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P. Thanneermalai Chettiar Vs. S.J. Dhanraj - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectTenancy
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Reported in(1986)1MLJ115
AppellantP. Thanneermalai Chettiar
RespondentS.J. Dhanraj
Cases ReferredKulsumbai Mulla Jeewajee v. Madras Marine Private Limited
Excerpt:
.....of act 18 of 1960 is applicable to the case of residential building as well as non-residential building and it is provided therein that if the controller is satisfied that the claim of the landlord is bona fide, he shall make an order directing the tenant to put the landlord in possession of the building;.....parties held that the requirement of the petition-mentioned building by the petitioner is not bona fide and consequently dismissed the petition. the petitioner was unsuccessful before the appellate authority and hence this revision.2. learned counsel for the petitioner, mr. r. srinivasan, mainly submitted that the question of 'bona fide' is alien so far as the requirement of the petition-mentioned premises, for own occupation by the petitioner, that both the authorities below have not properly appreciated the principles of law enunciated by this court to the facts of. the instant case and that it has resulted in miscarriage of justice.3. to appreciate the contentions of the learned counsel for the petitioner, certain admitted facts have to be mentioned. it is the evidence of p.w.1.....
Judgment:
ORDER

K.M. Natarajan, J.

1. Landlord is the petitioner. He has filed the petition for eviction of the respondent under Section 10(3)(a)(i) of the Tamil Nadu Buildings (Lease and Rent Control) Act 18 of 1960 as amended by Act XXIII of 1973 (hereinafter referred to as the Act) on the ground that he required the premises for his own occupation. The petition mentioned premises is a residential one and the rate of rent is Rs. 100 per mensem. According to the petitioner, he wants to leave Devakottai and settle down at Villupuram and hence he barely needs the premises for his own occupation. He issued a notice on 12.9.1980 to the respondent calling upon him to vacate the premises to which the respondent sent a reply with false allegations. The said petition was resisted by the respondent. He filed a counter inter alia contending that the petitioner is an young man aged about 23 years and that all his vested interest and properties are only at Devakottai. Besides that, his father is also a business man and the entire family is doing business in money lending at Devakottai and they have got vast estate in the name of Sivakami Achi. His requirement of the house on the ground that he wanted to settle down at Villupuram is most unjustifiable and unacceptable. Further, they have already sold the other house at Villupuram belonging to other members of Sivakami Achi Estate for a fabulous price. The petitioner offered to sell the premises to the respondent, that it did not fructify due to the intervention of some brokers and that only with a view to evict the respondent and sell the house to a third party for higher amount, this petition has been filed. The learned Rent Controller on the basis of the oral and documentary evidence adduced on behalf of the respective parties held that the requirement of the petition-mentioned building by the petitioner is not bona fide and consequently dismissed the petition. The petitioner was unsuccessful before the Appellate Authority and hence this revision.

2. Learned Counsel for the petitioner, Mr. R. Srinivasan, mainly submitted that the question of 'bona fide' is alien so far as the requirement of the petition-mentioned premises, for own occupation by the petitioner, that both the authorities below have not properly appreciated the principles of law enunciated by this Court to the facts of. the instant case and that it has resulted in miscarriage of justice.

