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Amarjit Singh Vs. Mrs. Khatoon Quamarain - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectTenancy
CourtDelhi High Court
Decided On
Case NumberC.R. No. 1047 of 1981
Judge
Reported in23(1983)DLT362
ActsDelhi Rent Control Act - Sections 14(1)
AppellantAmarjit Singh
RespondentMrs. Khatoon Quamarain
DispositionRevision dismissed
Excerpt:
tenancy - eviction - section 14 (1) of delhi rent control act, 1958 - landlady required premises for her residence - earlier landlady living with her niece - bonafide requirement on part of landlady - premises must be vacated. - - d-36, nizamuddin east, new delhi and could not continue residing there permanently or indefinitely and that the accommodation with her niece is only two bedrooms with a common bathroom andthat her niece wants her mother to stay with her and would like the landlady to shift as soon as she can. consequently, the earlier petition for eviction failed though the decree for rs. it was pleaded that the landlady is very old lady and a rich lady and has huge bank balances and does not depend upon the rentals of the house only. the landlady's only son is an officer..........delhi. 13. learned trial court also examined the question as to why she did not occupy the ground floor premises which were vacated and relet in 1974 and 1977 at higher rent. it was found that she needs money for her sustenance and maintenance and that she had no other source of income and thereforee, will naturally like to let one portion of the house. the house consists of two portions, the ground floor and the first floor, the ground floor portion is not perferred by the landlady as it fetches higher rent as compared to the first floor premises. it was also found that funds are required even for payment of house tax and other charges, thereforee, the landlady must have some income. the trial court also held that it is the choice of the landlady to occupy the first floor premises and.....
Judgment:

Yogeshwar Dayal, J.

1. This is a petition for revision under the proviso to Sub-section (8) of Section 25-B of Delhi Rent Control Act, 1958 against the order of eviction passed against the petitioner, S. Amarjit Singh by the court of 1st Additional Rent Controller, Delhi dated 11th August, 1981 in favor of Mrs. Khatoon Quamarain wife of late Shri A. L. Quamarain, hereinafter referred to as the 'landlady'.

2. The landlady had filed a petition for eviction on or about 3-1-1977 against the petitioner for his eviction from the first floor of the premises situate at C-62, Maharani Bagh, New Delhi along with a garage on the ground floor with a servant quarter above the garage as per the plan filed with the petition for eviction. The eviction petition was filed on the ground of landlady's bona fide personal necessity. The premises were let on a monthly rent of Rs. 950/- and Rs. 50/- per month as facility of the booster pump totalling Rs. 1000/- per month, exclusive of water and electricity charges.

3. The ground for eviction in the petition was that the petitioner is the owner of the premises. She bona fidely requires the same for her own residence and for the residence of members of her family and she is not in possession of any other suitable residential accommodation. She was, at the time of filing of the petition, living as guest of her niece in house No. D-36, Nizamuddin East, New Delhi and could not continue residing there permanently or indefinitely and that the accommodation with her niece is only two bedrooms with a common bathroom andthat her niece wants her mother to stay with her and would like the landlady to shift as soon as she can. It was stated that she was a working woman and for meeting her clients she needs accommodation as she was working as an executive in an advertising agency. It was also stated that the landlady is a social worker and has her own sphere of activities. That there are two flats in building No. G-62, Maharani Bagh, New Delhi and that the landlady needs to let out one of the floors of that building to draw income to support herself which is her only source of livelihood and the ground floor of the premises at the time of filing of the petition was in occupation of New Zealand Embassy at Rs. 2500/- per month as rent. So she wants to keep the ground floor let out to somebody to draw decent amount as rent and the only premises left for residence are the premises under the tenancy of the tenant herein. It was further stated that on 14th March, 1974, the landlady had earlier also filed an eviction application against M/s. Taaj Timber Product (P) Ltd. on the ground that the said company was her tenant of the first floor of the suit premises and were required for residence. In earlier petition, a written statement was filed by the present petitioner herein who was the Managing Director of that company. The landlady had also on 17-4-76 filed a suit for recovery of Rs. 35,000/- as arrears of rent for the period 1-5-73 to 31-3-76. But in both the earlier eviction petition and the suit for the recovery of rent, the aforesaid company took up the position that the company was not a tenant but the petitioner alone was the tenant and this contention of the petitioner was upheld vide the judgment of the learned Additional District Judge, Delhi dated 1-11-1976 and it was found that S. Amarjit Singh alone was a tenant in his individual capacity. Consequently, the earlier petition for eviction failed though the decree for Rs. 34050/- with proportionate costs was passed against S. Amarjit Singh but the suit against the company was dismissed.

4. Since the dismissal of the earlier petition on 1-11-76, the present eviction petition was filed on or about 3-1-1977 against S. Amarjit Singh, the petitioner herein.

