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Y.R. Puri Vs. S.C. Mittal and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectTenancy
CourtDelhi High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCivil Miscellaneous (Main) Appeal No. 15 of 1985 and Civil Miscellaneous Appeal No. 66 of 1985
Judge
Reported in30(1986)DLT39; 1986(10)DRJ59
ActsDelhi Rent Control Act, 1958 - Sections 15(2)
AppellantY.R. Puri
RespondentS.C. Mittal and anr.
Advocates: R.L. Roshan,; R.K. Makhija and; Alakh Kumar, Advs
Excerpt:
delhi rent control act, 1958 - sections 15(2) and 44--the question of adjustment of expenses on past repairs is not required to he gone into when orders under section 15(2) are passed. if the tenant wanted to avail of the benefit of section 44 for future repairs, then he has to move the controller for permission to deduct one month's rent in future deposits made under the orders of the controller. - .....is directed against the order dated november 16, 1984 passed by shri r. k. sharma, additional rent controller, delhi, dismissing an application of the petitioner under order 18 rule 17 read with section 151 of the code of civil procedure in a pending eviction petition filed by respondent no. 1 (landlord). (2) there was an earlier petition for eviction of the petitioner (tenant) filed on march 1, 1977 on grounds under section 14(1)(a}(c) and (e) of the delhi rent control act, 1958 (hereinafter referred to as the act). a question arose in that petition as to the claim of deductions and adjustments by the petitioner herein on account of annual white washing, painting, repairs etc. the rent control tribunal in its order dated october 18, 1978 directed that the claim of the petitioner.....
Judgment:

S.S. Chadha, J.

(1) This petition under Article 227 of the Constitution of India is directed against the order dated November 16, 1984 passed by Shri R. K. Sharma, Additional Rent Controller, Delhi, dismissing an application of the petitioner under Order 18 Rule 17 read with Section 151 of the Code of Civil Procedure in a pending eviction petition filed by respondent No. 1 (landlord).

(2) There was an earlier petition for eviction of the petitioner (tenant) filed on March 1, 1977 on grounds under Section 14(1)(a}(c) and (e) of the Delhi Rent Control Act, 1958 (hereinafter referred to as the Act). A question arose in that petition as to the claim of deductions and adjustments by the petitioner herein on account of annual white washing, painting, repairs etc. The Rent Control Tribunal in its order dated October 18, 1978 directed that the claim of the petitioner would be decided by the Rent Controller after taking evidence of the parties. That petition was subsequently withdrawn.

(3) The landlord filed another eviction petition (out of which the present proceedings have arisen) in December 1981 being case No. 384/81 on the ground of personal bona-fide necessity under Section 14(l)(e) of the Act. The landlord filed an application under Section 15(2) of the Act for directing the tenant to pay or deposit the entire arrears of rent at the rate of Rs. 1000.00 per month with effect from April 1, 1982. The tenant while opposing the application claimed adjustment of the amounts spent by him on repairs, white washing etc., as also the additional security turn electricity connection deposited with DE.S.U. The Additional Rent Controller by order dated August 11, 1983 directed the tenant, under Section 15(2) of theAct, to pay to the landlord or deposit arrears of rent at the rate of Rs. 1000.00 per month with effect from May 7, 1982 till date up to the end of the month previous to that in which the deposit was to be made, within one month from the date of the Order and to continue to deposit the future rent month by month by the 15th of each succeeding month at the same rate. It was, however, observed 'whether the respondent (tenant) is entitled to any such adjustment is a question which needs investigation and shall be considered Along with the merits of the case.'

