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Saleh Bros. Vs. K. Rajendran and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectTenancy
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Case NumberSecond Appeal No. 1065 of 1964
Judge
Reported inAIR1970Mad165
ActsTransfer of Property Act, 1882 - Sections 105, 111, 112, 113 and 116; Code of Civil Procedure (CPC) , 1908
AppellantSaleh Bros.
RespondentK. Rajendran and anr.
Appellant AdvocateS. Kuppuswamy, Adv.
Respondent AdvocateA. Sundaram Ayyar and ;V.N. Srinivasa Rao, Advs.
DispositionAppeal dismissed
Cases ReferredGanga Dutt v. Kartik Chandra Das
Excerpt:
tenancy - waiver - sections 105, 111, 112 and 113, and 116 and code of civil procedure, 1908 - premises owned by plaintiff - premises exempted from provisions of rent control act - plaintiff sought recovery of property by giving notice - rent paid even after date of terminating tenancy - whether rent paid in subsequent months from date of terminating tenancy amounted to waiver of notice to quit - after determination of tenancy possessions of tenant must be in pursuance of any contract express or implied - emphasis is on intention of parties concerned and not on any physical act or omission - held, payment of rent after terminating of tenancy did not amount to waiver of notice. - - 1. this second appeal arises out of a suit in ejectment and the tenant who failed in the courts below is.....k.s. ramamurti, j. 1. this second appeal arises out of a suit in ejectment and the tenant who failed in the courts below is the appellant in the second appeal. the premises in question is situated in sembudoss street and the owner and landlord was one kuppuswamy naicker now represented by the plaintiffs in the action. by g. o. no. 2216 (home), dated 5th august, 1958, the government issued a notification exempting the premises from the provisions of the rent control act. the tenant filed two writ petitions, w. p. nos. 732 and 733 of 1958 to quash the order of the government and the petitions were dismissed on 10th november, 1960. the tenant preferred writ appeals nos. 156 and 157 of 1960, therefrom and they too were dismissed on 15th november, 1962. meanwhile, on 6th october, 1958, within.....
Judgment:

K.S. Ramamurti, J.

1. This Second Appeal arises Out of a suit in ejectment and the tenant who failed in the Courts below is the appellant in the second appeal. The premises in question is situated in Sembudoss Street and the owner and landlord was one Kuppuswamy Naicker now represented by the plaintiffs in the action. By G. O. No. 2216 (Home), dated 5th August, 1958, the Government issued a notification exempting the premises from the provisions of the Rent Control Act. The tenant filed two writ petitions, W. P. Nos. 732 and 733 of 1958 to quash the order of the Government and the petitions were dismissed on 10th November, 1960. The tenant preferred Writ Appeals Nos. 156 and 157 of 1960, therefrom and they too were dismissed on 15th November, 1962. Meanwhile, on 6th October, 1958, within two months after the order of exemption by the Government, the plaintiffs instituted the suit O. S. No. 1822 of 1958 on the file of the City Civil Court, Madras, for recovery of possession of the property after giving notice, Exhibit A-1, dated 2nd September, 1958, terminating the tenancy. Pending disposal of the writ proceedings, there was an order of limited interim stay and after the final disposal of the writ proceedings the suit was taken up and disposed of. Several objections were raised by the defendant, the tenant, and only two points were argued before me in the second appeal. One is that the suit is bad for want of proper notice to quit, the objection, being that the notice terminating the tenancy by the midnight of 30th September, 1958 is bad in law. A perusal of the judgment of the Courts below shows that this point was not seriously pressed before the Courts below and it was also not shown how this notice was defective. Before me too, the point was merely mentioned and when the attention of the learned Counsel for the appellant was drawn to the fact that in the grounds of appeal in this Court no objection has been taken touching this aspect, learned Counsel did not pursue the matter further. Indeed the only point that was pressed before me is the point of waiver. The tenant has filed a batch of receipts in respect of rents paid from August, 1958 to November, 1962. The third of the series of receipts is dated 31st October, 1958 being the receipt of a sum of Rs. 212-50 towards the rent for the premises for the month of October, 1958. The argument on behalf of the tenant is that after the tenancy came to an end by the midnight of 30th September, 1958, the landlord has received the rent from the tenant for the entire month of October, 1958 and for the subsequent months and he should therefore be held to have waived the prior notice to quit thereby treating the tenancy as still subsisting. Counsel on both sides cited some decisions touching this aspect as to whether or not this conduct of the landlord would amount to waiver.

2. Learned Counsel for the appellantplaced considerable reliance upon illustration (a) to Section 113 of the Transfer of Property Act and the absence of a provision corresponding to the second proviso in Section 112 of the Transfer of Property Act. His contention is that the notice, Exhibit A-1, issued under Section 111(h) of the Act determining the tenancy must be held to have been waived and stood cancelled by reason of the landlord accepting rent which had become due in respect of the property since the expiration of the notice. He urged that in the case of waiver of forfeiture by acceptance of rent which had become due since forfeiture the Legislature had made a special provision in the second proviso to Section 112 that when such rent is accepted after the institution of the suit to eject the lessee on the ground of forfeiture, such acceptance of rent is not a waiver and that the Legislature had made a deliberate departure and distinction between waiver of forfeiture and waiver of notice to quit. In support of his contention learned Counsel relied upon the following observations of Buckland J., in Manicklal v. Kadambini AIR 1926 Cal 763:

'Now, under Section 112 which deals with a similar position in connection with forfeiture under Section 111(g) it is expressly provided that where rent is accepted after the institution of a suit to eject me lessee on the ground of forfeiture such acceptance is not a waiver.'

