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K. Rengaswamy Naidu Vs. the Tamil Nadu Handloom Weavers Co-operative Society Limited, Through the Marketing Officer - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectTenancy
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Reported in(1982)1MLJ130
AppellantK. Rengaswamy Naidu
RespondentThe Tamil Nadu Handloom Weavers Co-operative Society Limited, Through the Marketing Officer
Cases ReferredT.K. Krishna Iyer v. Karur Vysia Bank Limited
Excerpt:
- - by reason of the settlement the landlord ceased to have any interest in the business, as effectively as if the business has been sold away in court-auction in execution of a decree which some creditor had obtained against the landlord. no doubt the civil revision petitioner had a rich previous experience in running the hotel but that will not help him in any way in getting the tenant evicted. 8. there well he no order as to costs......ramanathapuram district. the respondent herein had been a tenant in the said building, under the civil revision petitioner, on a monthly rent of rs. 135 and the building is being occupied by the co-optex sales emporium. the civil revision petitioner filed an application in h.r.c.c. no. 5 of 1978 on the file of the rent controller, sattur for eviction of the respondent herein, on the ground that he required the premises for his own hotel business. the case of the civil revision petitioner before the house rent controller is that himself and his son had been running a hotel business in a rented building bearing door no. 255, trunk road, satturv belonging to krishnaswamy naicker, son of guruswami naicker. the said krishnaswamy naicker had been pressing the tenant, the civil revision.....
Judgment:
ORDER

R. Sengottuvelan, J.

1. The civil revision petitioner before this Court is a landlord in respect of non-residential building bearing Door No. 18, Main Road, Sattur, Ramanathapuram District. The respondent herein had been a tenant in the said building, under the civil revision petitioner, on a monthly rent of Rs. 135 and the building is being occupied by the Co-optex Sales Emporium. The civil revision petitioner filed an application in H.R.C.C. No. 5 of 1978 on the file of the Rent Controller, Sattur for eviction of the respondent herein, on the ground that he required the premises for his own hotel business. The case of the civil revision petitioner before the House Rent Controller is that himself and his son had been running a hotel business in a rented building bearing Door No. 255, Trunk Road, Satturv belonging to Krishnaswamy Naicker, son of Guruswami Naicker. The said Krishnaswamy Naicker had been pressing the tenant, the civil revision petitioner herein to vacate the aforesaid building. He also started legal proceedings and under a compromise entered into between the said Krishnaswamy Naicker and the civil revision petitioner herein under a document dated 13th March, 1977, the civil revision petitioner herein was bound to vacate the building and he accordingly vacated the premises as per the possession receipt Exhibit A-4. The civil revision petitioner had been conducting the hotel business for the past more than 50 years and he cannot afford to close down his business. He has no other non-residential building of his own. Hence his requirement is genuine and is bona fide. The civil revision petitioner sent a notice to the respondent on 5th December, 1977, marked as Exhibit A-5, terminating the tenancy with the last day of December, 1977, and calling upon him to deliver vacant possession to the civil revision petitioner. The respondent did not comply with the notice and sent a reply raising false allegations.

2. The case of the respondent, the tenant in respect of the petition mentioned premises, before the House Rent Controller is that the petition is not in proper form and the material particulars required under the Tamil Nadu Buildings (Lease and Rent Control) Act, and the Rules are not furnished. The lease was entered into on 10th January, 1972, and the possession was handed over to the Junior Marketing Officer, Regional Office, Madurai, and hence the Special Officer, Tamil Nadu I Iandloom Weavers' Society, Madras is not a tenant under the civil revision petitioner. After a lapse of two years from the commencement of the tenancy, the civil revision petitioner on 25th January, 1974, marked as Exhibit R-6 demanded an enhanced rent of Rs. 200 per month to which the Junior Marketing Officer replied that it is not possible to pay any enhanced rent. Subsequently also the civil revision petitioner sent letters demanding enhanced rent. On 23rd September, 1977, the civil revision petitioner sent another letter marked as Exhibit B-17 to the Marketing Officer, Madurai, demanding an enhanced rent of Rs. 250. But strange enough the civil revision petitioner had sent a lawyer's notice on 5th December 1977, marked as Exhibit A-5 stating that he requires the premises for his own use and occupation. The respondent herein sent a reply on 28th December, 1977, marked as Exhibit A-7. It is also the case of the respondent herein before the House Rent Controller that the petition mentioned building is not suitable for running the hotel business since there is no kitchen, water-supply and other necessary amenities, which are necessary for running the hotel business and the civil revision petitioner owns other buildings also and hence the requirement of the building by the landlord is not borra fide.

