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Ram Parkash Saroj Vs. Mohinder Singh - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectTenancy
CourtDelhi High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCivil Revision Appeal No. 352 of 1979
Judge
Reported in19(1981)DLT393; 1981(2)DRJ113; ILR1981Delhi671
ActsDelhi Rent Control Act, 1958 - Sections 14(1)
AppellantRam Parkash Saroj
RespondentMohinder Singh
Advocates: S.P. Bhargava,; S.K. Bagga,; Mamta Sarin and;
Cases Referred and Vinod Kumar Chowdhry v. Smt. Narain Devi Taneja
Excerpt:
.....or based on no evidence or where some procedural irregularity has resulted in miscarriage of justice. the approach of the controller has resulted in miscarriage of justice and the high court is competent to set aside the order. - - it is a well known fact that in hindu family married daughter visit off and on and when she visits her parents she has to be accommodated. his requirement may be satisfied if the two rooms with the tenants are got vacated. i fail to appreciate how the status of a retired man can go down......1976. the eviction petitions were filed on 6th july, 1976. both tenants are in occupation of one living room each. the accommodation with the petitioner is shown in yellow colour in the plan ex. a.w.1/2 consisting of three rooms, measuring 14' x 9'', 12' x 9' and 10' x 14' besides kitchen 6' x 7', bath and w.c. there are also two mianies over the passage and the garage with the petitioner. these mianies are between the ground floor and the first floor. the living room in possession of mohinder singh, tenant, measures 10'-4'' x 14' while the living room in possession of nazar singh measures 17'-6' x 10'. thus it seems that there are only five living rooms in the entire building as shown in the plan. the petitioner says that he was occupying 1580 sq. ft. accommodation allotted to him by.....
Judgment:

Sultan Singh, J.

(1) This judgment will dispose of C.R. Nos. 352 and 353 of 1979. Civil Revision No. 353 of 1979 relates to the tenant Nazar Singh. These revisions under Section 25B(8) of the Delhi Rent Control Act, 1958 (hereinafter called 'the Act') are directed against the two judgments and orders dated 15th July, 1978 of the Additional Controller dismissing the eviction applications of the petitioner under Section 14(1)(e) of the Act.