'It is argued by analogy that in the circumstances there is no waiver. To that, I think, the answer is that where rent is accepted after the notice to quit, whether before or after a suit has been filed, the landlord thereby shows an intention to treat the lease as subsisting. One cannot logically say that the fact of accepting rent by itself shows an intention if a suit has been filed. The intention shown by the act itself must be the same in either case. Therefore, by accepting the rent, the plaintiff in my opinion snowed an intention to treat the lease as subsisting and acceptance of rent was waiver of the notice to quit notwithstanding the fact that a suit had already been filed for the purpose of ejecting the tenant. It has also to be observed that under Section 112 the acceptance of rent after suit has been exactly provided for, and it may well be argued that had it been intended that acceptance of rent after suit should not operate as a waiver in the case of a notice to quit one would have expected that a proviso similar to that in Section 112 would have been incorporated in Section 113,'

With great respect, I am unable to agree with this view. Further, this view has not been followed in several decisions of the various Courts, Learned counsel on both sides invited my attention to some of the decisions both Indian and English; learned counsel for the appellant, relying upon some of the observations in the cases cited, attempted to make out that in the matter of waiver of forfeiture, and waiver of notice to quit, there is some material difference between the law in England and the law in India and that the decisions in England cannot afford much of a guidance in the solution of the problem. It is true that there are observations in some of the decisions suggesting some difference between the law in England and the law in India as enacted in Sections 111 to 113 and 116 of the Transfer of Property Act. In my view there is no difference in the matter of substance and such difference as is observed in the statutory enactment of the law in India is very superficial and a distinction without difference. On a careful consideration of all the aspects of the matter concerning the law relating to waiver of forfeiture and waiver of notice to quit, I am of the view that the law is the same in England and in India, vide Chengiah v. Rajah of Kalahasti (1912) 24 MLJ 263 and Calcutta Credit Corporation Ltd. v. Happy Homes (Private) Ltd. : [1968]2SCR20 .

3. Before I proceed further to examine the decisions, it is necessary to refer to the well-established principles, because, in my opinion, the principle underlying Section 112, that after the landlord had elected to avail himself of the forfeiture and had given notice in writing to the lessee of his intention to determine the lease and followed it up by a suit in ejectment there is no waiver, would equally apply to Section 113 where the landlord has instituted a suit in ejectment, preceded by the issue of notice determining the lease, The absence of a corresponding proviso, in Section 113, is of no significance and does not manifest any intention on the part of the Legislature to make any difference. When forfeiture occurs as specified' in Section 111(g) on the happening of any one of the specified events, the lease does not ipso facto come to an end, but it only gives a right to the lessor, if he is so minded and so elects, to determine the lease, taking advantage of the forfeiture. It is not the mere happening of the specified events at the instance of the lessee that would bring about a termination of the lease putting an end to the relationship, but it is the determination of the lessor to elect to determine the lease that would bring about a dissolution of that relationship. The requirement of the landlord to so elect is based upon the well-recognised principle of law that no man can take advantage of his own wrong and that the lessee by his unilateral act and by committing a wrong cannot make the lease void; it is only voidable and has to be avoided by the lessor.

4. In striking contrast to this provision requiring a clear election on the part of the lessor to determine the lease, the provision in Section 111(g) states that the lease of immovable property is determined 'on the expiration of a notice to determine the lease or to quit or of intention to quit duly given by one party to the other'. Under Section 111(h) the lease is determined on the expiration of the notice which can be given by the unilateral choice of one of the parties, there being nothing further to be done by the other party. The issue of such a notice, of its own force and without anything more, after the expiry of the period, determines the lease.

5. Before the Amending Act of 1929, all that was necessary for the lessor was to manifest his election to avail himself of the forfeiture and determine the lease and it was enough if he did some act showing his intention to determine the lease following the forfeiture. There was a conflict of decisions as to whether a distinct, independent act showing the intention to determine the lease was a condition precedent to the suit in ejectment or whether a suit in ejectment itself could be regarded as showing the animus of the landlord. By the Amending Act of 1929 it is now provided that the lessor should give notice in writing to the lessee of his intention to determine the lease. The second proviso to Section 112 that acceptance of rent after the filing of the suit in ejectment will not amount to a waiver, merely illustrates the principle that once the lessor with knowledge of the forfeiture makes an election by express words or by an unequivocal act, the election is irrevocable, with the result that, if the lessor gives notice determining the lease on the ground of forfeiture and files a suit, no subsequent act would amount to a waiver. In situations and circumstances, where the landlord has not filed a suit in ejectment, there may be some room or scope for argument that particular act done by the lessor in electing to determine the lease on the basis of forfeiture is either ineffective or equivocal and that the manifestation of the required intention is not clear, but, when the landlord manifests his intention by instituting a suit in ejectment, that conduct is a final, positive and decisive act, and leaves no room for doubt, with the result that the election becomes irrevocable; the lease is once for all determined, it cannot be retracted.

