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Ram Nath Tandon Vs. Ramesh Kumar - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectTenancy
CourtDelhi High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCivil Revision Appeal No. 729 of 1980
Judge
Reported in21(1982)DLT189
ActsDelhi Rent Control Act, 1958 - Sections 25B(8)
AppellantRam Nath Tandon
RespondentRamesh Kumar
Advocates: S.L. Bhatia,; T.L. Garg and; K.C. Kalra, Advs
Cases ReferredKrishan Kumar v. Vimla Sehgal
Excerpt:
.....of his case, examined himself as well as five other witnesses. bhatia is that the additional rent controller has given a finding which is clearly contrary to record with regard to the accommodation which was available with the petitioner. (8) a reading of the judgment shows that the additional rent controller clearly took into consideration that barsati was available with the petitioner and the same could be used by him as study room. what is important is that the letter dated 5th september 1977 written by the landlord, to my mind, clearly establishes his bonafides. in an answer to the question as to why the mother was not living with her husband, the reply given by the petitioner in his cross-examination was that his mother did not pull on well with the younger daughter-in-law...........the petitioner-landlord is directed against the judgment dated 30th july, 1980 of the additional rent controller, delhi, who had rejected the landlord's application under section 14(1)(e) read with section 25b of the delhi rent control act for eviction of the respondent-tenant from the first floor of house no. t-5, rajouri garden, new delhi. (2) the landlord is a senior officer in the delhi cloth mills and chemicals works and it is not disputed that he is getting a salary of rs. 3,000.00 p.m. he is the owner of the aforesaid house no. t-5, rajouri garden. the first floor of the said house, consisting of two bed rooms, drawing-cum-dining, kitchen, w.c. latrine and store with back and front verandah, was let out to the respondent-tenant. according to the petitioner he required the said.....
Judgment:

B.N. Kirpal, J.

(1) This revision petition by the petitioner-landlord is directed against the judgment dated 30th July, 1980 of the Additional Rent Controller, Delhi, who had rejected the landlord's application under Section 14(1)(e) read with Section 25B of the Delhi Rent Control Act for eviction of the respondent-tenant from the first floor of House No. T-5, Rajouri Garden, New Delhi.

(2) The landlord is a senior officer in the Delhi Cloth Mills and Chemicals Works and it is not disputed that he is getting a salary of Rs. 3,000.00 p.m. He is the owner of the aforesaid house No. T-5, Rajouri Garden. The first floor of the said house, consisting of two bed rooms, drawing-cum-dining, kitchen, W.C. latrine and store with back and front verandah, was let out to the respondent-tenant. According to the petitioner he required the said premises which had been let out to the respondent. The premises were stated to be bonafide required by the landlord for his need and the need of his family members, who were dependent upon him. According to the petitioner, the nature of the job which he was doing required his having a study and his family consisted of himself, his wife, two daughters who were studying in the 9th and 11th Classes respectively and an ailing mother. The petitioner in the application under Section 14(1)(e) which was filed against the respondent further stated that the ailing mother was suffering from asthama and required a separate room. The daughters were adults and required one room each for their studies and living. It was specifically stated that the barsati floor was not suitable.

(3) At the instance of the respondent-tenant, the Additional Rent Controller granted leave to contest. Thereafter, a reply was filed by the respondent. It was contested that the premiles were not bonafide required by the landlord for himself and members of his family. It was also submitted that the mother of the landlord was not living with him.

(4) The landlord, in support of his case, examined himself as well as five other witnesses. He, inter-alia, stated that his ailing mother was living with him and that the barsati floor was not suitable for this purpose and, moreover, the same was in the tenancy of one Anil Kumar. He also justified the need of more accommodation. He stated that he required one room for study and one room each was required by his two growing daughters. Besides this, he claimed that his ailing mother required one room. This is apart from the requirement of one drawing-cum-dining room. A W. 2, Shri K.K. Mittal, was a person living in the said locality. He stated that the petitioner's mother was living with the petitioner for several years. To the same effect is the testimony of A.W. 3, Shri Raghunandan, who was a collegue of the petitioner. A.W. 6, Dr. R.S. Kalra, is a medical practitioner. His testimony was recorded on 15th January, 1980. He stated that for the last one and a half years he had been examining the mother of the petitioner. He had visited the patient twice at T-5, Rajouri Garden. A medical prescription, Exhibit Aw 1/9, was also produced.

(5) Apart from the aforesaid testimony, the landlord produced documents to show his status in life. He also produced a duplicate ration card which included the name of his mother.

(6) The Additional Rent Controller found that no reliance could be placed on the aforesaid ration card. The said ration card had been issued after the eviction petition had been filed. He did not. however, refer to the oral testimony of A.W. 2, A.W. 3 and A.W. 6. Without referring to the same, he came to the conclusion that the mother of the petitioner could not be living with the petitioner specially as, according to the Additional Rent Controller, it was not plausible that the mother would not be living together with her husband. It was an admitted case that the father of the petitioner was living with the petitioner's younger brother in West Extension Area. The Additional Rent Controller further held that a room of 14'.4'X 12' had been wrongly described as Pantry-cum-dining room. This was, in fact, a drawing-cum-dining room He held that the petitioner was also having a barsati floor of an area of 9 'X 10' and the same could conveniently be used as a study room by the petitioner Taking this into consideration the Additional Rent Controller found that the accommodation with the petitioner was not insufficient.

(7) The aforesaid decision of the Additional Rent Controller is being challenged in the present petition under Section 25B(8) of the Delhi Rent Control Act. The first contention of Shri S.L. Bhatia is that the Additional Rent Controller has given a finding which is clearly contrary to record with regard to the accommodation which was available with the petitioner.