5. The petitioner filed a written statement before the trial court and admitted the relationship between the parties and also admitted that the landlady was also the owner of the premises. A plea was taken that there is no averment in the petition that premises were let out for residential purposes, the members of her family have also not been mentioned. It was also denied that the landlady is not in possession of suitable alternative accommodation. It was stated that she is alone and prefers to live with her niece who is also alone and that the petition for eviction is not bona fide and is mala fide and in fact the landlady wants to increase the rent for which the petitioner is not prepared. It was pleaded that prior to July, 1974, the landlady wanted to increase the rent by demanding Rs. 1500/- per month and ever since she relate the ground floor in July, 1974 at Rs. 2500/- per month and she has been pressing for increasing the rent but the tenant was not agreeable. It was further pleaded that in the earlier eviction petition which was filed against M/s. Jaaj Timber Products, the landlady has stated that she did not have any residential accommodation and was putting up as a temporary guest at the premises 9/D-II, Pandara Road, New Delhi. In those proceedings, she made a statement that ground floor is with the New Zealand Embassy and she did not have any answer as to why she did not occupy that portion when that fell vacant and that being conscious of her previous statement, she stated that she needs to let out one of the floors so as to draw income to support herself. It was pleaded that the landlady is very old lady and a rich lady and has huge bank balances and does not depend upon the rentals of the house only. The landlady's only son is an Officer in the Indian Foreign Services and is posted in New Delhi since 1976 and living at External Affairs Hostel and the landlady would like to stay in her old age with her only son. That she cannot afford to live alone in such a big flat. It was denied that landlady's niece is anxious that her mother should stay with her and that the landlady should shift from there. It was pleaded that the landlady could have occupied the ground floor flat in June/July, 1974 and on 1st July, 1977 and her plea of bona fide need for residence was not bona fide.

6. During the trial before the learned Additional Rent Controller, Delhi, the landlady examined her son Arif Quamarain as AW-1. She also examined herself as AW-2 and gave detailed of various places where she had lived from 1958 till the time of filing of the petition. The landlady also examined Mrs. Prema Johari, a social worker besides, examining Mrs. Vinita Nagar (AW-7) who is Secretary, Social Welfare Advisory Board, Delhi.

7. In her own statement, it was brought out that the landlady lived at Indian Council for Child Welfare, Ladies Hostel at 4, Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Marg, New Delhi and the requirement for her flat felt when her assignment with Indian Council for Child Welfare ended in May, 1970. In May, 1970, the landlady went to Aligarh and stayed there till March, 1971 as she had no place to live in Delhi. From March, 1971 to 1-7-1974, she lived at 9-D/II, Pandara Road as guest of Mrs. B Gufran and her niece Miss Shahila Haider also lived there as guest of Mrs. B. Gufran. Mrs. B. Gufran went away to USA and the premises was surrendered to Directorate of Estate. On 1-7-1974, the landlady shifted to D-36, Nizamuddin, New Delhi along with Miss Haider who took the premises on rent.

8. It also came out in her evidence that the landlady graduated from Leads University and her father was a leading lawyer, who was pioneer in Woman Education. He founded Woman's College in Aligarh University. Husband of the landlady, Mr. Lais Quamarain was Manager of Reserve Bank of India. The landlady is connected with various organizations such as Y.W.C.A. All India Woman's Conference, Indian Council for Child Welfare, Dr. Zakir Hussain Memorial Society, Red Cross Society, Balmitter Samiti, Bhagwan Dass Trust etc.

9. Mrs. Vinita Nagar proved various documents Exts. AW7/1 to Ext. AW-7/7 to show association with the Social Welfare Advisory Board. It also came out in evidence that at the time when the landlady made the statement, she was staying at A-5 Anand Lok, New Delhi with one Suleman Haider who is now Ambassador at Bhutan. Her son was also examined and he inter alias stated that he joined Indian Foreign Service in July, 1964 and was in Jorden from 1965 to 1968 and on short leave he stayed at External Affairs Hostel while the landlady at that time was staying at Ladies Hostel at 4, Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Marg. He also stated that during the period January 1969 to August, 1973, he was in Poland and again on short leave he stayed in External Affairs Hostel while his mother stayed at Pandara Road. From November, 1973 to August, 1976, he was posted at Qatar and from September, 1976 to February, 1978, he was posted at Delhi and lived for four months in the External Affairs Hostel and then in Kaka Nagar from January, 1977 while his mother was staying at D-36, Nizamuddin, New Delhi with Miss Shahila Haider as guest. In February, 1978, he was posted at London as Counsellor, and latter in Indian High Commission at Zimbabwe and again posted to New Delhi and will be coming at any time.

10. The landlady had also examined Miss Shahila Haider (AW-5) with whom she stayed sometime as guest in Nizamuddin. Miss Shahila Haider also stated that her father was a senior Professor of Aligarh University and its acting Vice Chancellor. At the time when the statement was made, Miss Shahila Haider was employed with Ulkas Advertising Company and was drawing Rs. 1800/- per month. In July, 197), she was transferred from Bombay to Delhi and stayed with Mrs. Gufran at 9-D/II, Pandara Road, New Delhi. On 1-7-1977 she took premises on rent at B-34-, Nizamuddin, New Delhi and the landlady also stayed with her. From 15th August, 1977 Miss Shahila Haider left her job with Ulkas Advertising Company and she was appointed as Deputy Director, D.A.V.P. at a salary of Rs. 2000/- per month.