6. In this connection, reference may be made to the statement of the law by Woodfall on Landlord and Tenant (26th Edn., p. 946, Section 2057):

'If ejectment be brought on a forfeiture of a lease, and after the bringing of such ejectment the landlord accepts rent, or distrains, or sets up a cause of forfeiture a subsequent non-payment of rent, it is no waiver. A writ containing an unequivocal claim for possession, or an unequivocal claim for a declaration of title to possession, operates as a final election to determine the lease.'

Vide also 23 Halsbury, 672 (foot-notes (a) and (b)), where the distinction between demand for and receipt of rent after the cause of forfeiture prior to the suit and the receipt of rent after the suit in ejectment is referred to.

7. The leading decision in England is Jones v. Carter, (1846) 15 M&W; 718, in which it was held that, if a lessor brought an action in ejectment that was an unequivocal act and that the receipt of rent alter the action in ejectment could not operate to revive the lease; the statement of the law by Lord Wensleydale in that case has been uniformly followed in all the subsequent cases. In Grimwood v. Moss (1872) 7 CP 360, the question arose whether after the commencement of the action in ejectment the lessors were entitled to distrain for rent which subsequently accrued due. It was held that the action in ejectment was irrevocable and could not be retracted. Willes, J., after referring to (1846) 15 M & W 718, put the matter thus at p. 364:

'It is an act unequivocal in the sense that it asserts the right of possession upon every ground that may turn out to be available to the party claiming to re-enter..... In my opinion, the subsequent distress can make no difference.'

I may next refer to the decision in Evans v, Enever, (1920) 2 KB 315, in which the principle in (1872) 7 CP 360 was applied. In that case the lease contained a proviso for re-entry if the lessee became bankrupt. In July, 1918, the lessee was adjudged bankrupt and in January, 1919, the lessor took out a specially indorsed writ claiming possession of the premises for forfeiture for nonpayment of rent. Taking advantage of Section 212 of the Common Law Procedure Act of 1852, the defendant paid the rent and costs to the plaintiff and the proceedings came to an end. In the following May the plaintiff sued the defendant for possession claiming that the lease was forfeited by reason of the defendant's bankruptcy. It was held that, notwithstanding that the rent which was paid to the plaintiff in the first action, had accrued due subsequent to the date of the adjudication, its acceptance by the plaintiffs did not operate as a waiver of the forfeiture. Lord Coleridge, J., observes as follows (at p. 320):--

'That is well-recognized law which has never been disputed. But there is a series of cases which establish that if an action is brought for recovery of possession for breaches of covenants in the lease that is an irrevocable election to determine the lease, and that no subsequent acts of the plaintiff can be relied on as qualifying that position.'

8. There is no need to refer to the other decisions and it is sufficient to refer to the decision in Civil Service Co-operative Society v. McGrigor's Trustee, (1923) 2 Ch 347. In that case, after the bankruptcy of the lessee, the lessors served on the debtors and the trustee in bankruptcy a notice of writ exercising the right or re-entry, and subsequently the lessors made a demand for and accepted the rent which had accrued due. It was held that the demand for and acceptance of rent accrued due after the issue of the writ did not operate as a waiver of the forfeiture. Russell, J. (at p. 357), referred to the case and pointed out the distinction between the demand for and acceptance of rent simpliciter and the issue of and the commencement of a writ or legal proceeding in ejectment, the latter case constituting the final election of the landlord to determine the tenancy. Reference may be made to the following observations (at p. 358):--

'Neither of those cases touches the real question, namely, whether the issue and service of writ in ejectment is such a final election by the landlord to determine the tenancy that a subsequent receipt of rent is no waiver of the forfeiture. In my opinion, the authorities establish that this is so. In (1846) 15 M & W 718, Parke, B., held that after ejectment brought, there being no evidence of actual re-entry by the landlord, the landlord could not sue for rent; and he cites with approval a decision of Lord Tenterden that the receipt of rent after ejectment brought for a forfeiture was no waiver of such forfeiture: Doe v. Meux, (1824) 1 Car & P 346. To the same effect is the case of (1872) LR 7 CP 360, where it is definitely stated that the bringing of an ejectment action is an irrevocable election to determine the tenancy; see also Rex V. Paulson, (1921) I AC 271 and Evans v. Enever, (1920) 2 KB 315. I adopt the words of Lord Coleridge, J., in (1920) 2 KB 315, when he says: 'There is a series of cases which establish that if an action is brought for recovery of possession for breaches of covenants in the lease that is an irrevocable election to determine the lease, and that no subsequent acts of the plaintiff can be relied on as qualifying that position.'

9. In (1912) 24 MLJ 263, this Court followed and applied the rule enunciated in (1846) 15 M & W 718 and (1872) 7 CP 360. It was held that where a right of forfeiture had accrued to the lessor and he had elected to determine the tenancy, the election was irrevocable and the parties could not by any subsequent agreement revive the old tenancy, Wallis, C. J., observed that the framers of the Transfer of Property Act did not intend to depart from the well-established rule of English Law that, where a right of forfeiture had accrued to the lessor and if he manifested his intention to enforce the forfeiture, that was an election to determine the tenancy and the election was irrevocable.

10. Acceptance of rent which has become due since the forfeiture is regarded as waiver of forfeiture under the main operative portion of Section 112, because the acceptance of rent is an affirmance that the lease was subsisting at the time when the rent became due after the forfeiture. But this acceptance of rent, after the suit in ejectment is filed, is not regarded as a waiver, because, once the matter has come to the Court, the election has become irrevocable. The only thing necessary under the second proviso is that there must be an unequivocal demand or possession in a proceeding instituted in the Court.

