G.C. Jain, J.
(1) This revision petition under proviso to sub-section (8) of Section 25-B of the Delhi Rent Control Act, 1958 (hereinafter referred to as 'the Act') is directed against the order, dated February 23, 1980, passed by Shri J.D. Kapoor, Rent Controller, Delhi, granting leave to the applicant to defend the eviction petition filed against him but restricting the defense only to the point of extent of accommodation available with the landlord.
(2) The petitioner, Chatar Sain Goel, is in occupation of the premises; bearing Municipal number C-87, Fateh Nagar, New Delhi, consisting of two rooms, kitchen, bath, latrine, store and an open space as a tenant under Puran Singh on a monthly rent to Rs. 80.00 . On Jan. 16, 1980 the landlord filed an application for eviction under Section 14(1)(e) of the Act, popularly known as the ground of personal bona fide requirement. The tenant filed an application en February 2, 1980 urder Section 25B for permission to defend the eviction petition on four grounds. There were-(i) the premises were situated in the slum areas and the application was not competent without the necessary permission of the competent authority under what is knows as the Slum Act ; (ii) the landlord was not the owner of the premises ; (in) the premises were let out for residential-cum-commercial purposes and (iv ) the landlord was already in occupation of a spacious building consisting of sufficient accommodation for him and members of his family.
(3) As observed above, the learned Rent Controller granted permission to defend only on the plea that the landlord was not in occupation of reasonably suitable accommodation.
(4) Feeling aggrieved, the tenant has filed the present revision petition. This came up for hearing before a learned Single Judge who has referred the same to a larger Bench because of divergent opinions in this Court on the question whether restricted leave cabe gradted and also because the question raised is of general importance. That is how the matter has come before us.
(5) Section 37 of the Act controls the procedure to be followed by the Controller in disposing of the applications under the Act. Sub-section(1) lays down that no order which prejudicially affects any person shall be made by the Controller under the Act without giving him a reasonable opportunity of showing cause against the order proposed to be made and until his objection, if any, and any evidence lie may produce in support of the same has been considered by the Controller. Sub-section (2) provides that subject to the rules that may be made under the Act. the Controller shall, while holding an inquiry in any proceeding before him, follow, as far as may be, the practice and procedure of a court of Small Causes, including the recording of evidence. Sub-section (3) deals with award of costs, etc. By the amending Act No. 18 of 1976, the Act was amended and, inter alia, a new chapter, Iiia, containing Sections 25A, 25B and 25C was added. This chapter provides for summary trial of certain applications. Section 25B provides special procedure for the disposal of applications under Section 14(l)(e). It is apparent that the purpose of introducing the provisions contained in Section 25 was to provide for speedy trial of such applications. Keeping in view this legislative intent, we find no difficulty in holding that leave could be restricted to one or more points if other points raised by the tenant were found to be without substance. It would avoid unnecessary delay in the disposal of these applications which was the- intent of the legislature in incorporating these provisions.
(6) This question came up before Sachar, J. in M/s Viraj Lal Mani Lal v. Shri Satish Swarup 1978 (1) R.C.R. 231. The learned Judge has observed at page 235 as under ;-
'Ido not find any difficulty in granting leave to contest restricted to one point. Sub-section (4) of Section 25B of the Act provides that the tenant shall not contest the prayer for eviction from the premises unless he files an affidavit stating the grounds on which he seeks to contest !he application for eviction and obtains leave from the Controller. I can see no hardship or anomaly in this course because if the court feels that out of the objections raised by the tenant only one or two require examination, and as the others are worthless, it cannot be contemplated that leave must be granted on all these points which are not defensible. This course would unnecesarily prolong the proceedings and would be counter to the object of the provisions which ;s to expedite the disposal of these matters. We are in full agreement with the above observations.
(7) Learned counsel for the petitioner placed reliance on a Single Beach decision in S. Kumar v. Om Parkash, 1980 (1) R.C.R.401. The relevant observations at page 409 read as under :-
'ATthe stage of granting the tenant leave to contest, the Controller only addresses himself to the question whether the tenant's affidavit discloses such facts as would disentitle the landlord to an eviction order under clause (c). It is, generally speaking, a prima facie conclusion that he reaches at this stage of the case and once leave is granted, the application will have to be heard and disposed of in the usual manner after considering afresh the contents of the application for eviction and the written statement and the other evidence in the case. It is no doubt possible that, in some cases even at this stage, some of the pleas taken by the tenant may be found to be frivolous or without substance and as pointed out by Sachar J., in Viraj Lal Mani Lal v. Satish Swarup (supra) the Rent Control (or the court in revision) may restrict the leave granted to one or some of the objections raised. It is a question for consideration in each case whether the leave to contest has been given in general terms or whether it is restrictive in any respect I am unable to see any such restriction in the order dated 17.1076 passed by the Rent Controller. We wonder as to how these observations help the learned counsel for the petitioner. On the other hand, these observations show that the learned Single Judge was in agreement with the views of Sachar, J: in Viraj Lal Mani Lal's case (supra).
(8) Learned counsel for the petitioner also referred to a Single Bench decision of this Court in Smt. Kundan Kaur v. Sh. K.P. Verma, 1978 (2) R.C.R. 282. The learned Judge has observed as under :
'THEREcan be no doubt that so far as the Controller is concerned, once leave to defend the eviction petition is granted by him, the tenant cannot be restricted to particular pleas.'
These observations, in our view, were in the nature of obiter. It may be mentioned that the application of the tenant, for permission to grant leave to defend, had been dismissed and an order of eviction had been passed. The tenant had come up in revision against that order. In the revision leave to defend was allowed but restricted to certain points. When the High Court could restrict leave to defend to one or more points there appears to be no reason why the Controller could not put similar restrictions. In any case, we are not inclined to accept the view taken in that case.
(9) For these reasons we hold that leave to defend restricted to one or more points, when other points are without substance, can be granted.
(10) Coming to the merits, as observed above, the tenant had raised four pleas, Plea No 4 has been allowed and there is no grievance to that extent. As regards the ownership, the landlord has filed a photo-stat copy of the registered sale deed in his favor. There was no traverse. Regarding the letting purpose, the landlord has filed a rent deed where the word 'house' had been used, The word 'shop' has been scored off. In these circumstances it cannot be said that the finding of the learned Rent Controller is perverse or contrary to the material on the record. The revision petition has no merit.
(11) It may be added that the tenant had also raised the plea that the premises were situate in slum area and, thereforee, the application filed without the requisite permission from the competent authority was not maintainable. This pleas was, however, not pressed before us. In any case, it is now settled law that no such permission is required for filing such application. We, thereforee, dismiss the petition. The costs would bide the final result before the Rent Controller.
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