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Indian Plywood Manufacturing Company Vs. Balaramiah Chetty - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectTenancy
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Reported in(1986)1MLJ48
AppellantIndian Plywood Manufacturing Company
RespondentBalaramiah Chetty
Cases ReferredCompany v. Sital Achi
Excerpt:
- - 3. in appeal filed by the tenant, the appellate authority also took the view that since the sons and the wife of the landlord are not in occupation of a non-residential building for carrying on their business, the requirement of clause (iii) of section 10(3)(a) of the act was satisfied......is admittedly the owner of the three premises, one is house no. 2/30 (new no. 5) nainiappa maistry street, madras, the other is no. 97-b, woodharf, wall tax road, madras, of which the landlord is the owner of superstructure alone, and the third is the premises in question bearing door no. 169, coral merchant' street, madras-1.2. the petition premises no. 169, coral merchant street, madras, is occupied by the tenant on a monthly rent of rs. 1050/-. the landlord made a petition under section 10(3)(a)(iii) of the tamil nadu buildings (lease and rent control) act, 1960, hereinafter referred to as the rent control act, in which he put-forth the case that his wife and his sons are carrying on business in the name and style of sri kanaka durga iron mart at no. 38, post office street, madras and.....
Judgment:
ORDER

M.N. Chandurkar, C.J.

1. This is a tenant's revision petition challenging an order of eviction made by the XIII Judge, Court of Small Causes, Madras and confirmed in appeal by the VII 3udge, Appellate Authority, Court of Small Causes, Madras. The landlord is admittedly the owner of the three premises, one is house No. 2/30 (New No. 5) Nainiappa Maistry Street, Madras, the other is No. 97-B, Woodharf, Wall Tax Road, Madras, of which the landlord is the owner of superstructure alone, and the third is the premises in question bearing door No. 169, Coral Merchant' Street, Madras-1.

2. The petition premises No. 169, Coral Merchant Street, Madras, is occupied by the Tenant on a monthly rent of Rs. 1050/-. The landlord made a petition under Section 10(3)(a)(iii) of the Tamil Nadu Buildings (Lease and Rent Control) Act, 1960, hereinafter referred to as the Rent Control Act, in which he put-forth the case that his wife and his sons are carrying on business in the name and style of Sri Kanaka Durga Iron Mart at No. 38, Post Office Street, Madras and having a godown at No. 97-B, Woodwharf Wall Tax Road, Madras, in rented premises and since he is not possessed of any place or any godown of their own for stocking their goods and materials of their business, and for carrying on their business, the landlord bona fide required the godown occupied by the tenant in the ground floor of the premises at No. 169, Coral Merchant Street, Madras. The tenant contested this petition on the ground that it was mala fide made because he did not agree to pay the enhanced rent of Rs. 2000/- which was demanded by the landlord. The tenant denied that the landlord needed the premises. The landlord and his son both gave evidence before the Rent Controller, who allowed the petition and ordered eviction.

3. In appeal filed by the tenant, the Appellate Authority also took the view that since the sons and the wife of the landlord are not in occupation of a non-residential building for carrying on their business, the requirement of Clause (iii) of Section 10(3)(a) of the Act was satisfied. The Appellate Authority also negatived the contention that the claim was not bona fide. The appeal preferred by the tenant thus came to be dismissed.

4. In this revision petition, Mr. S. Govindswaminathan, learned Counsel appearing for the revision petitioner-tenant has contended that it is proved on record that the premises No. 2/30, Nainiappa Maistry Street, and 97-B, Woodwharf Walltax Road, belongs to the landlord and if the sons were utilising the premises which belong to the father, then the landlord could not claim the benefit of Section 10(3)(a)(iii) of the Act. The relevant part of Section 10(3)(a)(iii) of the Act reads as follows:

A landlord may, subject to the provisions of Clause (d), apply to the Controller for an order directing the tenant to put the landlord in possession of the building--

(1) ....

(ii) ....

(iii) in case it is any other non-residential building, if the landlord or (any member of his family) is not occupying for purposes of a business which he or (any member of his family) is carrying on, a non-residential building in the city, town or village concerned which is his own.

The provisos are not material for our purpose. The learned Counsel for the tenant has contended that when Section 10(3)(a)(iii) of the Act provided that a member of the family of the landlord should not have a non-residential building of his own and if the landlord requires the non-residential building for the use of any member of his family, then the words 'his own' must be read as meaning in the present case, the building belonging to the father also. If the section is thus construed, according to the learned Counsel, then since it is amply proved that the premises No. 2/30, Nainiappa Masitry Street, Madras, was in occupation of the partnership firm, the landlord was not entitled to claim the premises in question for the business of the partnership firm consisting of the wife of the landlord and his sons.

5. Mr. M. Srinivasan, learned Counsel appearing on behalf of the landlords has drawn my attention to a decision of this Court in Annamalai and Company, by its Partner v. Sital Achi : (1975)1MLJ337 in which this Court has taken the view that though the landlord may be in occupation of a non-residential building for purpose of his business, he could apply for eviction of a tenant in respect of another non-residential building for the purpose of a business which any member of his family is carrying on provided the person for whose benefit the non-residential building was required by the landlord is not already in occupation of a non-residential building of his own.

6. Now this decision has taken the considered view on a construction of Section 10(3)(a)(iii) of the Act that if a landlord is to be disentitled from claiming non-residential premises on the ground that members of his family require the said premises for their own use, then this can be done only if the members of the family are also in occupation of a non-residential building of their own. Strictly speaking this decision would conclude the controversy in the present case. Mr. Govind Swaminathan, however, tried to rely on certain admissions made by the landlord himself in his evidence in which he has admitted that a bill (Ex.R-1) which is given by Sri Kanaka Durga Iron Mart, the Head Office of the Business, is stated to be in No. 2/30, Nainiappa Maistry Street, which belongs to him. He has also stated 'I run the business of Kanaka Durga Industries', but at the same time he has stated that Kanaka Durga Industry and Iron Mart have the same partners and Sri Kanaka Durga Industry was not being run in Nainiappa Maistry Street, premises, but that is being run in No. 97-B, Woodwharf, Walltax Road, Madras. He has stated that the factory and godown are situated in the Woodwharf Wall Tax Road premises. Now there is no doubt that the Wall Tax Road premises belong to the landlord-admittedly the superstructure belongs to the landlord - but it is difficult to see how that will deprive the landlord of the right which is expressly given to him under Section 10(3)(a)(iii) of the Act as construed by this Court in Annamalai &. Company v. Sital Achi : (1975)1MLJ337 .

7. The admission that the landlord ran the business of Kanaka Durga Industries undoubtedly creates an impression that he is himself doing the business. There was some dispute as to whether the words 'ran the business' was a correct translation of the evidence in Tamil because according to Mr. Srinivasan the correct translation would be 'conducted the business'. In any case, it is not the case of the tenant in his written statement that the partnership firm was a bogus firm and the business did in fact belong to the landlord himself. If such was the case the tenant should have expressly put the landlord on notice of the same in the written statement because then the landlord could have given evidence that the partnership firm belonged exclusively to the wife and sons.

8. In view of the decision in Annamalai &. Company v. Sital Achi : (1975)1MLJ337 , it is difficult to find any error in the view taken by the lower Courts. There is, thus, no substance in this revision petition and it is accordingly, dismissed with costs Rs. 2.50/-However, at his request, the tenant is given three months' time to vacate the premises in question from today.


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