11. Though it is not strictly necessary in the instant case, I may, however, observe that the principle of (1846) 15 M & W 718 that once an election has been made and the lease determined the election is irrevocable, would apply even when the election is not followed by a suit in ejectment and if the lessor had merely given a notice in writing of his intention to determine the lease as provided in Section 111(g). If rent is subsequently received by the lessor, the rights of the parties will have to be determined in accordance with the provisions of Section 116 of the Transfer of Property Act. The determination of the lease referred to in Section 116 will certainly include the determination of the lease as a result of the lessor electing to take advantage of the forfeiture and determining the lease by giving notice in writing under Section 111(g). Once the lease is determined by the issue of the requisite notice, a contractual relationship thereafter can arise only with the consent of both the parties. The irrevocable character of the election must follow in either case. On juristic principles, I cannot see any difference between the determination of the lease under Section 111(g) as a result of the issue of the requisite notice after forfeiture and the determination of the lease under Section 111(g). Logically speaking, the acceptance of rent referred to in the opening words of Section 112 must be acceptance of rent before the lessor issues the notice in writing, determining the lease, under Section 111(g). As in the instant case, a suit in ejectment has been instituted, it is unnecessary to pursue that aspect further.

12. I shall next consider the scope of Section 113, i.e., the receipt of rent by the landlord accruing due subsequent to the notice determining the lease followed by a suit in ejectment. The plain language of| Section 113 indicates that a waiver does not ipso facto result from any act of omission or commission on the part of the lessor, but the act must be such as clear evidence of, the lessor's intention to treat the lease as subsisting. It is the intention of the lessor to treat the lease as subsisting which is the) predominant and deciding factor in bringing about a waiver and not any particular act by itself. Illustration (a) must, therefore, be understood and applied in consonance with the principle underlying the section with due reference to the intention' of the lessor. There is no warrant for the view that mere receipt of rent, whatever' may be the intention of the lessor, should of its own force, divorced from the circumstances of the case be regarded as amounting to a waiver. Illustrations are useful aids toi construction and for securing the proper' meaning of the section, but they cannot control the plain meaning of the section; see, Koylash Chunder Ghose v. Sonatun Chungi Barooie, ILR (1881) Gal 132. Illustrations appended to sections of a statute are useful to show how sections may operate and are of relevance and value in construing' the text. They should only be rejected as( repugnant to the section as the last resort' of construction: vide Maxwell on Statutes,p43 : Mohamed Syedol Ariffin v. Yeoh Ooi Gark, LR (1916) 2 AC S75 and Jumma Masjid v. Kodimaniandra Deviah : AIR1962SC847 . I do not see any repugnancy between the operative portion of Section 113 and the Illustration (a) as there is no difficulty in understanding the Illustration in consonance with the section. The context in which a particular act is referred to in Section 113 shows that the rent should be received at such time and in such manner as to be equivalent to the landlord assenting to the lessee continuing in possession. The receipt of rent may only create a presumption and cannot by its own force amount to a waiver. Section 113 consists of two limbs: (a) the express or implied consent of the person to whom notice is given and (b) 'the act of the person giving the notice showing the intention to treat the lease as subsisting'. In order to constitute a waiver, both the limbs must concurrently operate, which means, that an act by itself and of its own force, without reference to the intention of the parties, cannot bring about a waiver. So much is quite clear from the, plain language of the section, which embodies the basic principles, and I find no Justification for reading the Illustrations as being repugnant to the section. Every effort should be made to interpret the Illustration in conformity with the main section. The principle underlying Section 116 of the Act will also apply in applying Section 113 as this is also a case of continuance of the lease restoring the old tenancy. The English law regards the effect of waiver as creating a new tenancy, but the language of Section 113 points to a restoration of the old tenancy. As observed earlier, this is really a distinction without difference because, in either case the essential point to be considered is whether the other party is continuing in the relationship of a lessee, either under the old lease restored, or under a new tenancy, subject to the same terms and conditions of the prior lease, as specified in Section 116. It is in this connection that reference must be made to the following observations of the Supreme Court in Karnani Industrial Bank Ltd. v. Province of Bengal : [1951]2SCR560 :

'There can be no question of the lessee continuing in possession' until the lease has expired, and the context in which the provision for acceptance of rent finds a place clearly shows that what is contemplated is that the payment of rent and its acceptance should be made at such a time and in such a manner as to be equivalent to the landlord assenting to the lessee continuing in possession','

13. I may also add that the marginal note 'waiver of notice to Quit' and the language employed in Section 113 that 'the notice is waived', are not happy and that what really happens is virtually the creation of a new tenancy on the old terms and not a revival or restoration of the old tenancy. Viewed in this light, there is no difference between the Indian and English law. The expression 'waiver of notice to quit' has been used in the section rather loosely, taking the expression from some of the decisions in England. I may refer to the following statement in Radman's Law of Landlord and Tenant (13th Edn., p. 528, Section 390) to show that the use of the expression waiver of notice to quit' after the determination of the lease by such notice is not technically correct:

'Effect of withdrawal.--A notice to quit may be withdrawn or abandoned during its currency; or the right to enforce it may be waived, either expressly or by implication, before it has expired, but no withdrawal, abandonment or. waiver is effectual without the consent of the party to whom the notice is given.'

