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R.K. Luthra Vs. Balkishan Dass Ram Kishore Gupta and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectTenancy
CourtDelhi High Court
Decided On
Case NumberS.A.O. No. 60 of 1980
Judge
Reported in19(1981)DLT266
ActsDelhi Rent Control Act, 1953 - Sections 1(2), 14(1) and 39
AppellantR.K. Luthra
RespondentBalkishan Dass Ram Kishore Gupta and anr.
Appellant Advocate R.S. Oberoi and; Subhash Oberoi, Advs
Respondent Advocate G.N. Aggarwal and ; P. Bose, Advs.
DispositionAppeal dismissed
Cases Referred and Shikharchand Jain v. Digamber Jain Praband Karini Sabha and Ors.
Excerpt:
tenancy - eviction - section 14 (1) of delhi rent control act, 1958 - appellant tenant filed appeal on ground that act not applicable to suit property - suit property fell within jurisdiction of south municipality when it merged with municipal corporation of delhi - act made applicable to urban areas within limits of municipal corporation of delhi as detailed in first schedule to act - schedule includes this area - appeal dismissed. - sultan singh, j. 1. this second appeal under section 39 of the delhi rent control act, 1958 (hereinafter called 'the act') is directed against the judgment and order dated 21st january, 1980 of the rent control tribunal confirming the order of eviction dated 11th march, 1977 passed under section 14(1)(h) of the act by the additional controller against the appellant. lala bal kishan das ram kishore gupta, respondent no. 1 is a joint hindu undivided family and ram kishore gupta, respondent no. 2 its karta and manager. the appellant has been a tenant in a portion of premises bearing municipal no. 4947 on plot no. 48 lekh ram road, darya ganj, delhi on a monthly rent of rs. 57/- since 1954. the respondents allege that the appellant built or acquired vacant possession of residence at plot no......
Judgment:

Sultan Singh, J.

1. This second appeal under Section 39 of the Delhi Rent Control Act, 1958 (hereinafter called 'the Act') is directed against the judgment and order dated 21st January, 1980 of the Rent Control Tribunal confirming the order of eviction dated 11th March, 1977 passed under Section 14(1)(h) of the Act by the Additional Controller against the appellant. Lala Bal Kishan Das Ram Kishore Gupta, respondent No. 1 is a joint Hindu Undivided Family and Ram Kishore Gupta, respondent No. 2 its Karta and Manager. The appellant has been a tenant in a portion of premises bearing Municipal No. 4947 on Plot No. 48 Lekh Ram Road, Darya Ganj, Delhi on a Monthly rent of Rs. 57/- since 1954. The respondents allege that the appellant built or acquired vacant possession of residence at Plot No. 2/23, Shanti Niketan, Rao Tula Ram Road, New Delhi. The appellant in his written statement pleads that there is no relationship of landlord and tenant, that Balkishan Dass was his original landlord who has since died and the respondents have no locus standi, that Balkishan Dass has left other heirs and legal representatives i.e. the widow and the three daughters and that the respondent Ram Kishore Gupta had nothing to do with the premises. The appellant further pleads that the house alleged to have been constructed by him had not been under the jurisdiction of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi and that the Delhi Rent Control Act, 1958 had not been extended to the area where the said house is situated. He further pleads that the premises were let for residence-cum-commercial purposes and thereforee the respondents are not entitled to any order of eviction. On a consideration of the evidence produced by the parties, the Additional Controller held that the provisions of the Delhi Rent Control Act were applicable to the premises built or acquired possession by the appellant, that the respondent were the landlords of the suit property, that the premises were let for residential purposes and that the appellant had acquired vacant possession of another residence, consequently an order of eviction was passed against the appellant. On appeal, the findings were confirmed by the Rent Control Tribunal. Hence this second appeal,

2. Learned Counsel for the appellant has raised three questions:

(i) There is no relationship of landlord and tenant between the parties ;

(ii) The premises in suit were let for residential-cum-commercial purposes ; and

(iii) The provisions of the Delhi Rent Control Act are not applicable to the property built by him at Shanti Niketan, Rao Tula Road, New Delhi.

