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V. Gopal Stores by Proprietor, V. Gopal Vs. A. Arunachala Naicker - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectTenancy
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Reported in(1958)2MLJ617
AppellantV. Gopal Stores by Proprietor, V. Gopal
RespondentA. Arunachala Naicker
Cases ReferredMeenakshi v. Hari Narayanachar
Excerpt:
.....which authorised the eviction of a tenant if he was convicted of so using the premises. we are not concerned with any statute which entails forfeiture of tenancy for the use of the premises let out for an illegal or immoral purpose even so it is admitted that in the present case that no illegal act was committed by the tenant as he had obtained the necessary licence for selling crackers from the police as well as from the corporation authorities the question in the present case is not whether the tenant was guilty of an offence and whether such offence if committed would entail a forfeiture of the tenancy but a limited one whether the premises has been put to a different user other than that for which it was let. it is usual that such side businesses are carried on during important..........the safety of the premises and that in view of the fact that the landlord had not consented to the tenant selling crackers, the tenant was liable to be evicted in support of his contention he relied on a decision of the english court reported in schneiders & sons ltd. v. abraham l.r. (1925) 1 k.b. 301. there the landlords of a dwellmg house which came within the purview of rent and mortgage restriction act, 1923, gave their tenant notice to quit. before the date of the notice the tenant had been convicted under section 33 of the larceny act of 1916 of receiving at the demised premises certain property of the landlords well knowing the same to have been stolen it was held that the tenant having made use of the premises in order to commit the crime of which he had been convicted used the.....
Judgment:

Ramachandra Iyer, J.

1. This is a revision at the instance of the landlord of premises No. 543, Pycrofts Road, Triplicane, Madras, against the order of the Court of Small Causes which set aside an order of eviction passed by the Rent Controller. The building in question is a non-residential one. It was leased to the respondent for doing business in betel leaves. The case for the petitioner is that by selling crackers in the premises during Deepavali season without the landlord's consent the tenant used the premises for a purpose other than that for which it was let out to him. He therefore, prayed for eviction of the tenant under Section 7(3)(ii)(b) of the Madras Act XXV of 1949 The tenant admitted that in a small portion of the premiss let out to him he did business in selling crackers during Deepavali season of 1954 and 1955- His case, however, was that the tenancy was for doing business generally and was not restricted only to the sale of betel leaves and secondly the petitioner himself acquiesced m his selling crackers which is the practice in this country by shopkeepers during Deepavali season The Rent Controller accepted the else of the landlord and ordered eviction. On appeal the Appellate Authority held that selling of crackers for a month or two during Deepavali season while at the same time the main business of selling betel leaves was being carried on would not amount to a user for a different purpose The landlord has filed the above revision petition against the order of the Appellate Authority.

2. Mr. R. Kesava Iyengar, for the petitioner, contended, that the respondent has put the premises let out to him to a use different from the one for which it was intended at the time of granting the lease. He also submitted that selling of crackers would involve danger to the safety of the premises and that in view of the safety of the premises and that in view of the fact that the landlord had not consented to the tenant selling crackers, the tenant was liable to be evicted In support of his contention he relied on a decision of the English Court reported in Schneiders & Sons Ltd. v. Abraham L.R. (1925) 1 K.B. 301. There the landlords of a dwellmg house which came within the purview of Rent and Mortgage Restriction Act, 1923, gave their tenant notice to quit. Before the date of the notice the tenant had been convicted under Section 33 of the Larceny Act of 1916 of receiving at the demised premises certain property of the landlords Well knowing the same to have been stolen It was held that the tenant having made use of the premises in order to commit the crime of which he had been convicted used the premises for an illegal purpose within the meaning of Section 4 of the Act of 1923 which authorised the eviction of a tenant if he was convicted of so using the premises. It was held that for the application of Section 4 of the Act an isolated act of user for an illegal purpose would be sumcient and a continuous user for such a purpose was not necessary That decision was based upon the provisions of Section 4 of Rent and Mortgage Restriction Act, 1923, which entailed eviction if the tenant or any person residing or lodging with him or his sub-tenant has been guilty of allowing the premises to be used for an immoral or illegal purpose and it was held that a tenant who used the premises for depositing of stolen goods and was convicted of the offence would come within the provisions of that section. The learned advocate for the petitioner also made reference to the decision Jayanti Lal v. Dayaram A.I.R. 1955 Bom. 3 in support of the proposition that a tenant who has been convicted of using the premises let out for an illegal purpose could be evicted under the appropriate provision of the Bomaby Hotel and Lodging House Rates Control Act of 1947. Section 13(1)(c) of that Act provided for eviction of a tenant if he allowed the premises to be used for an immoral or illegal purpose The tenant in the case cited was prosecuted for an offence under the Bombay Prohibition Act, the offence being one of possession of liquor and it was held that it came within the mischief of Section 13(1)(c) of the former Act. In my opinion these two cases have no application to the present case. We are not concerned with any statute which entails forfeiture of tenancy for the use of the premises let out for an illegal or immoral purpose Even so it is admitted that in the present case that no illegal act was committed by the tenant as he had obtained the necessary licence for selling crackers from the Police as well as from the Corporation Authorities The question in the present case is not whether the tenant was guilty of an offence and whether such offence if committed would entail a forfeiture of the tenancy but a limited one whether the premises has been put to a different user other than that for which it was let. Admittedly the premises was being used for selling betel leaves (original purpose of the tenancy) right through the year. It was only in a small portion of the premises and for a short period of time during the Deepavali season that crackers were sold. The main purpose of the tenancy continued and there Was no change in the sense of abandoning the old business and the starting of a new business It must also be noticed that there has been no prohibition by the landlord to the tenant carrying on business in crackers. It is usual that such side businesses are carried on during important festivals like Deepavali, etc., and they cannot be really construed as putting the premises to a different use.

3. In C.R.P. No. 118 of 1957 Meenakshi v. Hari Narayanachar (1957) 1 M.L.J. 55 .Basheer Ahmed Sayeed, J., held that the mere fact that in a tea-stall for which the premises was originally let, the tenant was selling some edibles would not amount to carrying on a different business. I am of the opinion that in the present case the purpose of the original tenancy has not been changed by the use of the premises for the purpose of selling crackers during Deepavali season. I must also observe that during the course of arguments the respondent offered to give an undertaking that he would not carry on the business of selling crackers in future without the consent of the landlord but the landlord would not accept such an undertaking as he wanted to have the eviction ordered as according to him he would be entitled under the law to get such an order of eviction. As stated already there was no infringement of the law and the landlord is not, therefore, entitled to the eviction order prayed for. In this view it is unnecessary to consider whether the lease was granted to the tenant for doing any business or whether it was restricted to the business in betel leaves. The order of the lower Court is correct and this Civil Revision Petition is dismissed with costs.


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