinarily living in the premises with such person as a member or members of his family up to the date of his death, but does not include, (A) any person against whom an order or decree for eviction has been made, except where such decree or order for eviction is liable to be re-opened under the proviso to section 3 of the Delhi Rent Control (Amendment) Act, (6) any person to whom a license, as defined by section 52 of the Indian Easements Act, 1882, has been granted . . . . .'

'3. Nothing contained in the principal Act, as amended by this Act, shall be deemed to authorise the re-opening of any proceeding for (a) the fixation of standard rent in relaxation to any premises to which the principal Act applies; or (b) the eviction of any person from any premises to which the principal Act applies; and (c) any other matter which the Controller is empowered, by or under the principal to decide, if such proceeding had been fnally disposed of before the commencement of this Act: Provided that if, in relation to any proceeding which had been finally disposed of before the commencement of this Act, the Controller is satisfied that the landlord had not recovered possession of the premises in relation to which the decree or order for eviction of the person in possession thereof was made, he shall, if such person by a written application made within ninety days from such commencement so desires, set aside such decree or order and re-open the proceeding for such eviction and decide such proceeding in accordance with the provisions of the principal Act as amended by this Act.'

'(1) 'tenant' means any person by whom or on whose account or behalf the rent of any pre- be, payable and includes a sub-tenant and also mises is, or but for a special contract: would any person continuing in possession after the termination of his tenancy but shall not include any person against whom any order or decree for eviction has been made.'

'There has been a persistent demand for amendments to the Delhi Rent Control Act, 1958, with a view to conferring a right to tenancy on certain heirs|successors of a deceased statutory tenant so that they may be protected from eviction by landlords and also for simplifying the procedure for eviction or tenants in case the landlord requires the premises bona fide for the person occupation. Further, Government decided on 9th September, 1975, that a person who owns his own house in his place of work should vacate the Government accommodation allotted to him before the 31st December, 1975. Government considered that in the circumstances, the Act required to be amended urgently'

'that the words used in the amended definition of 'tenant' to give the limited right of inheritance to such persons 'as had been ordinarily living in the premises with such persons as members of his family up to the date of his death' have to be construed to mean that the benefit of amendment is available only when the tenancy was for residential purpose. It is only then that the heirs of the tenants could live with him in the premises at the time of his death. If the premises were not let for residential purpose then neither the tenant nor his heirs could be living in those premises.''After the death of a tenant, the right to continued occupation is available only in respect dential premises and that too to the tenant so that they may be protected from eviction by landlords and also for simplifying the procedure for eviction or tenants in case the landlord requires the premises bona fide for the person occupation. Further, Government decided on 9th September, 1975, that a person who owns his own house in his place of work should vacate the Government accommodation allotted to him before the 31st December, 1975. Government considered that in the circumstances, the Act required to be amended urgently'

'that the words used in the amended definition of 'tenant' to give the limited right of inheritance to such persons 'as had been ordinarily living in the premises with such persons as members of his family up to the date of his death' have to be construed to mean that the benefit of amendment is available only when the tenancy was for residential purpose. It is only then that the heirs of the tenants could live with him in the premises at the time of his death. If the premises were not let for residential purpose then neither the tenant nor his heirs could be living in those premises.''After the death of a tenant, the right to continued occupation is available only 'in respect of residential premises and that too to number of heirs specified in clause (1) (iii) aforesaid, if they fulfill the other conditions stated therein'.

(d) 'tenant' means a person who takes on rent any premises for his own occupation or for the occupation of any person dependent on him but does not include a collector of rents or any middle man who takes or has taken any premises on lease with a view to sub-letting them to another person.'


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