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indrani Ammal and ors. Vs. K.P. Unnikrishnan and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectTenancy
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Reported in(1984)2MLJ310
Appellantindrani Ammal and ors.
RespondentK.P. Unnikrishnan and anr.
Cases ReferredMaharashtra State Road Transport Corporation v. D.R.M. Service
Excerpt:
- - it is well established that the writ of certiorari will not be granted in a case where there is such negligence or omission on the part of the applicant to assert his right as, taken in conjunction with the lapse of time and other circumstances, causes prejudice to the adverse party......on the basis that he is the landlord within the meaning of the tamil nadu buildings (lease and rent control)act 1960 (tamil nadu act 18 of 1960), hereinafter referred to as the rent control act filed h.r.c. no. 1533 of 1978 for eviction of the petitioners under the rent control act. one of the grounds urged for eviction was wilful default in the payment of rents. the first respondent took out m.p. no. l806 of 1978 under section 11(3) of the rent control act to stop further proceedings in h.r.c., if the petitioners herein, the respondents in h.r.c. no. 1533 of 1978, did not deposit the arrears of rent. the controller under the rent control act directed the deposit within a stipulated time. obviously, the arrears of rent were not deposited and m.p. no. 1806 of 1978 was allowed and.....
Judgment:
ORDER

S. Nainar Sundaram, J.

1. Certain facts are necessary for the purpose of dealing with the question raised in this writ petition. The first respondent on the basis that he is the landlord within the meaning of the Tamil Nadu Buildings (Lease and Rent Control)Act 1960 (Tamil Nadu Act 18 of 1960), hereinafter referred to as the Rent Control Act filed H.R.C. No. 1533 of 1978 for eviction of the petitioners under the Rent Control Act. One of the grounds urged for eviction was wilful default in the payment of rents. The first respondent took out M.P. No. l806 of 1978 under Section 11(3) of the Rent Control Act to stop further proceedings in H.R.C., if the petitioners herein, the respondents in H.R.C. No. 1533 of 1978, did not deposit the arrears of rent. The Controller under the Rent Control Act directed the deposit within a stipulated time. Obviously, the arrears of rent were not deposited and M.P. No. 1806 of 1978 was allowed and consequently an order of eviction was passed in H.R.C. No. 1533 of 1978 on 31-1-1979. The petitioners preferred an appeal to the appellate authority under the Rent Control Act in H.R.A. No. 680 of 1979 and in the appeal they have raised a contention that the area in question has been declared to be a slum within the meaning of the Tamil Nadu Slum Areas (Improvement and Clearance) Act, 1971 (Act No. 11 of 1971), hereinafter referred to as the Act, and the petition for eviction without prior sanction, obviously adverting to Section 29 of the Act, was not maintainable. The appellate authority went into this question and repelled the same by its order dated 11-8-1980. It must be pointed out that anterior to the order of the appellate authority, on 23-4-1980 the first respondent had obtained an order purporting to be one under Section 29 of the Act. The appellate authority took note of this order also while repelling the contention of the petitioners. The order under Section 29 of the Act seemed to have been revoked by the Chairman, Slum Clearance Board, Madras, and communications in this behalf dated, 9-7-1980 and 4-1-1981 formed the provocation for the first respondent to come to this Court by way of W.P. No. 8865 of 1981. In K.P. Unnikrishnan and Ors. v. The State of Tamil Nadu rep. by its Secy. to Labour and Housing Dept., and Ors., Padmanabhan, J., by order dated 8-7-1983 found that when once an order has been passed under Section 29 of the Act, there is no power to cancel the same, and on this basis, the learned Judge declared that the said communications will have no legal effect and the Slum Clearance Board and the interveners in the writ proceedings are bound by the order dated 23-4-1980. The interveners preferred an appeal W.A. No. 549 of 1983, S. Poosalingam and Anr. v. K.P. Unnikrishnan and three Ors., and the Bench of this Court to which I was a party, by judgment dated 4-8-1983, dismissed the appeal confirming the order of the learned single Judge.

2. So far as the petitioners are concerned, they allowed the appellate order dated 11-8-1980 to rest without the same being impugned as per Section 25 of the Rent Control Act, which is a statutory remedy available to them on stated grounds.The first respondent in the said circumstances had no other alternative, but to levy execution and he has succeeded in obtaining an order of delivery, got the same, executed and obtained delivery of possession on 28-10-1980 and the delivery itself has been recorded on 30-10-1980. The petitioners have approached this Court by way of this writ petition with a prayer to quash the order made in execution and for an order to restrain the first respondent from interfering with their alleged possession.

3. Mr. R. Krishna Iyer, learned Counsel for the petitioners, would submit that the very institution of the petition for eviction was without jurisdiction because no sanction within the meaning of Section 29(1)(a) of the Act was obtained before such institution. Mr. M. Srinivasan, learned Counsel appearing for the first respondent did make submissions pointing out that this submission of the learned Counsel for the petitioners is not tenable. However, learned Counsel for the first respondent would submit that the conduct of the petitioners in acquiescing in the order of the appellate authority and allowing it to go final and belatedly coming only to this Court in its prerogative jurisdiction cannot be countenanced and on the facts and circumstances of this case, this Court shall not show the indulgence of interference in writ powers even though a case is made out. I am inclined to sustain the second line of submission made by the learned Counsel for the first respondent. The conduct of the petitioners, in approaching this Court under Article 226 of the Constitution of India is very relevant. The narration of the facts made above do make out that the petitioners allowed the order of the appellate authority to rest there, without any further agitation as contemplated under the Rent Control Act. This has led to the first respondent proceeding with the execution of the order of eviction, which has enured to his benefit and he has already obtained possession. This is a case where the petitioners had been extremely remiss and negligent and this has brought about altered circumstances by lapse of time. The jurisdiction of this Court under Article 226 of the Constitution of India being highly prerogative, I am of the view that this is not a fit case where that power should be exercised in favour of the petitioners. It is well established that the writ of certiorari will not be granted in a case where there is such negligence or omission on the part of the applicant to assert his right as, taken in conjunction with the lapse of time and other circumstances, causes prejudice to the adverse party. The principle is stated to be to a great extent similar to, though not, identical with the exercise of discretion in the Court of Chancery. The petitioners ought to have resorted to the statutory remedy of revision under the Rent Control Act or should have set the other appropriate process of law at the earliest point of time. They did not do so. This has practically caused prejudice to the first respondent and it will operate as a bar in a Court of equity. This principle has found countenance in a pronouncement of the Supreme Court in Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation v. D.R.M. Service : [1969]1SCR808 . The petitioners, as stated above, did not agitate the matter by way of the statutory revision under the Rent Control Act. Equally so, they have not resorted to the appropriate process without any inordinate delay. Having allowed the appellate order to become final, the petitioners cannot come to this Court by way of writ petition voicing forth whatever grievance they may have. The principle, that the conduct of the party in stated circumstances, disentitles him from seeking the highly prerogative writ at the hands of this Court to intervene speaks against the petitioners. In this view, the writ petition is dismissed. There will be no order as to costs. However I make it clear, the dismissal of the writ petition on this ground will not debar the petitioners from seeking any other appropriate remedy that is available to them in the ordinary civil process and there is no need here to comment upon the merits and propriety or otherwise of any such move if so proposed.


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