3. To appreciate the contentions of the learned Counsel for the petitioner, certain admitted facts have to be mentioned. It is the evidence of P.W.1 that he has got enormous properties besides cash of Rs. 20,00,000 and an estate at Malaysia. In the petition and the notice, he has simply stated that he wants to leave Devakottai and settle down at Villupuram and he required the premises for his residence. In the evidence it has been elicited even in chief examination that he requires the premises for establishing money-lending shop at the petition mentioned premises. In cross-examination he Specifically stated that he intended to start a business in the petition mentioned-premises. It has to be noted that admittedly the petition-mentioned premises was let out for residential purpose and it is not open to the petitioner to ask for the premises for different use and purpose. Further, there is no whisper in the petition and in the notice sent by him that he required the premises for carrying on business in money lending. Both the authorities below have observed that the petitioner himself has admitted that he has not obtained any licence for starting money lending business at Villupuram. Further, it is highly improbable that a person like the petitioner, who owns vast extent of properties at Devakottai and was carrying on business, would leave Devakottai and settle down at Villupuram which is far off, when admittedly he has no other interest or property at Villupuram. It is not his case that he has already occupied a rented premises at Villupuram or that his business is extended to this place. The authorities relied on other circumstances also in arriving at the finding against the petitioner. The petitioner is unable to give any particulars about the petition-mentioned premises, particularly regarding the measurement of the house and other physical features of the petition-mentioned premises. He has also pleaded ignorance of the terms of the tenancy under which the respondent has been occupying the premises. It is the case of the respondent that he has effected improvements in the building by spending a sum of Rs. 25,000 with the permission of the petitioner's mother. In the rejoinder, it is only stated that the improvements effected by the respondent would not exceed Rs. 2,000. But, in the evidence the petitioner is unable to deny the fact of improvements effected by the respondent.

4. The learned appellate authority considered various decision relied on by the learned Counsel appearing for the petitioner and held that those decisions are not applicable to the facts of the present case, as in the instant case the petitioner has miserably failed to establish that there is a genuine pressing need of the house for his own use and occupation. I do not find any infirmity whatsoever in the said finding. It is not disputed that Section 10(3)(e) of Act 18 of 1960 is applicable to the case of residential building as well as non-residential building and it is provided therein that if the Controller is satisfied that the claim of the landlord is bona fide, he shall make an order directing the tenant to put the landlord in possession of the building; otherwise, he has to reject the application. In the instant case, considering the various circumstances and also the fact that the petitioner was residing in a house of his own at Devakottai where he has got vast extent of properties and was carrying on business along with other members of his family, the claim of the petitioner that he required the premises for his own use and occupation is not proved and in any event there is no bona fide in the same. Learned Counsel for the respondent drew my attention to the decision reported in Mattulal v. Radha Lal : [1975]1SCR127 wherein their Lordships considering the scope of bona fide requirement under the Madhya Pradesh Accommodation Control Act, 1961, held:

Mere assertion on the part of the landlord that he requires a non-residential accommodation in the occupation of tenant for the purpose of starting or continuing his own business is not decisive. It is for the court to determine the truth of the assertion and also whether it is bona fide. The word 'requires' signifies that mere desire on the part of the landlord is not enough but there should be an element of need not the landlord must show, the burden being upon him, that he genuinely requires the non-residential accommodation for the purpose of starting or continuing his own business.

It was also held in the above decision: that unless it was shown that in reaching it a mistake of law was committed or that it was based on no evidence or was such as no reasonable man could reach the finding of the court below is not liable to be interfered with by the High Court. He also drew my attention to the decision reported in Sri Raja Lakshmi Dyeing Works v. Rangaswamy : AIR1980SC1253 in support of his contention and submitted that both the authorities below have concurrently found and gave a finding which is based on evidence that the landlord did not bona fide require the premises for his own use and occupation and that there is absolutely nothing to show that the said finding was tainted with any unreasonableness resulting in miscarriage of justice and as such no interference is called for in this revision. I find much force in the said contention. Learned Counsel for the petitioner relied on the decision of this Court reported in Kulsumbai Mulla Jeewajee v. Madras Marine Private Limited : (1984)1MLJ399 and submitted that a finding based on extraneous matters, which are not germane for the consideration of the point in issue and being quite against the earlier finding as to the requirements of Section 10(3)(a)(iii) is perverse and erroneous in law. The ratio laid down in the said decision is not applicable to the facts of this case, since it cannot be said that the findings arrived at by the authorities below are based on extraneous matters, which are not germane for the consideration of the relevant issue involved in the case. But, on the other hand, they have taken into consideration all the relevant material circumstances to find out the genuine need and the bona fide requirement of the petitioner in the instant case and as such the said decision is not at all helpful to the petitioner in any way. For all these reasons. I am of the view that the concurrent findings of the authorities below do not suffer from any manifest illegality or irregularity whatsoever so as to warrant an interference in revision and consequently the revision fails and stands dismissed. There is no order as to costs.


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