(2) Ram Parkash Saroj, petitioner, filed eviction applications against hit tenants Mohinder Singh and Nazar Singh on the ground that he was the owner of the suit property, that the premises were let for residential purposes, that be bona fide requires the premises in their occupation and that he has no other reasonably suitable residential accommodation. Mohinder Singh has been a tenant in respect of one room, kitchen, bath, W.C. and a miani above bath arid W.C. on the ground floor at monthly rent of Rs. 40.00 since 1961. Nazar Singh has been a tenant in respect of one room, bath and W.C., kitchen on the first floor besides a miani on a monthly rent of Rs. 201- since 1971. The family of the petitioner consists of himself, his wife, three sons, two of whom are married and one married daughter. The eldest son of the petitioner is a Major in the Army. When he was posted at Ladhak his wife and children who were residing at Chandigarh wanted to shift to Delhi to reside with the petitioner. Mrs. Prabha Saroj, A.W.-2, eldest daughter-in-law deposes that she wants to shift to Delhi to live with the petitioner but cannot shift due to shortage of accommodation. S.K. Saroj, A.W.-3 second son of the petitioner, is also married and has been living at Nabha with his family. He is employed with Hindustan Milk Food for the last about 14 years. He deposes that when he visits Delhi with his family, he finds difficulty to stay with his parents due to accommodation. He also says about the requirement of his elder brother serving in the Army. The third son aged 25 years is of marriageable age but his marriage is alleged to have been postponed on account of shortage of accommodation. Besides three sons the petitioner has a married daughter in Delhi. The petitioner as A.W.-I says that he was an employee of D.C.M. Chemical Works, Najafgarh Road, New Delhi, that he was allotted one Flat No. 2 in U.F. in G.M. Wing, Goushala Marg, Kishan Ganj, Delhi during his employment. The said flat consisted of two bed rooms, one drawing room, one dining room, one store, one kitchen, one pantry, besides bathroom, W.C., varandha and balcony. The floor area of this flat was 1,580 sq. ft. He retired in 1975 and be vacated the flat on 30th January, 1976. The eviction petitions were filed on 6th July, 1976. Both tenants are in occupation of one living room each. The accommodation with the petitioner is shown in yellow colour in the plan Ex. A.W.1/2 consisting of three rooms, measuring 14' X 9'', 12' X 9' and 10' x 14' besides kitchen 6' X 7', bath and W.C. There are also two mianies over the passage and the garage with the petitioner. These mianies are between the ground floor and the first floor. The living room in possession of Mohinder Singh, tenant, measures 10'-4'' X 14' while the living room in possession of Nazar Singh measures 17'-6' X 10'. Thus it seems that there are only five living rooms in the entire building as shown in the plan. The petitioner says that he was occupying 1580 sq. ft. accommodation allotted to him by his employer while the accommodation now in his possession shown in yellow is only about 800 sq. ft. The accommodation with the two tenants is also about 200 sq. ft. each. The entire accommodation in the suit house including the premises with the respondents excluding garage which is in occupation of another tenant, would be only about 1200 sq. ft. His contention is that the Rent Controller without any evidence on record has observed that he is in possession of almost same accommodation which he was occupying in the allotted Hat. The Rent Controller has also taken into consideration the mianies over the passage and the garage. The space known as mezznine floor is not fit for living accommodation. Under Delhi Municipal Corporation (Building) Bye-laws 1959 BL 19 prescribes that the minimum ceiling height of a living room shall be 9 feet from the floor to the underside of the roof slab or ceiling of the other floor. Thus it seems that the mianies, admittedly having ceiling height of less than 9 feet, over the passage and garage are not living rooms. They may be used for storage purposes. Previously, the petitioner was having two bed rooms besides drawing room and dining room. In other words he was having four rooms besides kitchen and pantry etc. The accommodation now in possession of the petitioner does not appear to be sufficient considered from any angle. The petitioner and his wife require one bed room, his younger son who is of marriageable age requires one bed room. They also require drawing room and one dining room. Thus if the requirement of the two elder married sons of the petitioner is not taken into consideration, for the sake of argument, the petitioner requires at least four rooms for himself and his bachelor son but he has got at present only three rooms. It is a well known fact that in Hindu family married daughter visit off and on and when she visits her parents she has to be accommodated. There is no room with the petitioner-landlord to accommodate her married daughter when she may visit him. Again the second son of the petitioner working at Nabha but his family also visits off and on and there is no accommodation with the petitioner to provide accommodation for the family of his second son. The next requirement of the petitioner is to accommodate the daughter-in-law and children of his eldest son who is in the Army. It is not disputed that the eldest son Major A.K. Saroj was posted at Ladhak,a non-family station, and his wife and children were alone at Chandigarh. The petitioner desires to accommodate his daughter-in-law and her children who also want to shift to Delhi and reside with the petitioner and his wife. It it also now stated on affidavit by the petitioner in this revision that his eldest son has since been transferred to Delhi and he has to be accommodated in the suit chouse. On account of paucity of accommodation is not possible to accommodate him and his family in the premises. Thus it seems that beside the requirement of the petitioner and his bachelor son at least one bed room set must be made available for accommodating the eldest son who has since been transferred to Delhi and another bed room for accommodating the family of the second son or married daughter as and when they visit the petitioner. Thus on the whole, it appears, the petitioner requires six living rooms i.e. one for himself, one for his bachelor son, one for his eldest married son and one for the married daughter and second son when they may visit Delhi besides drawing room and dining room. But be is having three room and there are only five rooms in the property. His requirement may be satisfied if the two rooms with the tenants are got vacated. The requirement of the petitioner thus appears to be bona fide. No oblique motive has been alleged by the tenants. The only defense is that the accommodation with the petitioner is more than he was having while he was in service which he vacated in January, 1976. Reference to the documentary evidence A.W. 4/1 shows that the floor area of the allotted accommodation vacated in January, 1976 was 1,580 sq. ft. while the accommodation now in possession of the petitioner is only about 800 sq. ft. After vacation of the promises by the two tenants the area with the petitioner would be only about 1.200 sq. ft Thus it is held that the accommodation with the petitioner in the suit house is less than the accommodation in the allotted flat. It appears that the Rent Controller was carried away by the number of rooms and mainies The floor area of the allotted fiat, it appears, was not taken into consideration. The approach of the Rent Controller thereforee was wrong when she held that the petitioner was in possession of almost the same accommodatioe in the allotted flat as he has now in his occupation. Further the Rent Controller without any evidence on record observes that the status of the petitioner has gone down. I fail to appreciate how the status of a retired man can go down. The three sons of the petitioner are earning members. The status and. requirement of the petitioner can be adjudged from the accommodation allotted by his employer and the family members. His employer had provided one drawing room, one dining room besides two bed rooms, kitchen, pantry etc. etc. Thus I am of the view that the petitioner requires the premises in suit in occupation of the two tenants bona fide for his residence and for the residence of his family.