(4) The evidence of the landlord was recorded by the Additional Rent Controller on August 23, 1984 when some question in cross-examination were directed in respect of deductions or adjustments of the amount spent on repairs, white washing etc. It appears from the application of the petitioner dated 'September 21, 1984 under Order 18 Rule 17 Civil Procedure Code . that the Additional Rent Controller observed that it would not go into the question of adjustment of rent on account of the amount spent by the tenant after notice on the repairs of tenanted premises, that the Additional Rent Controller considered that such evidence would not be relevant and accordingly asked the tenant's counsel not to pursue further cross-examination of A.W. 2 and as also not to examine his witnesses on the question of adjustment and that the Additional Rent Controller accordingly discharged the witnesses as also closed the further cross-examination of A.W. 2. . On reconsideration the tenant moved the application under Order 18 Rule 17 and prayed for leave of the Court to recall A.W. 2 for further cross-examination and to give liberty to the tenant to produce his entire evidence on the question of adjustment of the rent. The Presiding Officer of the Court in the meantime was changed.

(5) By the impugned order the learned Additional Rent Controller says that his court enjoys the concurrent jurisdiction with the predecessor and thereforee he could not sit on the judgment given by the predecessor court, that from the perusal of the order sheet dated August 23, 1984, he found that certain witnesses were present and they were duly discharged and that this goes to show that the counsel for the petitioner had agreed with the views of the predecessor of the Court not to further cross-examine the landlord on the point of adjustment of rent and voluntarily closed further cross-examination. The application was dismissed.

(6) I do not find any error of jurisdiction. Under Section 15(2) of the Act, if, in any proceeding for the recovery of possession of any premises on any ground other than that referred to in sub-section (1), the tenant contests the claim for eviction, the landlord may, at any stage of the proceeding, make an application to the Controller for an order on the tenant to pay to the landlord the amount of rent legally recoverable from the tenant and the Controller may, after giving the parties an opportunity of being heard, make an order in accordance with the provisions of the said sub-section. This is exactly what the Rent Controller did when he passed the order on August 11, 1983. The deposit can be ordered only for rent legally recoverable, which means rent for recovery of which a suit can be filed. It means rent for the recovery of which there is legal bar. It has no other scope. Sections 15(3) and 15(4) specifies the disputes which can be gone into in any proceedings referred to in sub-sections (1) and (2). The Controller can go into the question if there is any disputes as to the amount of rent payable by the tenant and where standard rent may have to be fixed such as where a tenant in the proceedings under Section 14(1)(a) raises by way of defense a contention that standard rent may be determined. The Rent Controller has to fix interim rent in relation to the premises until the standard rent in relation thereto is fixed in accordance with the Act. The Controller is also empowered to decide if there is any dispute as to the person or persons to whom the rent is to be paid. No further dispute is specified under Section 15 which can be gone into or determined in any proceedings referred to in sub-sections (1) and (2) The deposit of rent was directed with effect from May 7, 1982 as the tenant had pleaded payment of rent up to May 6, 1982 The provisions regarding . special obligations of landlords and penalties are given under Chapter Vii of the Act. If the landlord neglects or fails to make, within a reasonable time after notice in writing, any repairs which he is bound to make under Sub-section (1) of Section 44, the tenant may make the same himself and deduct the expenses of such repairs from the rent or otherwise recover them from the landlord but the amount so deducted or recoverable in any year shall not exceed 1/12th of the rent payable by the tenant for that year. If a tenant has himself made the repairs after notice then he is entitled to the same. There is no provision that large amount may be spent and deducted or recovered in adjustment at the rate of one month's rent. The deduction can be only one month's rent in that year. It is probably for this reason that the question of adjustment of expenses on the past repairs is not required to be gone into when orders under Section 15(2) of the Act have been passed. If the tenant wanted to avail of the benefit of Section 44 for future repairs, then he has to move the Controller for permission to deduct one month's rent in future deposits made under the orders of the Controller.

(7) The view taken by the Additional Rent Controller in the order dated August 23, 1984 and in the impugned order dated November 16, 1984 that the adjustment of the amount spent by the tenant on repairs is not essential to be taken into consideration while deciding the present controversy between the partics, is supported by reasons and law.

(8) For the above reasons the petition fails and is hereby dismissed with no order as to costs.


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