The Controller and the Tribunal on a consideration of documentary evidence on record have returned the finding that the appellant is a tenant under the respondents. The objection of the appellant is that initially; he was a tenant under Balkishan Dass and after his death he became tenant under all the heirs of Balkishan Das. On the other hand, the case of the respondents is that respondent No. 1. Lala Balkishan Dass Ram Kishore Gupta has been a joint Hindu Family first of which Ram Kishore Gupta, respondent No. 2 has been the Karta and Manager since the death of Lala Balkishan Dass. There are admittedly receipts on record issued by respondent No. 1 in favor of the appellant. Moreover the appellant himself wrote the letter Ex. A. Y to respondent No. 1 regarding payment of rent. The appellant has been making payment of rent to respondent No. 1 without any of objection. In view of unrebutted evidence on record I am of the view that there is no infirmity in the judgments of the Controller and the Rent Control Tribunal holding that the appellant has been a tenant under the respondents.

3. As regards the purpose of letting of the suit premises it is admitted that there is no writing creating the tenancy in favor of the appellant. Ram Kishore Gupta, respondent No. 2 deposes that the suit property is residential and was let for residential purposes. The appellant says that the premises were let for residence-cum-commercial purposes but there is no evidence to show that any business was carried on from the suit premises. It is admitted that the appellant was employed in Bharat Bank where he served till 1950 and thereafter he served the Employees State Insurance and for about one year he was agent for Unit Trust. In the absence of direct evidence for the purpose of letting the nature of property, the locality and the user has to be considered to determine the purpose. The suit premises are situated on the first floor and it is an evidence that the appellant was in service at the time of Jetting; The premises are situated in a residential locality. The Additional Controller and the Tribunal on a Consideration of oral evidence on record have returned the finding that the premises were let for residential purposes. There is no ground to upset the said finding. Learned counsel for the respondents further contends that the purpose of letting is a finding of fact and as there is concurrent finding of fact there is no substantial question of law and thereforee this court should not interfere with the said finding. The Supreme Court in Kartar Singh v. Chaman Lal and Ors., 1969 R.C.J. 349 held that a concurrent finding of courts below as to purpose for which the premises were let is a finding of fact and must be accepted as final. In Vinod Kumar v. Ajit Singh Ahluwalia and Ors., 1969 R.C.J. 218 the Supreme Court also held that in case of an appeal under Section 59 of the Delhi Rent Control Act the High Court was incompetent to re-assess the evidence afresh, and that on questions of fact it was bound by the decision of the Rent Control Tribunal. Thus there is no ground to interfere with the concurrent finding of fact that the premises in suit were let to the appellant for residential purposes alone.

4. The last question raised by the appellant is that the provisions of Delhi Rent Control Act are not applicable to, the property built by him at Shanti Niketan, Rao Tula Ram Road, New Delhi. The Controller and the Tribunal, as already stated, on consideration of the evidence on record have held that the provisions of the Act are applicable to the newly built property by the appellant.