3. The learned Rent Controller on a consideration of the evidence in the case came to the conclusion that the landlord made out a case and allowed the application for reviction. As against the said order, the tenant, respondent herein filed an appeal before the appellate authority and the Subordinate Judge of Ramanathapuram at Madurai in CM.A. Mo. 97 of 1978. The appellate authority holding that for the purpose of invoking Section 10 (3)(a)(iii) the landlord should prove that he is actually carrying on the hotel business and the evidence in this case showed that the civil revision petitioner could not have carried on the business on the date of the petition as claimed by him and as such the civil revision petitioner is not entitled to an order of eviction under Section 10 (3)(a)(iii). As against the said order this civil revision petition has been filed.

4. It is urged on behalf of the civil revision petitioner that the fact that the landlord has continued the hotel business for the past 50 years is not challenged by the tenant. The fact that he was conducting the hotel business in the premises of one Krishnaswamy Naicker is also not disputed and that he had to vacate the same at his instance is also not seriously challenged by the respondent therein. The case of the civil revision petitioner is that inasmuch as he had been conducting the hotel business and since he had vacated the premises in which he had conducted the hotel business and since he is not in possession of any non-residential building of his own he is entitled to evict the tenant, the respondent herein, under Section 10(3)(a)(iii) of the Tamil Nadu Buildings (Lease and Rent Control) Act. Section 10(3)(a)(iii) reads as follows:

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

(iii) in case it is any other non-residential building, if the landlord or (any member of his family) is not occupying for the purpose 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.

As per the section the landlord must be carrying on the business at the time of his claim for eviction so as to enable him to put forward a claim under Section 10(3)(a)(iii). In the case reported in T.K. Krishna Iyer v. Karur Vysia Bank Limited, Coimbatore : (1959)2MLJ215 , the civil revision petitioner was conducting a coffee hotel business in a rented premises in the name and style of 'Ranjitha Vilas'. After he found that he could not acquire possession of the building in which he was conducting the business he entered into a family settlement with his brother and his son under which the business became the exclusive property of the brother and the son. By reason of the settlement the landlord ceased to have any interest in the business, as effectively as if the business has been sold away in Court-auction in execution of a decree which some creditor had obtained against the landlord. After the landlord ceased to have any interest) in the business he desired to start a business of his own as a coffee hotel proprietor. He had been a coffee hotel proprietor all his life and had the skill and experience needed for starting and conducting such business. He subsequently purchased a building with a view to conduct in it the business known as 'Ranjitha Vilas'. Since that business had ceased to be his and since he desired to start a new business of the same kind, he claimed possession of the building from the tenant occupying the building he had purchased. On these facts Subrahmanyam, J., held that in view of the phrase used viz., 'a business which he is carrying on' in Section 7(3)(a)(iii), the section would apply only to cases where a person is conducting a business in a building which is not his and which he is bound to vacate under an order or decree of a civil Court or any other authority. Since the landlord who claimed that he required the premises for his own business had not done any act in the way of carrying on or preparing for carrying on a business as hotel proprietor on the date on which he filed the application, the landlord was held to be not entitled to an order of eviction. Even though he wanted to become a hotel proprietor again it would not render him on the date on which he made the application a person who was carrying on a business as hotel proprietor. He was on that date a person who had done business in the past as a hotel proprietor and who was intending to do business in the future as hotel proprietor. Such a person cannot be said to be a person who is carrying on a business. To hold otherwise would be to delete from Section 7(3)(a)(iii) the words 'which he is carrying on', a function which the Court is powerless to perform. With these observations the learned single Judge held that the landlord is not entitled to evict the tenant from the premises the landlord had purchased.

5. The facts of the above case are similar to the case under revision. Here also the landlord who was conducting a business as a hotel keeper had put an end to his business and delivered the entire hotel business as a going concern to his landlord Krishnaswamy Naicker as per Exhibit A-4, On a reading of Exhibit A-4 it shows that the entire business was handed over to Krishnaswamy Naicker on 14th June, 1978. After transferring the entire business to Krishnaswamy Naicker, the landlord had not done anything by which it can be said that he is carrying on the hotel business. In his evidence before the Rent Controller as P.W. 2 the landlord who is the civil revision petitioner herein had not spoken to anything from which the landlord's carrying on a hotel business can be inferred. No doubt the civil revision petitioner had a rich previous experience in running the hotel but that will not help him in any way in getting the tenant evicted. Subrahmanyam, J., in T.K. Krishna Iyer v. Karur Vysia Bank Limited, Coimbatore : (1959)2MLJ215 , observed as follows:

It is true that the avocation of hotel proprietor was with him an old avocation and that nothing more was natural than that he should want to become a hotel proprietor again. But that would not render his on the date on which he made the application a person who was carrying on business as a hotel proprietor.

6. On the same reasoning the civil revision petitioner herein cannot be said to be carrying on a hotel business for which he needed the premises. Since the requirement of the Section 10(3)(a)(iii) of the Tamil Nadu buildings (Lease and Rent Control) Act, that the landlord should be actually carrying on the business is not complied with in this case the appellate Court acted rightly in allowing the appeal and dismissing the rent control application

7. There are no merits in this civil revision petition and the same is dismissed.

8. There well he no order as to costs.


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