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R. Govindaswami Naidu Vs. G. Pushpalammal and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectTenancy
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCivil Misc. Petn. No. 2365 of 1951
Judge
Reported inAIR1952Mad181; (1951)2MLJ591
ActsMadras Buildings (Lease and Rent Control) Act, 1946 - Sections 7(2) and 7(3)
AppellantR. Govindaswami Naidu
RespondentG. Pushpalammal and anr.
Appellant AdvocateV.V. Srinivasa Ayyangar and ;V. Devarajan, Advs.
Respondent AdvocateG. Chandrasekhara Sastri, ;K. Varadachari and ;G. Venkatesiya, Advs.
Excerpt:
- - apparently because of this he was satisfied that the tenant had by demolishing impaired materially the value and utility of the building. 3. the nest point urged before us -and which we think is clearly sustainable -is that the finding of the rent controller and the appellate tribunal that the tenant has committed an act of waste as is likely to impair materially the value or utility of the building is not a finding based on any evidence in the case and therefore neither tribunal has really determined the main issue which fell to be determined in this case......husband gave evidence as p. w. 1 and three witnesses were examined on behalf of the tenant. the rent controller also appears to have made an inspection of the premises in the presence of p. w. 1 and the respondent. the bent controller found that one wall which separated the western room from the main hall in the front yard of the suit building had been removed leaving only the wooden door frame intact. this finding of fact was also based upon the evidence of the landlady's busband and it must be accepted. there is no finding either of the bent controller or of the appellate tribunal as to the rafters. the rent controller came to the conclusion that the wall which had been demolished had also been to some extent a support to the tiled roof above. apparently because of this he was.....
Judgment:

Rajamannar, C.J.

1. This application relates to the petitioner's occupation of house No. 7, Rama-krishna Street, G. T. Madras as a tenant under the respondent. He originally entered on the premises on or about 1-11-1944 and it is common ground that the premises were let to him for manufacturing peppermints. On 16-1-1950 the landlady issued a notice to the petitioner through her advocate calling upon him to vacate and deliver vacant possession of the house on the ground that ho had committed acts of waste. The acts mentioned in that notice were that he had demolished the wall of the inside room in the front yard and removed the threshold and doorway and converted the room into one big hall and that he had removed the rafters and inserted in their places bamboo sticks. The reply to this notice contained several matters not strictly pertaining to the disposal of the application before us, but it was alleged therein that the notice was not issued 'bona fide' as it was full of falsehoods, but it was issued maliciously with a view to extort money and blackmail him. As regards the charge about removal of the rafters, the tenant stated that it was at the instance of the landlady that he substituted bamboo rafters in place of rotten palmyra ones. He also alleged that the alterations and other necessary repairs were done by him with the consent and at the instance of the landlady. On 14-2-1950 the landlady filed a petition under Sections 7(2) and (3) of Madras Act XV of 1946 for eviction of the petitioner. The material portion of this petition is paragraph 7 in which it was alleged that without the knowledge and consent of the landlady er her husband, the tenant had demolished the wall of the inside room in the front compartment and removed the threshold and doorway and converted the room into a big hall and that he had further removed several rafters and inserted in their place bamboo sticks. In paragraph 8 it was stated that by reason of such demolition and alteration in the building the respondent had committed serious acts of waste which had materially impaired the value of the building. Before the Bent Controller the landlady's husband gave evidence as P. W. 1 and three witnesses were examined on behalf of the tenant. The Rent Controller also appears to have made an inspection of the premises in the presence of P. w. 1 and the respondent. The Bent Controller found that one wall which separated the western room from the main hall in the front yard of the suit building had been removed leaving only the wooden door frame intact. This finding of fact was also based upon the evidence of the landlady's busband and it must be accepted. There is no finding either of the Bent Controller or of the appellate tribunal as to the rafters. The Rent Controller came to the conclusion that the wall which had been demolished had also been to some extent a support to the tiled roof above. Apparently because of this he was satisfied that the tenant had by demolishing impaired materially the value and utility of the building. He therefore passed an order for eviction. There was an appeal by the tenant and the appellate tribunal dis-missed the appeal. The learned Judge held that there could be no dispute about the demolition of the wall. He concluded -- as did the Rent Controller-- that the wall must have been a sup-port to the roof above and its removal must amount to less protection for the roof which thereby would put the house in a dangerous condition. He was therefore of the opinion that the tenant was guilty of an act which impaired the value and utility of the building. The application now before us has been filed by the tenant to quash the orders of the Bent Controller and the appellate tribunal.

2. Several points were raised before us by Mr. Srinivasa Ayyangar, learned counsel for the tenant. The first point was that there is no definite finding that the act of waste alleged was done after the coming into force of Madras Act XV of 1946 and in the absence of such a finding the petition for eviction was not maintainable. It is true that there is no definite finding, but we do not wish to say anything further on this point as we think that the application must be heard and disposed of afresh in the view we are taking on another point.

3. The nest point urged before us --and which we think is clearly sustainable -- is that the finding of the Rent Controller and the appellate tribunal that the tenant has committed an act of waste as is likely to impair materially the value or utility of the building is not a finding based on any evidence in the case and therefore neither tribunal has really determined the main issue which fell to be determined in this case. It is obvious that every act of waste will not entitle the landlord to obtain an order of eviction under the provisions with which we are now concerned. It is equally clear that it cannot be laid down as a rule of law that a demolition of any wall in a building must necessarily be deemed to be an act of waste which is likely to impair materially the value or utility of the building. A finding on this point is a finding which must be based upon the particular facts as emerge from the evidence that is adduced in the case. In the present case before us there is almost complete absence of material relevant to the determination of this main question. The landlady's husband gave evidence as P. W. 1 and he contended himself with saying that the act of the respondent would impair materially the value or utility of the building. He did not choose to say how and why. There is no other evidence adduced on he-half of the landlady. Mr. Chandrasekhara Sastri for the respondent strongly relied upon two other facts in addition to the oral testimony of P. W. I to support the decisions of the two tribunals. The first is the fact that the Rent Controller made a local inspection in the presence of the concerned parties and formed the impression that the demolition was an act of waste likely to Impair materially either the value or the utility of the building. We have not been able to find among the records any notes of the local Inspection which the Rent Controller made. In the absence of such notes, it is difficult to ascertain from the order Itself on what facts he came to the conclusion that the demolition must have resulted In impairing the value or utility of the building. In cases where the Rent Controller makes a local inspection, it is desirable -- and it will be useful also at the further stages of the case -- that he makes notes of the inspection forthwith to the knowledge of the parties and counsel who may be present at the time. This procedure will help the parties to know the impressions which the officer had formed as a result of the local inspection and this knowledge will enable them to adduce such evidence as they may choose to support or controvert the Impressions of the officer. In this case, as already mentioned, there are no notes of inspection. The other fact relied upon by the respondent's counsel was that the allegation in the notice which was issued before the filing of the petition was not denied by the tenant. We are unable to find anything in the reply notice of the tenant which could be utilised as an admission by him that any act of his was likely to impair materially the value or utility of the building.

4. In the circumstances we do not think weshould sustain an order of eviction based upon afinding which cannot be deemed to be a properfinding in law. We therefore quash the orders ofthe Rent Controller and the appellate tribunalwith the result that the petition for eviction filedby the respondent will stand restored to the fileof the Rent Controller. The parties will be at libertyto adduce fresh evidence if they chose to. In thecircumstances of the case there will be no ordersas to costs.


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