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Jayalakshmi Vs. Vijayalakshmi - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectTenancy
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Case NumberC.R.P. No. 559 of 1983
Judge
Reported inAIR1985Mad192
ActsTamil Nadu Buildings (Lease and Rent Control) Act, 1960 - Sections 14(1) and 25; Tamil Nadu Buildings (Lease and Rent Control) (Amendment) Act, 1973
AppellantJayalakshmi
RespondentVijayalakshmi
Advocates:S. Rajaram, Adv.
Cases ReferredK. P. Lonappan and Sons v. S. Mohammed Iqbal
Excerpt:
.....was ordered by the rent controller and the order was confirmed by the appellate authority. the tenant filed a revision petition in the high court. this contention on behalf of the tenant is that the sale deed in favour of the landlady has not been filed and there is no adequate evidence available on record to hold that the condition of the building is so dilapidated and requires re-construction after demolition.;the question that arose for consideration was whether the civil revision petition exhibits any point which has to be considered by admitting this petition in finding prima facie and defect or irregularity or illegality contemplated by section 25 of the tamil nadu xviiii of 1960 as amended by act xxiii of 1973.;held, it is seen from the report filed by the commissioner that..........that the landlady's relief for demolition and reconstruction of the petition mentioned remises is bona fide, the appeal as dismissed. aggrieved by the judgment of the appellate authority the tenant has come forward with this revision inter alia contending that the confirmation of the order of the rent controller, pronounced on the petition filed by the landlord for eviction under s. 14(1)(b) is incorrect and requires revision under s. 25 of tamil nadu act 18 of 1960 as amended by act 23 of 1973.2. the learned counsel for the tenant, the revision petitioner herein, contends that the sale deed in favour of the landlady has not been filed and there is no adequate evidence available on record to hold that the condition of the building is so dilapidated and requires reconstruction after.....
Judgment:
1. This is a civil revision petition filed under S. 25 of the Tamil Nadu Act 18 of 1960, as amended by Act 23 of 1973, by the tenant against the judgment of the appellate authority in R.C.A. No. 30 of 1982 d/3 -12-1982, holding that the landlady's relief for demolition and reconstruction of the petition mentioned remises is bona fide, the appeal as dismissed. Aggrieved by the judgment of the appellate authority the tenant has come forward with this revision inter alia contending that the confirmation of the order of the Rent controller, pronounced on the petition filed by the landlord for eviction under S. 14(1)(b) is incorrect and requires revision under S. 25 of Tamil nadu Act 18 of 1960 as amended by Act 23 of 1973.

2. The learned counsel for the tenant, the revision petitioner herein, contends that the sale deed in favour of the landlady has not been filed and there is no adequate evidence available on record to hold that the condition of the building is so dilapidated and requires reconstruction after demolition. In this regard, the learned counsel for the revision petitioner refers to the decision in Metalware and Co. v. Bansilat and relies on the following observation of the Supreme Court at page 1114 (of SCR) (at p. 1562 of AIR): -

"If the Rent Controller has to be satisfied about the bona fide requirement of the landlord which must mean genuineness of his claim in that behalf the Rent Controller will have to take into account all the surrounding circumstances including not merely the facts of the landlord being possessed of sufficient means or funds to undertake the project and steps taken by him in that regard but also the existing condition of the building, its age and situation and possibility or otherwise of its being put to a more profitable use after reconstruction. All these facts being relevant must enter the verdict of the Rent Controller on the question of the bona fide requirement of the landlord under S. 14(l)(b). In a sense if the building happens to be decrepit or dilapidated, it will readily make for the bona fide requirement of the landlord, though that by itself in the absence of any means being possessed by the landlord would not be sufficient. Conversely a landlord being possessed of sufficient means to undertake the project of demolition and reconstruction by itself may not be sufficient to establish his bona fide requirement if the building happens to be a very recent construction in a perfectly sound condition and its situation may prevent its being put to a more profitable use after reconstruction. In any case, these latter factors may cast a serious doubt on the landlord's bona fide requirement. It is, therefore, clear to us that the age and condition of the building would certainly be a relevant factor which will have to be taken into account while pronouncing upon the bona fide requirement of the landlord under S. 14(l)(b) of the Act and the same cannot be ignored."