'It has been held that a withdrawal of the notice by consent during its currency does not nullify the notice, but operates as evidence of an agreement for a new tenancy to take effect on the determination of the old. Where the notice has expired, it is technically wrong to speak of the waiver though this convenient expression is commonly used. If the relationship of landlord and tenant continues thereafter 'it is by agreement between the parties' constituting a new tenancy, 'since the old' tenancy is already at an end.'

14. An examination of the cases, which have dealt with the scope of Section 113, read with Illustration (a) thereto, shows that the preponderance of the weight of authority is that in addition to the receipt of rent by the landlord there should be proof that the receipt was with the intention to treat the lease as subsisting. According to the decisions, there should be either an express contract or conduct of the parties justifying the inference that, after the determination of the contractual tenancy, the landlord's intention was that the occupation of the premises was as a tenant. Whether the conduct of the party justified such an inference would undoubtedly turn upon the facts and circumstances of each case.

15. In this connection I may refer to the following observations of Lord Greene, M. R. in Booker v. Palmer, (1942) 2 All ER 674:

'To suggest there is an intention there to create a relationship of landlord and tenant appears to me to be quite impossible. There is one golden rule which is of very general application, namely, that the law does not impute intention to enter into legal relationship where the circumstances and conduct or the parties negative any intention of the kind. It seems to me that this is a clear example of the application of that rule.'

16. In the instant case it is impossible to attribute to the owner the intention either to continue the relationship of landlord and tenant or to create a new tenancy. The writ proceedings initiated by the tenant questioning the legality of the order of the Government, the hot contest made by the landlord therein and the landlord filing a suit immediately after the order of exemption passed by the Government completely repeal any notion of the relationship of landlord and tenant.

17. The circumstance that in the receipts issued by the owner, the word 'rent? is used is not decisive of the question.

18. In this connection, reference may be made to the latest decision of the Supreme Court in Ramamurthy Subudhi v. Gopinath : [1967]2SCR559 . That case dealt with the question whether the relationship between the parties was that of landlord and tenant or that of licensor or licensee. In that case, the suit in ejectment, after the termination of the tenancy, was compromised, under which it is specifically provided that the tenant should vacate the house in question after a period of five years and that he should pay all arrears of rent claimed in the suit and also pay future rent promptly with a condition that, if the tenant committed default to pay rent for three consecutive months, the landlord would be entitled to obtain possession of the house. The question arose whether this compromise created a relationship of landlord ana tenant so as to attract the provisions of the Orissa House Rent Control Act. In determining the intention of the parties, the Supreme Court pointed out that the fact that the owner had brought the suit in ejectment was an important circumstance in the view that when the landlord had brought the suit his intention was manifest that he was keen about ejecting the lessee after having terminated the tenancy, and it was difficult to impute thereafter an intention to the lessor to create a fresh tenancy. Commenting upon the use of the word 'rent' in the memorandum of compromise, the Supreme Court observed:

'Coming to the terms of the compromise, it is true as stressed by the learned counsel for the respondent that the word 'rent' has been used, but the word 'rent' is not conclusive for, as observed by this Court in State of Punjab v. British India Corporation Ltd. : [1964]2SCR114 , in its wider sense rent means any payment made for the use of land or buildings and thus includes the payment by a licensee in respect of the use and occupation of any land or building. In its narrower sense it means payment made by tenant to landlord for property demised to him.'

The principle of this decision completely governs the instant case, both on the question of the effect of the suit in ejectment and the effect of the receipts passed using the word 'rent*.

19. I shall next refer to another recent decision of the Supreme Court, in : [1968]2SCR20 . In that decision, too, the Supreme Court pointed out that under Section 113 of the Transfer of Property Act the act which operates as a waiver must show an intention to treat the lease as subsisting and other party's consent, express or implied therefor. In that case the tenants, who were holding over, issued, on 12th August, 1953, a notice to the landlord of their intention to vacate the premises on 31st August, 1953. But by their letter, dated 28th August they withdrew that notice. The landlord did not agree to the withdrawal of the notice and insisted that the lease had been determine under Section 111(h) of the Transfer of Property Act. Dealing with the question of waiver, the Supreme Court observed as follows:--

'Clearly Section 113 contemplates waiver of the notice by any act on the part of the person giving it, if, such an act shows an intention to treat the lease as subsisting and the other party gives his consent.....express or implied therefor. The law under the Transfer of Property Act on the question in hand is not different from the law in England. Once a notice is served determining the tenancy or showing an intention to quit on the expiry of the period of the notice, the tenancy is at an end, unless with the consent of the other party to whom the notice is given the tenancy is agreed to be treated as subsisting.'