(3) The next argument of the respondent is that the two married sons and the married daughter are not the members of the petitioner's family. This is incorrect. The Division Bench in Govind Dass and others v. Kuldip Singh, A.I R. 1971 Del 151 has observed that the word 'dependent' is not restricted to persons financially dependent but is comprehensive enough to include persons who are dependent on landlord for residential accommodation. Further it has been observed that when a person needs his kith and kin to be near him, and, thereforee, seeks possession of residential accommodation from a tenant, the requirement can be said to be his own requirement and not only that of his family. Thus it seems that the sons and daughters of the petitioner are included in the word 'himself ' when he claims eviction of the tenants from the suit premises for the residence of himself. In Sain Dass Berry v. Madan Lal Puri, 1971 R.C.R. 887 this court has observed that 'residence for himself ' cannot mean residence for landlord living in isolation and that word 'himself ' includes a person with whom landlord is normally accustomed to live. In the present case the landlord was accustomed to live with his family and so it seems that when the daughter-in-law or the married daughter visits the petitioner, he has to provide accommodation. In this view of the matter one room must be provided as a Guest Room to the petitioner.

(4) Under Section 14(l)(e) of the Act the landlord is entitled to make himself more comfortable in his own property and the tenant cannot dictate the terms, mode and space of living to the landlord. The only requirement of law appears to be that the need of the landlord must be bona fide and he must not have any oblique motive or unreasonable intention to obtain eviction of the tenant. The need of the landlord must have an element of necessity. The facts relating to the need and the bona fide requirement and the insufficiency of the accommodation available with the landlord are no doubt facts which are to be assessed by the Rent Control authorities. In this case, as already stated, considering the family and the way of his living prior to his retirement and the accommodation now available to him it seems that he bona fide requires the premises in possession of the tenants. - .

(5) Learned counsel for the respondent next contends that this court in exercise of its revisional jurisdiction under Section 25B(8) of the Act cannot reverse the findings of fact. The revisional jurisdiction under Section 25B(8) of the Act is wider than that under Section 115 of the Code of Civil Procedure. This court under Section 25B(8) of the Act has power to interfere where the order of the Controller is without jurisdiction or contrary to law or to the express provisions of the Act or where he has arrived at a finding wholly perverse or contrary to evidence or based on no evidence or where some procedural irregularity has been committed resulting in miscarriage of justice. In Pooran Chand v. Motilal and others, : AIR1964SC461 , the Supreme Court while dealing with Section 35 of the Delhi & Ajmer Rent Control Act 1952 after referring to its earlier judgment Hari Shankar v. Rao Girdhari Lal Chowdhary, A.I.R. 1963 S.C. 698 observed, 'that the power of the High Court under Section 35 of the Act is wider than that under Section 115 of the Code of Civil Procedure, though it cannot be equated to that of its jurisdiction in an appeal. It is neither possible nor advisable to define with precision the scope and ambit of Section 35 of the Act, but it should be left to the High Court to consider in each case whether the impugned judgment is according to law or not, as explained by this court in the said decision'. The present Section 25B(8)of the Act is similar to Section 35 of Rent Act, 1952. Similar observations were made in Smt. V.L. Kashyap v. R. P. Puri, I.L.R. 1977 Del 22, R. K. Parikh v. Smt. Uma Verma, : AIR1979Delhi17 , Kewal Singh v Mt. LaJwanti, : [1980]1SCR854 and Vinod Kumar Chowdhry v. Smt. Narain Devi Taneja, 1980 S.C. 2012. It seems that the Rent Controller was misled when it was observed by her that the petitioner was in occupation of almost the same accommodation which he was occupying prior to his retirement. As already stated, taking into consideration the area available to the petitioner before retirement, the present accommodation with the petitioner is most insufficient. thereforee it seems that the approach of the Controller has resulted in miscarriage of justice and thereforee this court is competent to set aside the impugned order.

(6) Next point urged by the learned counsel for the respondent is that there is no relationship of landlord and tenant. His contention is that the respondents were tenants under Indraj Singh. It is proved on record that Indraj Singh was general attorney of the petitioner and he inducted the respondents as tenants in the suit property. The general attorney appeared as a witness on behalf of the tenants and deposed that he inducted them as attorney of the petitioner. Thus there can be no dispute that there is relationship of landlord and tenant between the parties when the premises were let out by the attorney of the petitioner to the respondent. The impugned orders are not according to law.

(7) I, thereforee, set aside the impugned judgments and orders in the two revision petitions and pass an order of eviction under Section 14(1)(e) of the Act against the respondents-tenants in both the revisions. The order of eviction shall be executable after the expiry of six months. There will be no order as to costs.

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