5. The appellant is a member of the Government Servants' Co-operative House Building Society Ltd. He took the plot of land at Shanti Niketan in terms of a lease deed dated 4th March, 1968 executed between the President of India through the Deputy Secretary (Land & Building) Delhi Administration, the Government Servants' Co-operative House Building Society Ltd. and the appellant. This lease deed describes the plot of land as residential plot and the lay out plan of the area was sanctioned by the local authorities, namely, the Municipal Corporation of Delhi by a Resolution No. 692 dated 16th September, 1964. It thereforee appears that in 1964 when the lay out plan was sanctioned the plot of land was urbanised land. Besides this, the respondents have placed on record a notification dated 4th March, 1954 issued by the Delhi State and published in the Government Gazette dated 11th March, 1954 whereby the Chief Commissioner of Delhi in exercise of the powers conferred by Sub-section (6) of Section 4 of the Punjab Municipal Act, 1911 was pleased to declare the area mentioned therein to be a Municipality of the second class under the Punjab Municipal Act. D. B. Singh, Clerk of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi appeared as A.W. 11. He brought with him the plans of all the municipalities which were there before the Municipal Corporation of Delhi came into being. Ex. AW. 4/1 is the true copy of one of the plans. He deposes that the entire area shown in the said plan and encircled in red was a part of South Delhi Municipality which merged in the Corporation with effect from 7th April, 1958. Reading the Gazette notification dated 11th March, 1954 and the site plan it is clear that the suit property fell within the jurisdiction of South Delhi Municipality as on 7th April, 1958 when it merged with the Municipal Corporation of Delhi. 'The Delhi Rent Control Act was made applicable to the urban areas within the limits of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi as detailed in the first schedule to the Delhi Rent Control Act, 1958. This schedule includes the area within the jurisdiction of the South Delhi Municipality as it existed on 7th April, 1958. Thus the provisions of the Delhi Rent Control Act, 1958 were made applicable to the said land where the appellant built the house. Learned counsel for the appellant further submits that the provisions of the Delhi Rent Control Act, 1958 were made applicable to the newly built property by a notification dated 27th March, 1979. His argument is that the plot of land is a part of Mohammadpur, Munirka, Basant Nagar and Archpur Bagh Mochi villages as mentioned in the lease deed Ex. A. 2 in favor of the appellant. It is correct that certain areas of the revenue estate of these villages were urbanised by the Municipal Corporation of Delhi by means of a notification dt. 3rd June, 1966 and the provisions of the Delhi Rent Control Act were extended to the said area by means of a notification dated 27th March, 1979. Col. 4 of this notification mentions the particulars of the areas proposed to be urbanised. There it is mentioned, 'the entire remaining area of the said revenue estate which has not so far been urbanised'. Thus it appears to me that some areas of these villages were urbanised prior to 3rd June, 1966. No notification other than of 1954 has been brought to my notice to support the contention that the plot of land of the property in question was urbanised. But it is definite that this notification dated 3rd June, 1966 declaring the land as urbanised area and the notification dated 27th March, 1979 extending the provisions of the Delhi Rent Control Act does not cover the plot of land of the property in question for the reason that the land of the plot taken on lease by the appellant was urbanised prior to 1964 as there is a mention in the lease deed that the lay out plan of the residential plots of Shanti Niketan was sanctioned by Resolution No. 692 dated 16th September, 1964. It is not possible for the local authorities to sanction the lay out plan of a colony without first urbanising the land of the colony. When the lay out plan was sanctioned in 1964 they must have issued a notification urbanising the land earlier. Such a notification appears to be a notification of 4th March, 1954 published in the. gazette dated 11th March, 1954. Thus on a consideration of evidence on record, it must be hold that the provisions of the Delhi Rent Control Act, 1958 were applicable to the plot of the property in question. Nothing has been brought to my notice to reverse the finding of the lower court on this aspect of the matter.

6. Learned counsel for the respondents, however, further submits that even if the notification dated 27th March, 1979 extending the provisions of the Rent Control Act to the area in question is taken into consideration the respondents are entitled to an order of eviction. He submits that for granting an appropriate relief to the respondents the Court is entitled to take into consideration the subsequent events and the facts and law as applicable on the date when the appeal is decided by the court. He relies upon Bai Dosabai v. Mathurdas Govinddas and Ors., : [1980]3SCR762 , Pasuouleti Venkatsswarlu v. The Motor & General Traders, : [1975]3SCR958 and Shikharchand Jain v. Digamber Jain Praband Karini Sabha and Ors., : [1974]3SCR101 .

7. Thus on the evidence on record, I am of the view that the plot of land on which the appellant has built the property in Shanti Niketan, Rao Tula Ram Road New Delhi has been governed by the provisions of the Delhi Rent Control Act, 1958 and that nothing has been brought to my notice by the learned counsel for the appellant to show that this area was not governed by the Delhi Rent Control Act, 1958. There is concurrent finding of fact to the effect that the area in question was governed by the Delhi Rent Control Act, 1958.

8. There is no merit in the appeal and I thereforee dismiss the same with costs. Counsel fee Rs. 300/-.


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