11. The petitioner-tenant examined himself and stated that the landlady had orally asked him for more rent but no demand in writing was received and rents in the locality have been increasing from time to time. He also stated that the tenanted premises are in his occupation since the very beginning. He had signed an agreement of lease. He also stated that source of income of the landlady is rent of the first floor and ground floor to his knowledge and he did not know of any other source of income.

12. After examining the entire evidence, learned trial court took the view that the landlady had no other source of income and she could not possibly stay with her son and was staying with her niece at Nizamuddin and prior to that she was staying at Pandara Road. He also found the extent of accommodation at Nizamuddin and noticed that she had accommodation of one bed room in her occupation which had been taken on rent by Miss Shahila Haider and that the landlady was not sharing any rent which was being paid by Miss Shahila Haider and she was staying as a guest. The trial court also found that the landlady could not permanently live with her niece as a guest for all time. Learned trial court also found that the landlady could not stay with her niece in view of her exigencies of service. The learned trial court also found that the landlady has one daughter who is married in Delhi and that the landlady is a social worker and has worked for a number of institutions and has got some social circle. She comes from a respectable, family and a family of high status, she requires additional accommodation. He also found that somehow the habits and tastes of Miss Haider and the landlady differ and she had no other reasonably suitable accommodation in Delhi.

13. Learned trial court also examined the question as to why she did not occupy the ground floor premises which were vacated and relet in 1974 and 1977 at higher rent. It was found that she needs money for her sustenance and maintenance and that she had no other source of income and thereforee, will naturally like to let one portion of the house. The house consists of two portions, the ground floor and the first floor, The ground floor portion is not perferred by the landlady as it fetches higher rent as compared to the first floor premises. It was also found that funds are required even for payment of house tax and other charges, thereforee, the landlady must have some income. The trial court also held that it is the choice of the landlady to occupy the first floor premises and as there is no mala fides, her requirements are bona fide.

14. The learned trial court also noticed other pleas of the tenant that whole of the premises have not been mentioned but negatived this submission of the tenant-petitioner. This submission was not repeated before me.

15. Before me, Mr. Makhija again made some other submissions as made before the trial court but also took another plea that there was no averment in the eviction application about the purpose of letting. It was also submitted that the plea of the landlady of her finance difficulty is an after thought and was not adequate Explanationn. She has only one son and she should live with her son.

16. So far as requirement being bona fide, I have again gone through the entire evidence and I find that the appraisal and analysis of the evidence by the learned trial court is correct. It will be noticed that after New Zealand Embassy vacated the premises in July, 1977 the same were let out to V.N. Dalmia on 22-7-1977 and her case is that she was guest of her niece at Nizamuddin. There was no cross-examination on behalf of the tenant of the landlady that she was sharing rent or expenses with Miss Shahila Haider. Even when Miss Shahila Haider was examined as AW-5, there was no cross-examination of Miss Haider that the landlady was sharing rent of Nizamuddin flat or that the landlady was not her guest. I, thereforee, find no reason to differ with the findings of the learned Additional Rent Controller that the landlady has no other reasonably suitable accommodation available to her and there is no mala fide in her letting out the ground floor in the circumstances in order to maintain herself.

17. There is no question of financial difficulty being an after thought as the previous petition for eviction was dismissed on the ground that there was no relationship of landlord and tenant between the parties in that case. The entire thrust of the argument of Mr. Makhija was about non-mentioning of the purpose of letting in the eviction petition. I have carefully gone through the averments in the eviction application. The tenant has clearly admitted in his written statement that he has been continuously living in the premises since 1969. In the eviction application, the grounds of eviction are rather detailed and the landlady also adverted to the earlier petition for eviction. In para 19, the landlady referred to the earlier petition and stated that the earlier petition was filed on or about 14th March, 1974 for eviction and after describing the premises had mentioned that 'premises were let for residential purposes of the respondent'. It will be noticed that this averment recaptulates earlier averment of the previous petition but there is definite mention that premises were let for residential purpose of the respondent which means the petitioner herein. To my mind, this is sufficient averment and if entire para 19 is read, it is clear that same averments have been made. Again in later part of para 19, it was noted 'that it has been finally found that the premises were residential premises and had been let to the respondent for residential purposes and were being used as such by him'.

18. I am, thereforee, of the firm view that necessary ingredients of Clause (e) of the proviso to Sub-section (1) of Section 14 have been pleaded. There is no dispute about the evidence in this behalf as the petitioner has admittedly been living in the premises in suit and he did not have any other business in the premises in dispute nor there is any such plea. Result is that there is no merit in the revision petition and the same fails and is dismissed with costs.

19. The petitioner is however, allowed three months time to vacate the premises on his filing an undertaking in this Court within a week that he would peacefully vacate the premises after the expiry of three months.


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