The learned counsel for the petitioner also refers to para 6 at page 99 of the decision reported in Bharat Trading Co. v. Shanmughasundaram (1982) 1 Mad LJ 94 in support of his contention

"In the case reported in Pappu Amma v. Lab Chemicals and P. S. Palani Chetti , Nainar Sundaram J. held that where

the landlord has got means to carry out the work of demolition and reconstruction and where there was no finding that the building is in a sound condition so that that factor may be taken into consideration to negative the bona fides of the landlord, the landlord is entitled to an order of eviction under S. 14(l)(b) of the Act. We have to apply the principles laid down in the above decisions to the facts of this case. The landlord had proved his means beyond doubt. Apart from producing Rs. 35,000 in court, he has produced balance statement in the Bank account under Ex. A.6 which shows the balance of Rs. 9267., Apart from that the landlord had produced the sale deeds Exs. A.4, A.5 and A.7 in respect of the properties standing in his name and in the name of his wife showing that he has got the means to undertake demolition. He has submitted plans to the Corporation and had the same sanctioned under Ex. A.3 and the same had also been renewed as per Ex. A.9. The condition of the building is also such that the claim of the landlord for the purpose of demolition and reconstruction is not rendered mala fide. In dealing with a case with similar facts in the case reported in K. P. Lonappan and Sons v. S. Mohammed Iqbal ,

Gokulakrishnan O. C.J., observed, as follows : -

'In this case, there is a clear finding by the Courts below that the building is an old one and from the evidence it is clear that it had cracks on the floor and on the walls and the wooden frames are partially eaten away and have become hollow in certain places. The Courts below have also assessed the age of the building as 50 to 55 years. The fact that this building got partially damaged due to the fire accident in the adjacent building was also taken into consideration by the Courts below. On these facts, there is a definite finding that the building is an old one and it requires demolition and reconstruction. I am therefore of the opinion that the authorities below have applied their mind regarding the existing condition of the building and have correctly come to the conclusion that the building requires demolition and reconstruction."

3. The learned counsel for the tenant revision petitioner also refers to para 12 of Ex. A.3 dt. 19-12-1980, the reply notice sent by the revision petitioner herein which reads as follows :-,-

"That the building in question is in a good and excellent condition and the allegations contrary in your notice are not true."

The point for consideration is whether this civil revision petition exhibits any point, which has to be considered by admitting this civil revision petition in finding prima facie any defect or irregularity or illegality contemplated by S. 25 of the Tamil Nadu Act 18 of 1960 as amended by Act 23 of 1973.

In the instant case, it is seen that one Solaiappan, the husband of the landlady had been examined as P. W. 1 and the son of the tenant-respondent Mahalingam had been examined as R.W. 1. They have deposed comprehensively about the case of the landlady and the tenant respectively. Along with the oral evidence adduced through them, the documentary evidence available on record is Ex. P1 the plan approved by the Commissioner of Pudukottqi Municipality, Ex. P2 dt. 20-11-1980 the notice issued by the landlady through her counsel to the tenant, Ex. P 3, dt. 19-121980 the reply notice sent by the tenant through her counsel to the landlady's counsel; Ex. P4 dt. 22-7-1981, the certified copy of the plan drawn by the Commissioner appointed by the Court in R.C.O.P. 2 of 1981, Ex. P5, another plan drawn by the Commissioner in the same RC OP 2 of 1981 and Ex P 6 dt. 18-8-1980 the notice issued by the tenant through her counsel to the landlady and another. No document was filed on behalf of the tenant, the revision petitioner herein. On a consideration of the above evidence, both oral and documentary, the learned Rent Controller had held that the premises in question is required bona fide and as such the landlady is entitled to the relief prayed for by her. The learned appellate authority had also taken into consideration the contents of the various documents that were filed before the learned Rent Controller and had confirmed the decision arrived at by the learned Rent Controller.

4. In the instant case, the appellate authority had also taken into consideration the reports submitted by the Commissioner, namely Exs. A.4 and A.5. It is seen that there are five tenants in the petition mentioned premises and that 1he other two tenants by name Mookkan and Govindarajuly had vacated the premises and the Commissioner has stated in his report that the two portions occupied by the above said two persons were heavily damaged and hence they vacated their portions.

5. The revision petitioner is in possession of portions Nos. 3 to 5 and 16 to 25 as per the Commissioner's report and plan under Exs. AA and A.5. The Commissioner has stated that one-third portion of the premises was under roof with coconut leaves. The roof in the pial portions is damaged and the rafters are affected with pests. He also found that the doors in the portion No. 6 are very old and the same are in a broken condition. The roof in the portions Nos. 7 and 8 also was in a damaged condition and the rafters were affected with pests. He also found that the walls and other portions in the residential portion of the respondent (the civil revision petitioner) are in a damaged condition.

6. Thus, it is seen from the report filed by the Commissioner, that the roof portions in the premises have fallen down and the same were substituted by a roof made of coconut leaves and that the building is more than fifty years old. The Commissioner in his report has also stated that the portion occupied by the revision petitioner herein and other tenants are in a dilapidated condition. In the light of the above contents of the report submitted by the Commissioner, who had inspected the premises in question, there is absolutely no ground to admit this revision petition, holding that there is some infirmity in the order under revision. This Court is of the opinion that even at the stage of admission this revision petition deserves to be dismissed and is hereby dismissed. It is submitted by the learned counsel for the revision petitioner that time may be granted for vacating the premises. This Court is of the view that as the building is in a dilapidated condition the sooner it is the better that possession is handed over to the landlady. Under these circumstances, the tenant is not granted any time to vacate the premises; in other words, the tenant has to give vacant possession immediately.

7. Revision dismissed.


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