(8) A reading of the judgment shows that the Additional Rent Controller clearly took into consideration that barsati was available with the petitioner and the same could be used by him as study room. This shows that the Additional Rent Controller did accept the petitioner's need for a study room. Where the Additional Rent Controller fell in error is that he overlooked the testimony of the petitioner himself. The petitioner had stated in his testimony that the barasati had been given on rent to one Anil Kumar. In reply to a question in cross-examination, the petitioner, who was cross- examined on 14th January 1980, stated that 'Mr. Anil Kumar Asthana is my tenant in that Barsati for last about 3 years'. The tenant, of course, led no evidence in rebuttal. The Additional Rent Controller, without referring to the aforesaid testimony of the petitioner, could not have come to the conclusion that barasati floor was available with the petitioner. In the eviction petition the petitioner has merely stated that barasati floor was unsuitable. He had not stated that the barasati was unavailable. It may be that prior to the filing of eviction petition that barasati might have been available but as on the date of filing of the petition and thereafter, it is evident from the testimony of the petitioner, one Anil Kumar Asthana was a tenant therein. If this is so, the barasati floor was not available to the petitioner.

(9) The Additional Rent Controller has then overlooked the contention on behalf of the petitioner that his two daughters were adult and required one room each. In making this submission before me Mr. Bhatia has relied upon a decision of this Court in Krishan Kumar v. Vimla Sehgal, 1976 R.C.R. 249, wherein it was held that it could not be said that when a landlord requires one separate room for each member of his family, the said requirement can be regarded as unreasonable. This also has to be viewed in the context of the siatus of the landlord. In the present case there is nothing to suggest that the landlord does not have such status which would belie such a need. The landlord is a highly paid officer of a leading business house of Delhi. He has shown his status in life. His anxiety of providing one room to each of his two daughters cannot be regarded as unreasonable. It is evident that this accommodation is not available with the petitioner on the ground floor. He can neither have study nor can. he provide a room to each of his two daughters on the ground floor.

(10) Mr. Kalra, learned counsel for the respondent submitted that the barsati floor was available with the petitioner. He placed before me a lettter dated 5th September 1977 stayed to have been written by the petitioner to the respondent. By this letter the landlord is stated to have offered to the respondent the use of the barsati floor, which was stated to be in the land- lord's occupation at that lime, in lieu of the tenant vacating the first floor which was in his pessession. According to this letter, this offer was being made to cater to the landlord's personal bonafide requirement. This letter does show that on 5th September 1977 barsati floor was available with the petitioner. The eviction application was, however, filed on 10th August 1978. It may be that after the tenant declined this offer the barsati was let out. The fact that the barsati had been let out cannot now be disputed by the tenant. What is important is that the letter dated 5th September 1977 written by the landlord, to my mind, clearly establishes his bonafides. It is not as if) that time, the landlord was insistent on having the tenant to vacate the premises altogether. The landlord gave an offer to the tenant to shift to the second floor and gave the first floor to the landlord. If there had been any malafide intention on the part of the landlord, such an offer, to to my mind, would not ordinarily have been made. In any event, even if it be assumed for the sake of argument that barsati floor was available, even then the accommodation with the landlord could not be regarded as sufficient. As already noted, the need of the landlord, apart from the drawing- cum-dining room, kitchen, Pantry etc. was for four rooms, three of them to be used as bed room and one as study room. Even if the barsati was taken into consideration the extent of accommodation was not sufficient for him. He had only two bed rooms on the ground floor and a barsati, making a total of three rooms which were available. It must, thereforee, follow that the accommodation available with the petitioner was insufficient.

(11) With regard to the question as to whether the mother of the petitioner was residing with the petitioner or with her husband, the finding of the Rent Controller is a finding of fact. Ordinarily, such a finding would not be interfered with in the present proceedings. However, I find that while arriving at the said conclusion, namely, that the mother of the petitioner was not living at T-5, Rajouri Garden, New Delhi, the Additional Rent Controller has overlooked the testimony of three witnesses. A.W. 2, and A.W. 3, apart from A.W. 1 himself, have stated that the mother of the petitioner was living with him. The Doctor (A.W.6) stated that he visited the mother twice at the house of the petitioner. In an answer to the question as to why the mother was not living with her husband, the reply given by the petitioner in his cross-examination was that his mother did not pull on well with the younger daughter-in-law. It was for this reason, according to the petitioner, that the mother shifted to his house. It cannot be said that this reason is not a plausible reason. No reasons have been given as to why the testimony of A.W. 2, A.W. 3 and AW. 6 should not be believed. Even before me the learned counsel has not been able to convince me as to why I should not accept their testimony. All that Mr. Kalra stated was that it was unnatural and implausible that a wife would remain away from her husband. Normally, I would tend to agree with Mr. Kalra but the answer given by the petitioner, namely, that the mother did not pull on well with her younger daughter-in-law cannot be said to be on unconvincing one. This circumstances by itself cannot, in any way, be regarded as enough to compel me disbelive the testimony of A.W.2, A.W.3 and A.W.6. If the requirement of the mother is to be taken into consideration, then, of course, the need of the petitioner increases at least by one room more.

(12) For the aforesaid reasons, the Revision Petition is allowed and the order dated 30th July 1980 passed by the third Additional Rent Controller, Delhi, is quashed. The eviction petition filed by the petitioner is allowed. The eviction of the respondent is ordered. The respondent-tenant however, is given six months' time from today to vacate the premises. He shall continue to pay rent/damages or is at liberty to deposit the same in Court. Parties to bear their own costs.


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