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T.S. Rajagopal Vs. M.N. Saraswathy Ammal and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectTenancy
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Reported in(1977)2MLJ8
AppellantT.S. Rajagopal
RespondentM.N. Saraswathy Ammal and anr.
Excerpt:
- - not only or the ground that the exercise of the jurisdiction by the revisional authority does not appear to be within the frame-work of authority, but also on the ground that on the facts, a case of wilful default has not been clearly and clinchingly made out, the order of the revisional authority is set aside and the civil revision petition is allowed......that a tenant in such circumstances should be characterised as a person who has committed wilful default is not an automatic one and that should again he weighed in juxtaposition to the circumstances of each case. he, therefore, allowed the appeal and dismissed the landlady's petition. this was revised by the learned district judge, madurai as a revisional court which jurisdiction was then available to the district court under the madras buildings (lease and rent control) act, 1960. according to the learned district judge such an attitude on the part of the tenant should invariantly be characterised as a wilful committal of default in the payment of rent. he disturbed the finding of fact rendered by the appellate court. it is as against this that the present civil revision.....
Judgment:
ORDER

T. Ramaprasada Rao, J.

1. This is a very unfortunate case. Though the Rent Controller gave an order for eviction on the ground that the tenant defaulted in the payment of two months rent, yet he did not correctly bear in mind the principles governing such circumstances. Factually, he found that the landlady accepted rents though sent in lump sums and without regard to regularity as provided for in the statute. But he would conclude that that circumstance by itself cannot be misunderstood as a permanent condonation of such irregularity on the part of she tenant. The Appellate Authority after finding once again that the delayed money orders sent by the tenant were accepted by the landlady without a demur also expressed the view that a conclusion that a tenant in such circumstances should be characterised as a person who has committed wilful default is not an automatic one and that should again he weighed in juxtaposition to the circumstances of each case. He, therefore, allowed the appeal and dismissed the landlady's petition. This was revised by the learned District Judge, Madurai as a revisional Court which jurisdiction was then available to the District Court under the Madras Buildings (Lease and Rent Control) Act, 1960. According to the learned District Judge such an attitude on the part of the tenant should invariantly be characterised as a wilful committal of default in the payment of rent. He disturbed the finding of fact rendered by the appellate Court. It is as against this that the present civil revision petition has been filed. Repeatedly the Courts here and elsewhere have taken the view that the expression wilful default is not an expression of art, but a meaningful phraseology used by the statute with a definite purpose. The default committed by a tenant should be so telling and conspicuous that any reasonable person apprised of such circumstances and having the occasion to adjudicate upon such facts should come to the conclusion that the tenant was recalcitrant and supremely indifferent and purposely evading the performance of his legitimate obligation of sending the rents to the landlady in time. If, however, the entirety of the facts presents a situation where by a genuine doubt could, be created as to whether such an attitude of the tenant in sending the rents in a delayed fashion was due to the landlady's prior acceptance of such tenders and that too without a demur, then it cannot be automatically concluded that even in such circumstances the badge of wilful default should be assigned to the conduct of the tenant. The wilfulness should be the result of recalcitrancy and deliberateness. I do not think that the Appellate Authority was wrong when he said that the tenant was persuaded to send the rents in a delayed way taking advantage of the prior acceptance of similar tenders without any demur or protest by the landlady. The learned Revisional Authority can only interfere if the order of the Appellate Authority was in any way illegal, irregular or improper. Such jurisdiction, in my view, cannot normally be extended so as to interfere with a finding of fact based on acceptable material made by the Appellate Authority. Not only or the ground that the exercise of the jurisdiction by the Revisional Authority does not appear to be within the frame-work of authority, but also on the ground that on the facts, a case of wilful default has not been clearly and clinchingly made out, the order of the Revisional Authority is set aside and the civil revision petition is allowed. There will be no order as to costs.

2. It is however, made clear that if the petitioner commits default even for two months consecutively hereafter, this shall no doubt be viewed as wilful abstention from performance of normal duties. This can be taken advantage by the landlady if any such occasion arises and if she desires to do so.


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