1. The petitioners in H. R. C. No. 3973 of 1968 are the petitioners in this civil revision petition. They filed H.R.C. No. 3973 of 1968 under Section 10(3)(a)(1) of Madras Act 18 of 1960 in the court of Small Causes, Madras, for an order of eviction against the respondent from premises No. 9-B Baraca Road, Kilpauk, Madras 10, on the ground that they require the building for their own use. The case of the petitioners is that the first petitioner is the mother and she settled the suit property on the second petitioner under a settlement deed, Ex. 1, dated 11-2-1965 but retained the right to receive the rents and profits during her lifetime, that the second petitioner married on 25-9-1968 a doctor, she being herself a medical practitioner and that the second petitioner is anxious to have separate establishment of her own with her husband and that they both requested the respondent to vacate and deliver vacant possession and the respondent not having complied with their request, the present application has been filed.
The respondent filed a counter contending that the settlement deed is a cloak to drive out the respondent from the building that the first petitioner alone is the owner of property and that she is the person entitled to receive the rents and as such owner, the first petitioner alone can maintain the application but, the petition has been filed not for her occupation, but for the occupation of her daughter and therefore, the application is not maintainable. The trial court dismissed the application holding that the petition is not bona fide. The petitioners filed H.R.A. No. 602 of 1970 against the order of the Court of Small Causes, Madras and the learned Judge, while holding that the premises was required bona fide for owner's occupation held that the petition is not maintainable at the instance of the second appellant and hence dismissed the appeal.
The petitioners have filed the above revision petition and the contention raised on behalf of the petitioners is that under the settlement deed, the second petitioner is entitled to the suit house although the first petitioner had the right to receive the rents during her lifetime and on the finding of the appellate authority that the petitioner's application is bona fide, their claim for owner's occupation ought to have been allowed. There is considerable force in the above contention. The respondent's learned counsel, on the other hand, contends that on a proper construction of the settlement deed, the deed will become operative only on the death of the first petitioner and therefore, the present application is not maintainable. On a proper construction of the settlement deed, it appears to me that the deed is effective from the date of its execution and putting the second petitioner in symbolic possession of the property and that there can be no objection to the maintainability of the present application by the second petitioner.
2. The learned counsel for the petitioners, referred me to the decision in Kolandaively chettiar v. Koolavana chettiar, 1961-1 Mad LJ 184, wherein Venkatadri J., had to consider the scope of Section 7(3)(a) of Act XXV of 1949 corresponding to the present Section 10(3)(a)(i) of Act XVIII of 1960. The learned judge held that the expression, ' for his own occupation' in Section 7(3) of the Act cannot be restricted only to the occupation of the landlord himself but should be interpreted to include the landlord's family and dependents.
3. In K. L. Kangu v. Ahmedunnissa Begum, 1963 1 mad LJ 97, Veeraswami J., as he then was, followed the above judgment of Venkatadri J., and the learned Judge held that, what is meant by the words, 'his own occupation' or 'if he requires' is that the requirement is not that of a stranger. It is not necessary to attract those words that the need should be personal to the landlord. The need of close relations who happen to live with the landlord or landlady may well satisfy the words 'his own occupation' or 'if he requires.' In coming to the said conclusion, the learned Judge justified his conclusion by referring to the social custom, habits, usage and practice of the particular community to which the parties belonged.
4. In K. R. Saraswathi v. Vadivelu Chettiar, : AIR1968Mad70 , Ramaprasada Rao J., had occasion to interpret Section 10(3)(a)(iii) of the Act and the learned Judge followed the two decisions referred to above.
5. In the above circumstances, the view of the Appellate Authority that the petition is not maintainable at the instance of the second petitioner cannot be supported. In the result, the civil revision petition is allowed and there will be no order as to costs. The respondent will be given four months' time to vacate.