20. Reference may also be made to the decision in Clarke v. Grant, (1949) 1 All ER 768, in which after valid notice to terminate the lease the agent of the landlord accepted the rent in the mistaken belief that it was for a period prior to the notice, determining the lease. It was held that it did not amount to waiver. It is true that the mistake on the part of the agent when he received the rent is an important distinguishing feature, of that case but what is relevant is the perspective of approach of Lord Goddard, C. J., as to the consequence of the receipt of rent. The distinction between the receipt of rent in the case of a forfeiture before determining the lease and the receipt of rent after the determination of the lease was pointed out in these terms:

'If one may say so with respect to the learned Deputy Judge, he fell into the error of confusing an acceptance of rent after a notice to quit with an acceptance of rent after notice that an act of forfeiture has been committed. If a landlord seeks to recover possession of property on the ground that breach of covenant has entitled him to a forfeiture, it has always been held that acceptance of rent after notice waives the forfeiture, the reason being that in the case of a forfeiture the landlord has the option of saying whether or not he will treat the breach of covenant as a forfeiture. The lease is voidable, not void, and if the landlord accepts rent after notice of a forfeiture it has always been held that he thereby acknowledges or recognises that the lease is continuing. With regard to the payment of rent after a notice to quit however that result has never followed. If a proper notice to quit has been given in respect of a periodic tenancy, such as a yearly tenancy, the effect of the notice is to bring the tenancy to an end just as effectually as if there has been a term which has expired. Therefore, the tenancy having been brought to an end by a notice to quit, a payment of rent after the termination of the tenancy would only operate in favour of the tenant if it could be shown that the parties intended that there should be a new tenancy.'

That has been the law ever since it was laid down by the Court of King's Bench in Doe d. Cheny v. Batten, (1775) 1 Cowp 243, where Lord Mansfield said:

'The question therefore is, quo animo the rent was received, and what the real intention of both parties was?'

It is impossible to say that the parties in this case intended that there should be a new tenancy. The landlord always desired to get possession of the premises. That is why he gave his notice to quit. The mere mistake of his agent in accepting the money as rent which had accrued is no evidence that the landlord was agreeing to a new tenancy.'

21. In the instant case there can be no doubt, that quo animo when the rent was received during the pendency of the suit was not to have the relationship of landlord and tenant.

22. I may next refer to the Bench decision of the Bombay High Court in Navnitlal v. Baburao, : AIR1945Bom132 . In that case, the Rent Court released the house for the personal use of the landlord and he filed a suit in ejectment after serving upon the tenant the requisite notice to quit. The tenant sent a cheque expressly stating as rent but the landlord in the receipt, noted that he received it as compensation for use and occupation. On behalf of the tenant emphasis was laid on the absence of a proviso in Section 113 of the Transfer of Property Act corresponding to the second proviso to Section 112. But this argument was not accepted and the Bench held that the test in all these cases is the intention at the time when the payment is received, i.e., was the act of the landlord one from which one can impute the intention of creating a renewal of tenancy. Stone, C. J., pointed out that in the case of acceptance of rent subsequent to the notice to quit by the landlord is inaccurately referred to as the waiver of a notice to quit but that the correct view is that it is the creation of a new agreement. The decision of Buckland, J., in : AIR1926Cal763 was referred to but not followed. Kania, J. (as he then was), who delivered a concurring judgment and observed that in the matter of effect of acceptance of rent after notice to quit, there was no difference between the Indian Law, i.e., the provision in Section 113 of the Transfer of Property Act, and the English Law. The learned Judge also rejected the argument that by reason of the absence of a proviso in Section 113, the Legislature should be deemed to have made a departure from Section 112; it was also pointed out that the phraseology of Section 113 is not strictly accurate. That receipt of rent cannot be separated and divorced from the intention to treat the lease as subsisting was pointed out in these terms:--

'In my opinion, this line of argument is faulty, because it attempts to split the provision of Section 113 in two parts. It is an attempt to read in Section 113 the words 'by acceptance of rent' as an act resulting absolutely in the waiver of the notice to quit, irrespective of the question whether there was an intention to treat the lease as subsisting or not.'

I may also add that the relevant discussion in this Bench decision of the Bombay High Court, attention is focussed mainly on the question of the effect of receipt and not on the note made by the landlord that the receipt of the money was as compensation. Even the recital, whether as rent or 'as compensation' is not decisive in view of the decision of the Supreme Court in : [1967]2SCR559 , referred to earlier.

23. Reference must next be made to the decision in Kamlapat Sahai v. Mt. Manho Bibi, . In this case the landlord instituted a suit in ejectment and obtained a decree. The question arose whether payment of rent in pursuance of an arrangement in the appellate Court in the matter of stay of execution amounted to waiver when payments were received as rent. The decision in : AIR1926Cal763 was referred to and dissented. Kidwai, J., delivering the judgment observed that once the suit has been instituted it cannot possibly be said that the lessor had manifested the intention that the lease was subsisting. It was observed that the word 'rent' was misused in the receipt and would not indicate that notice to quit had been waived. The importance of this decision is that when a landlord and the tenant have been engaged in a serious fight in Court proceedings asserting rival contentions, it was impossible in that background to impute to the lessor an intention to treat the lease as subsisting. The principle of this decision directly applies to the instant case.

24. In Ilahibux v. Munir Khan, AIR 1953 Nag 219, in which the facts were similar, the same view was taken observing that the test was, if the tenant had insisted upon withdrawal of the suit in ejectment treating the relationship of landlord and tenant as subsisting, would the landlord have agreed. It was observed that the act of the landlord ought, in the light of the circumstances in the case, lead to the irresistible conclusion that he had given up the rights asserted by him in the proceedings and that when parties are litigating their rights in Court those rights could not be affected except by an express contract between them to the effect that the rights asserted in the suit by the plaintiff ana denied by the defendant had been adjusted either out of Court or through the intervention of the Court.

