R.N. Aggarwal, J.
(1) This is a tenant's appeal against the judgment of the Tribunal reversing the order of the Additional Rent Controller and passing an eviction order against tire tenant on the ground that the landlord required the premises bonafide for his personal occupation.
(2) The landlady Smt. Ram Bati through her general attorney Shri Ram Sanehi filed an application under Section 14 of the Rent Control Act seeking eviction of the tenant Naresh Chand Jain on two grounds : (1) that the tenant had failed to pay the arrears of rent since 1-1-1974 and since this was the second default in the payment of arrears of rent the tenant is liable to eviction, and (2) that the landlady required the premises for her own residence and she had no other reasonably suitable accommodation.
(3) The tenant resisted the petition. The tenant pleaded that the family of the landlady comprises of herself, her husband and one son and that she was in possession of four rooms, a verandah, latrine and bath room and that the accommodation already in her possession was sufficient for her need. The tenant denied that he was in arrears of fent.
(4) The landlady in the replication dated 2nd September 1975 merely denied the allegations made in the Written statement. The landlady in the petition as well as in the replication did not specify the accommodation that was in her possession.
(5) The tenant in the amended written statement dated 27th August 1976 specifically alleged that the petitioner is in possession of one room and a verandah on the ground floor and two rooms and a kitchen on the first floor. The tenant further averred that there were six other tenants in the building and that one tenant, namely, Khazan Chand Gupta who had in his tenancy three rooms had vacated the said premises and that portion is in the possession and occupation of the petitioner and, thereforee, the petitioner is in possession of five rooms, kitchen and a verandah. The petitioner did not ile any rejoinder to the above allegations.
(6) The Additional Rent Controller found that the petitioner had sufficient accommodation in her possession and she did not require the premises in dispute bona-fide for her own occupation. As regards the first ground the Additional Rent Controller held that the tenant had complied with the order under Section 15(1) of the Delhi Rent Control and, thereforee, he is entitled to the benefit under section 14(2) and, thereforee, no eviction order could be passed against him on the ground of nonpayment of rent. The Additional Rent Controller for the reasons recorded in his order dismissed the petition.
(7) Against the aforesaid order the landlady went in appeal. The Tribunal found that the landlady required the premises bonafide for her own occupation. He, accordingly, allowed the appeal and passed an order of eviction against the tenant.
(8) Dissatisfied with the order of the Tribunal the tenant has come in appeal.
(9) The record discloses that along with the appeal the appellant had filed an affidavit making a specific averment that two of the tenants of the respondent namely, Sekhar Chand and Khazan Chand had vacated the premises and those premises also were in the possession of the landlady and that accommodation Along with the accommodation which was already in the possession of the landlady is more than sufficient for her need. The appellant stated that Sekhar Chand had one room and a kitchen in his tenancy in the first floor, and that he had vacated the premises in his occupation in March 1977 and since then the respondent was in possession of the said premises. He further stated that Khazan Chand, a teacher, had three rooms and a verandah in his tenancy on the ground floor and he had left and handed over the premises to the respondent in the middle of June 1976 and that the said accommodation was also now in the possession of the landlady.
(10) By an order dated 28th February 1980 this Court appointed a Local Commissioner to visit the spot and find out whether the tenants named in the application, namely, Khazan Chand Sekhar Chand and Shiv Kumari are residing in the premises and what are the respective portions in their occupation.
(11) The Commissioner visited the spot on 6th March 1980 and submitted her report on 7th March 1980The Commissioner found that Shiv Kumari was in possession of the premises marked 'X-1'. She found the premises marked 'X-2' and 'X-3' in possession of Khazan Chand and Sekhar Chand to be locked. She further stated in her report that Sekhar Chand and Khazan Chand were not present so their statements could not be recorded.
(12) During the hearing of the, appeal I permitted the parties to file further affidavits regarding the two .tenants namely, Sekhar Chand and Khazan Chand. The tenant in his affidavit dated 30th November 1984 has stated that Sekhar Chand had shifted to house No. 45/4B Azad Nagar, Delhi and that he was drawing ration from shop No. F-4/25, Krishna Nagar, Delhi. He further deposed that Khazan Chand who was a teacher in a school had vacated and surrendered possession of the premises in his tenancy in the middle of June, 1976. He further deposed that the wife of Khazan Chand who was also a teacher had left the premises along with his family in June 1976 and that he was informed that Khazan Chand had taken some premises near Chander Nagar, but he has not been able to find out his exact whereabouts. The tenant stated that neither Khazan Chand nor any member of his family is residing in any portion of the property in dispute ever since June 1976. The landlady in reply affidavit dated 1st December 1984 stated that Sekhar Chand and Khazan Chand have locked the premises in their possession and they have not surrendered the premises in their possession. The landlady has also filed an affidavit of Sekhar Chand. As regards Khazan Chand in para 6 of the affidavit she stated as under :
'THATI could not find out the whereabouts of Shri Khazan Chand who is one of the tenants in occupation of one room and one kitchen on the ground floor of the said property, and who is still the tenant in the premises, and has not surrendered the possession to me, or Smt. Ram Bati, my wife-landlady, till to-date. The premises in his occupation are lying locked and his whereabouts could not be ascertained inspire of my best efforts.'
(13) Sekhar Chand in his affidavit dated 1st December 1984 has given his residential address as house No. 45/8B, East Azad Nagar, Krishna Nagar, the same address as given by the tenant.
(14) R.W. 2 Bishan Sarup Saxena had given evidence that Khazan Chand Gupta had vacated the premises about three or four months back and the rooms vacated by him are in possession of the petitioner In crossexamination the witness stated that it is correct that the teacher who had vacated the three rooms referred to by him in the examination-in-chief had vacated the premises during the summer vacation.
(15) The suggestion in the above cross-examination seems to be that Khazan Chand Gupta had temporarily gone during the summer vacations. The statement of R.W. 2 was recorded on 9th August 1976. It is clear from the statement of R.W. 2 that Khazan Chand Gupta had vacated the tenanted premises in or about June 1976. This finds ample corroboration from the report of the Commissioner and the affidavit dated 30th November 1984 of the tenant and the affidavit dated 1st December 1984 of the landlady. Ram Sanehi (husband of the landlady) in Para 6 of the affidavit has stated that he count not find out the whereabouts of Khazan Chand. Now, if Khazan Chand was a tenant, as claimed by the landlady, it is impossible to believe that the deponent Ram Sanehi would not know the whereabouts of Khazan Chand. From the affidavits of the tenant and the landlady it is further clear that Sekhar Chand is now actually residing at a different place. In ihe circumstances, the contention of the tenant that Khazan Chand and Sekhar Chand have vacated the premises let out to them seems to be true.
(16) I would allow the appeal, set aside the order of the Tribunal and dismiss the petition of the landlady. I, however, leave the parties to bear their own costs.