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Adhu Vs. V.M. Palaniswamy Gounder - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectTenancy
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Case NumberC.R.P. No. 877 of 1975
Judge
Reported inAIR1978Mad144; (1978)1MLJ16
ActsTamil Nadu Buildings (Lease and Rent Control) Act, 1960 - Sections 2(2)
AppellantAdhu
RespondentV.M. Palaniswamy Gounder
Appellant AdvocateS. Nainar Sundaram, Adv.
Respondent AdvocateM.R. Narayanaswami, Adv.
DispositionPetition dismissed
Cases ReferredPalaniappa Chettiar v. Vairavan Chettiar
Excerpt:
- - i have no doubt in my mind that this theory of dominant intention can never be imported into the definition extracted above, which is clearly worded without any ambiguity whatsoever......of the tamil nadu act 23 of 1973 would not take such a lease. in support of this argument, the learned counsel for the petitioner cites the decisions in palaniappa chettiar v. vairavan chettiar, 1960 1 mlj 29 and jugal kishori devi v. ashok mills, : air1961pat330 . the mere existence of a masonry structure would not mean that it would constitute a building within the meaning of the act since that was a negligible portion. under similar circumstances, the patna high court has ruled concerning the definition in the patna act that the rent control court would not have jurisdiction. therefore, that reasoning will have to prevail. from that point of view, the orders of the courts below are unsustainable.2. mr. m. r. narayanaswami, learned counsel for the respondent, would draw my.....
Judgment:
ORDER

Mohan, J.

1. The revision petitioner, a tenant undaunted by the failures in all the courts below, has come up to this court challenging the validity of an order of eviction passed against him in R. C. O. P. 430 of 1965 which was confirmed by the lower authorities both in appeal and revision. He challenges the order on the ground that what was demised in his favour was a mere extensive vacant site to enable him to run a timber depot. The mere fact that there exists a masonry structure, which the learned-counsel for the petitioner (Mr. Nainar Sundaram) admits, will not clothe the Kent Controller with the jurisdiction to proceed with the matter under the Tamil Nadu Buildings (Lease and Rent Control) Act, 1960, as amended by Tamil Nadu Act 23 of 1973. According to him, if the dominant intention was to carry on timber depot, the definition 'building' under Section 2(2) of the Tamil Nadu Act 23 of 1973 would not take such a lease. In support of this argument, the learned counsel for the petitioner cites the decisions in Palaniappa Chettiar v. Vairavan Chettiar, 1960 1 MLJ 29 and Jugal Kishori Devi v. Ashok Mills, : AIR1961Pat330 . The mere existence of a masonry structure would not mean that it would constitute a building within the meaning of the Act since that was a negligible portion. Under similar circumstances, the Patna High Court has ruled concerning the definition in the Patna Act that the Rent Control Court would not have jurisdiction. Therefore, that reasoning will have to prevail. From that point of view, the orders of the courts below are unsustainable.

2. Mr. M. R. Narayanaswami, learned counsel for the respondent, would draw my attention to the definition of 'building' occurring in Section 2(2) of the Tamil Nadu Buildings (Lease and Rent Control) Act, and state that there is absolutely no warrant to import the theory of dominant intention. On the contrary, the definition of 'building' is unambiguous and clear, it being an inclusive definition. The fact that it includes the garden, grounds and out-houses let along with the building would be enough to attract the jurisdiction of the Rent Controller. Whatever may be the view of the Patna High Court, so long as this definition is clear and unambiguous, there is no scope for applying the theory of dominant intention. The decision in Palaniappa Chettiar v. Vairavan Chettiar, 1960 1 MLJ 29 merely defines the word 'appurtenant' and that is not relevant to the facts of this case. Finally it is submitted that when the finding relating to the bona fide requirement of the landlord under Section 14(1)(b) of the Tamil Nadu Buildings (Lease and Rent Control) Act 18 of 1960, as amended by the Tamil Nadu Act 23 Of 1973, had not been disputed, it would only mean that the jurisdiction of the Rent Controller had been conceded 'because the landlord in that application sought to demolish and reconstruct his building.

3. In order to appreciate the points involved in this revision, I need refer to the definition of 'building' occurring in Section 2(2) of the Tamil Nadu Buildings (Lease and Rent Control) Act which reads as follows-

'2 (2) 'building' means any building Or hut or part of a building or hut, let or to be let separately for residential or non-residential purposes and includes (a) the garden, grounds and out-houses, if any, appurtenant to such building, hut or part of such building or hut and let or to be let along with such building or hut .....'

The first thing that requires to be noted is that it is an inclusive definition, as rightly pointed out by the learned counsel for the respondent-landlord. The reason why I want to rather stress this aspect is, because it is a definition in favour of the landlord so that the matter may be put beyond controversy where the building alone is let if there is a garden or ground or out-house appurtenant to or let separate along with such building they would also be taken in and the jurisdiction of the Rent Controller cannot be ousted on that ground. In the instant case, the learned counsel for the petitioner does not dispute the existence of the masonry structure which as of fact has been found by the Commissioner, appointed by the court below. Whatever it may be, I proceed on the basis that a masonry structure does exist. A perusal of the lease deed also discloses that the masonry structure formed part of the demise. However, what is contended by the learned counsel for the petitioner is that in an extensive land, the mere existence of a masonry structure which is on a negligible portion does not clothe the Rent Controller with the jurisdiction. Therefore, the theory of dominant intention must be applied. I have no doubt in my mind that this theory of dominant intention can never be imported into the definition extracted above, which is clearly worded without any ambiguity whatsoever. There is no question of a building being appurtenant to a land. That apart if the buildings were let along with the ground, having regard to the inclusive definitions, the meaning of the building gets expanded. In this view, I am with great respect unable to agree with the view taken by the learned Judges of the Patna High Court. Whatever may be the definition in the Act, I see no warrant to bring in the theory of dominant intention. Nor again, can there be any such thing as composite lease. The demised portion consists of land and building. The existence of the building which is undoubtedly a part of the demise does clothe the Rent Controller with the jurisdiction. The decision in Palaniappa Chettiar v. Vairavan Chettiar, 1960 1 MLJ 29 does not afford any assistance to the petitioner since that case merely dealt with the meaning of 'appurtenant'. Nor again, am I able to agree with the learned counsel for the petitioner that it must be proved by the landlord that the demised land is appurtenant to the building. I say so because the definition includes even the land let along with such building. In the instant case, at the risk of repetition, I must say that both the land and the masonry structure formed part of the single demise. Therefore, I find it very difficult to appreciate, the argument of the learned counsel for the petitioner that the existence of the building on a negligible portion when extensive land has been demised for the purpose of running a timber depot, would take out the jurisdiction of the Rent Controller.

4. Added to this, I find that when the landlord filed the petition for demolition and reconstruction of the building, the tenant did not question the maintainability as seen from the judgment of the revisional authority. This is an added point in favour of the respondent.

5. As rightly pointed out by the learned revisional authority (District Judge) that this case has a chequered career, I am not inclined to grant more than one month's time to hand over vacant possession.

6. The revision will stand dismissed with costs. Time to vacate one month.


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