25. I may now refer to the decision of the Calcutta High Court in Mahadeo Prasad v. Sulekha Sarkar : AIR1954Cal404 , in which the view of Buckland J., was not followed. In that case the landlord after a valid notice to quit brought a suit and obtained a decree in ejectment, the tenant's claim for protection under the Rent Control Law having been negatived. During the pendency of the appeal by the tenant, the landlord accepted rent from the tenant who desired to be relieved from the bother of depositing the rent under the procedure provided in the Rent Control Act. It was held that under the circumstances, payment and acceptance of rent was not with the intention of renewing or reviving or continuing the old tenancy or creating a new one. It was also held that independently of the representation of the tenant that he made the payment to the landlord merely as a matter of convenience the legal position was the same and there was no waiver as there was not the requisite consensus ad idem to treat the lease as subsisting. With regard to Illustration (a) to Section 113, it was pointed out that it is only in the absence of any indication pointing reasonably to a contrary intention mat the acceptance of rent would amount to waiver. In this decision the decision of Buckland J., in : AIR1926Cal763 was not only referred to but the criticism of Stone, C.J., in : AIR1945Bom132 was also referred to with approval. This decision clearly emphasises that the fundamental principle in the doctrine of waiver is the intention of relinquishment of a known right, and that an act by itself would not amount to waiver. This decision was followed and approved in a Bench decision reported in the same volume in Panchanan v. Haridas : AIR1954Cal460 , in which also the decision of Buckland J., in : AIR1926Cal763 was referred to and dissented. In that case, after notice to quit, the payment of rent was made and received. The tenant made the payment in pursuance of the Rent Control Act and the landlord received it. The Bench pointed out that mere acceptance of rent was not decisive but the intention was the important factor and the circumstance that it was paid under the provisions of the Rent Control Act, leaving no option to the landlord repelled any intention on his part, to treat the lease as subsisting. The point to be noticed in this decision and other decisions where payments were made and received under the Rent Control Act is that those decisions emphasise that the governing factor is the intention and not mere receipt, divorced from the other circumstances of the case. The Bench pointed out that it is for the tenant to establish that there was an intention to treat the lease as subsisting and that the circumstance under which the rent was paid and received was the important consideration and not the mere payment.

26. In Pullin Behari v. Miss Lila Dey : AIR1957Cal627 , the same view was taken and the decision in : AIR1954Cal404 was approved and followed. While referring to this decision, I may add that there are observations in that judgment that there is some difference between the English Law and the Indian Law in view of the language employed in Section 113 of the Transfer of Property Act, which I have already indicated is not quite happy. That apart, the recent decisions of the Supreme Court in : [1968]2SCR20 have made it clear that Section 113 of the Transfer of Property Act there is really no difference between Indian and English Law.

27. In Moti Lal v. Basant Lal : AIR1956All175 , it was held that no question of waiver arises after the landlord has brought a suit after issuing a valid notice determining the lease. It was observed as follows:--

'As will appear from the language of Section 113, a waiver can be brought about by the action of the landlord if after determining the tenancy by notice the landlord chooses to accept the rent again from the tenant. In such an event under Section 113 of the Transfer of Property Act, a notice for determination of the lease already given by the landlord to the tenant will be deemed to have been waived. No question of waiver arises after the landlord has brought a suit on the basis of a valid notice given for determination of the lease. After such a suit has been brought, there can be no waiver, though it is always open to a landlord to renew the lease at any time he pleases. I do not, therefore, think that any question of waiver arises in this case,'

28. In Harbhajan Singh v. Munshi Ram , the same view was taken emphasising that the question of waiver is one of intention and that mere acceptance of rent after the expiration of the notice to quit is not in itself a waiver but that it is merely a circumstance which will have to be considered along with other facts of the case bearing upon the question of intention of the lessor. The circumstances relied upon in that case repelling any inference of waiver was, the Court proceedings instituted by the landlord to recover possession.

29. The Patna High Court also has taken the same view in Zaffar Hussain v. Mahabir Prasad : AIR1957Pat206 , that acceptance of rent by the landlord after the issue of notice to quit by itself would not constitute waiver and that there must be evidence of consensus ad idem between the parties to continue their relationship as creating a new tenancy. The view taken by the earlier Bench decision of the same High Court in Wali Ahmad v. Mt. Hussaini, AIR 1917 Pat 469 was followed. In : AIR1957Pat206 , the notice to quit was given on 11th January, 1954, and application for eviction was filed in June, 1954, the complaint of the landlord being that the tenant defaulted to pay rent from November, 1953 to May, 1954, and the question was whether the claim for rent for the period subsequent to the termination of the lease by notice to quit amounted to waiver. The Bench held that it must be shown by independent evidence that the landlord has attempted to continue the relationship of landlord and tenant and that in the absence of such evidence, a mere claim for rent would not be sufficient. In the earlier case in AIR 1917 Pat 469, the Bench had held that the institution of a suit in ejectment is an unequivocal declaration of an intention to determine the tenancy and the inclusion of a claim for rent in such a suit should not be held to he a waiver, but the claim for rent must be understood as a claim for damages for wrongful occupation. In Puran Mal v. Onkar Nath : AIR1959Pat128 , notice to quit was given by the landlord on 1st June, 1946, and a suit in ejectment was filed in November, 1946, in which there was also a claim for arrears of rent from February, 1946, up to the date of suit and future profits. A second suit for the same relief was filed in December, 1949, claiming arrears of rent from December, 1946 to November, 1949. Both the suits in which there was a denial of title were decreed. In the High Court, the plaintiff was permitted to amend the plaint deleting the claim for rent. On behalf of the tenant, an argument was advanced that, notwithstanding the deletion of the prayer for recovery of rent, the landlord must be deemed to have waived in view of his having previously claimed rent in both the suits for the period subsequent to the notice to quit. The Bench held that the question of waiver was essentially a question of intention and the action of the landlord should manifest an intention to keep the lease still subsisting. The matter was stated thus;

'Further, as will appear from the above, the question whether or not there was waiver of notice to quit is purely a question of intention of the parties. It is quite manifest from the provisions of Section 113 that in order to constitute waiver there must be an intention not only on the part of the lessor but also on the lessee to treat the lease as subsisting. In order, therefore, to determine whether or not in a particular case there was waiver of notice to quit one has to see whether from the contract of the landlord and tenant, by demand and acceptance of rent or by demand followed by express promise to pay, or otherwise an intention to treat the lease as subsisting can be inferred, and this would certainly depend upon the facts and circumstances of each case.

When it is question of intention it is plain that not even the payment and acceptance of rent by the landlord after the notice to quit, much less a mere demand of rent, necessarily waives the notice. The question under Section 113 is whether the act of landlord, manifested either by acceptance of rent or by demand of rent, is such as necessarily leads to the inference that there was an intention of creating a renewal of the tenancy or as treating the tenancy, as still subsisting. Therefore, neither the acceptance of rent nor the demand of rent is conclusive on the question of waiver. It is a question of fact to be determined in each case.'

30. I may next refer to the decision of the Single Judge in Ram Dayal v. Jawala Prasad, AIR 1966 All 623, where during the pendency of the suit in ejectment, the landlord received rent from the tenant and the learned Judge referred to and followed the decision of Buckland, J., in : AIR1926Cal763 , taking the view mat the mere act of receiving the rent was sufficient to constitute waiver though such a receipt was made during the pendency of the suit. There is no reference to any other decision and discussion. With respect, I am of the view that this decision is not of much assistance as a precedent.

31. Learned Counsel for the appellant relied upon the Bench decision in Kapur Chand v. Kanji : AIR1959AP346 , of the Andhra Pradesh High Court where the landlord has received rent from the tenant after notice to quit. There, before the matter came to the High Court, there was a remand earlier and on remand the lower appellate Court had found on the evidence that the landlord accepted the rent for several months after the notice to quit with the intention of treating the lease as subsisting. On this finding, 3 I may say so, it was rightly held that the landlord cannot eject the tenant. The decision in Kai Khurshroo v. Bai Jerbai , turned upon the peculiar facts of that case and there was a difference of opinion, Patanjali Sastri, J., as he then was, taking a different view. There, after notice to quit, defendants 2 and 3 who claimed to be sub-tenants insisted upon continuing in possession and paid the rent month after month. The majority took the view that the landlord had obvious motive in receiving the payments of rent after a particular period i. e. the appointment of a receiver of the property of the mortgagor at the instance of his mortgagee. Having regard to the uniform view taken in all the decisions, both Indian and English, I am not inclined to interpret this decision of the Federal Court as an authority for the position that the payments and receipt of rent as such in every circumstance would amount to waiver, whatever may be the circumstances of the case and the intention of the lessor. It is significant to refer to the following observations to show the crucial distinguishing feature in that case:

'There was obviously a change when the second set of cheques were sent to the plaintiff in November, 1942. This time they were not returned to the defendants and the plaintiff kept them in his hands for some time and then sent them on to his bankers. Curiously enough this synchronizes with the appointment of a Receiver by the mortgagees who was to take possession of the house on 20th November, 1942. It may be that it was this circumstance which brought about a change in the mind of the plaintiff.'

That the Supreme Court regarded the intention of the parties as important is clear from the decision in : [1951]2SCR560 , already referred to, in which the Supreme Court has adverted to the significance of the context in which the payment was made and received. In the decision of the Federal Court emphasis was laid that when the tenant made the payment, he used the word 'rent' in the letter which accompanied the cheque. In the latest decision of the Supreme Court already referred to in : [1967]2SCR559 , the Supreme Court had observed that the use of the word 'rent' was not conclusive. For all these reasons I am of the view that the decision of the Federal Court in Kapadia's case must be restricted to the facts of that case and not laying down a general proposition contrary to the plain language in Section 113 of the Transfer of Property Act in which the intention to treat the lease as subsisting is clearly emphasised, I may also add that in Abdul Jameel v. Simson and Machonochy Ltd. (1967) 1 MLJ 837, I have held that if a contractual tenancy comes to an end by efflux of time and if the tenant continues in possession and the landlord accepts the rent after such expiration that will not afford ground for holding that the landlord has assented to a new contractual tenancy. The observations of the Supreme Court in Ganga Dutt v. Kartik Chandra Das : [1961]3SCR813 . as extracted in the above decision would show that the Supreme Court was already of the view that after the determination of the tenancy, possession of the tenant must be in pursuance of any contract, express or implied, thereby emphasising that the paramount consideration is the intention of the parties concerned and not any physical act of omission or commission.

32. The result is the second appeal is dismissed with costs. No leave.


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