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K. Dharmaraj Vs. A. Narasimhalu and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectTenancy
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Reported in(1985)2MLJ166
AppellantK. Dharmaraj
RespondentA. Narasimhalu and anr.
Cases ReferredIn Krishna Reddy v. Vasudevayya
Excerpt:
.....madras buildings (lease and rent control) act ,will not bring the tenant within the mischief of wilful default liable to be evicted. has clearly brought out the circumstances under which the tenant must be construed as having committed wilful default by stating that the default as a ground for eviction should be such that it should be so conspicuous to a reasonable person' that the tenant's attitude was nothing but supreme indifference and purposeful evasiveness resulting in his recalcitrance. 29/82 was filed on the ground of wilful default for the months from may, 1981 to may, 1982. the tacts stated above will clearly' reveal that the petitioner has never taken any steps either to address the respondents for the purpose of depositing the rent or to invoke section 8 of the tamil nadu..........filed the petition r.c.o.p.no. 29 of 1982 for eviction of the petitioner herein on the ground of wilful default in payment of rent. it is alleged by the respondents in the eviction petition that the petitioner herein occupied the non-residential building bearing d.nos. 372/b, c and d in g.s.t.road, pasumalai village. the petitioner became a tenant under the respondents from 1.6.1979 in respect of the petition mentioned building. in respect of building nos.372/b and c the tenancy was for a period of 3 years from 1.6.1981 and in respect of d.no. 372/d the tenancy was for 2 years. the tenancy was according to english calendar month commencing from the first day of the month ending with the last day and the rent was payable on or before the 5th of every succeeding month. the petitioner.....
Judgment:
ORDER

P.R. Gokulakrishnan, J.

1. The tenant is the petitioner herein. The respondents filed the petition R.C.O.P.No. 29 of 1982 for eviction of the petitioner herein on the ground of wilful default in payment of rent. It is alleged by the respondents in the eviction petition that the petitioner herein occupied the non-residential building bearing D.Nos. 372/B, C and D in G.S.T.Road, Pasumalai village. The petitioner became a tenant under the respondents from 1.6.1979 in respect of the petition mentioned building. In respect of building Nos.372/B and C the tenancy was for a period of 3 years from 1.6.1981 and in respect of D.No. 372/D the tenancy was for 2 years. The tenancy was according to English Calendar month commencing from the first day of the month ending with the last day and the rent was payable on or before the 5th of every succeeding month. The petitioner agreed to pay Rs. 75/- per month in respect of the building in D.No. 372/B and C and Rs. 80/-per month in respect of building bearing D.No. 372/D. A receipt was given every month for payment of rent and for this a 40 pages note book was kept by the petitioner herein. According to the respondents, the petitioner paid rent upto April 1981 and for May 1981 till the date of filing the petition, the petitioner has not paid rent for a period of 13 months. The arrears according to them in Rs. 2,990/-. Thus according to the respondents, the petitioner has wilfully and wantonly withheld payment of arrears of rent and committed wilful default in payment of rent.

2, The petitioner herein, in his counter denied all these allegations and said that he had sent the rent of Rs. 230/- by money order which is marked as Exhibit B-5 and the same was refused by the respondents herein. The petitioner then deposited the rent into the State Bank, Pasumalai Branch and Exhibit B-4 is the State Bank Pass Book for the same. On 19.3.1981, under Exhibit B-1, the petitioner had sent a sum of Rs. 2,530/- demand draft which represented 11 months' rent. Thus according to the petitioner, there is no wilful default on the part of the petitioner herein to warrant his eviction.

3. The two authorities below, after elaborately discussing the evidence and the circumstances in this case came to the conclusion that the petitioner has committed wilful default in payment of rent and as such ordered eviction. It is as against these orders, the present revision petition has been filed.

4. Mr. N. Thiagarajan, the learned Counsel appearing for the petitioner submits that there is no question of wilful default as such arising in this case and hence the orders passed by the authorities below are vitiated and they must be set aside. Mr. Thiagarajan cited a number of decisions for the purpose of establishing his case that there is no question of wilful default as such arising in this case. In Rangaraju v. Parthasarathi : (1964)1MLJ12 , Venkatadri, j. has observed that a mere default in payment of rent for a few days will not amount to wilful default and that to hold that a tenant is wilful in payment of arrears of rent, it must be proved beyond doubt that he had exhibited supine indifference and callousness. After setting out this principle the learned Judge held in that case that there was no wilful default as such committed by the tenant since there was, only a few days' delay in remitting the rent. In Govindammal v. Rangaswami Naicker : AIR1956Mad421 (S.N.) Basheer Ahmed Sayeed, J. observed that where a landlord refuses to receive or evades the receipt of the rent payable by the tenant, the failure of the tenant to resort to Section 6-A of the Madras Buildings (Lease and Rent Control) Act , will not bring the tenant within the mischief of wilful default liable to be evicted. I do not think this decision has any application to the facts of the present case. In Basappa v. Jamnadoss : (1979)1MLJ317 , Ramaprasada Rao, C.J. has clearly brought out the circumstances under which the tenant must be construed as having committed wilful default by stating that the default as a ground for eviction should be such that it should be so conspicuous to a reasonable person' that the tenant's attitude was nothing but supreme indifference and purposeful evasiveness resulting in his recalcitrance. No doubt in that case, on the facts and circumstances that existed, the learned Judge held that there was no wilful default. In Chithlravadivu Ammal v. Dr. Moses T. Sunder (1982) T.L.N. 57, Fakkir Mohammed, J. has referred to the principles laid down in Basappa v. Jumnadoss : (1979)1MLJ317 , and on the facts and circumstances of that case, held that there was no wilful default. In Komalam Ammal v. Ashoka Cycle and Motor Company (1980) 1 M.L.J.494, Sathiadev, J, on the facts of that case found that the landlady in that case had agreed to receive the rents in a lump sum and when she had so agreed there was no question of wilful default. In Khivraj v. Maniklal : AIR1966Mad67 , Ramamurthi, J. after referring to Rangaraju v. Parthasarathi : (1964)1MLJ12 and other decisions, has succinctly stated that wilful default was a state of mind or intention which must be inferred from the totality of circumstances and that mere default by itself would not amount to wilful default and the conduct of the tenant should be such as to lead to the inference that his omission was a conscious violation of his obligation to pay the rent or reckless indifference. Thus according to the learned Judge, the difference between default and wilful default should be borne in mind before, coming to the conclusion that the tenant is liable to be evicted on the ground of wilful default. I have absolutely no hesitation in accepting the principles that have been laid down in the decisions referred to above. We have to consider on the facts and circumstances of the present case as to whether the petitioner herein has committed wilful default or not.

5. In this case P.W.1, in his evidence has specifically stated that he has not received the rent sent under Exhibit B-5 and the endorsement thereon ought to have been made without his knowledge. In Exhibit B-5 which is a money order coupon for Rs. 230/- sent on 13.6.1981 there is an endorsement stating that it is refused by the first respondent. The averment in the counter filed by the petitioner herein is specific to the effect that he is in arrears of rent from April, 1981 onwards. From his own statement it is clear that the rent sent under Exhibit B-5 is definitely beyond the time specified in the agreement to pay rent. Even apart from this fact, P.W.1, has asserted that he did not receive such a money order. Exhibit B-4 is relied on by the petitioner for the purpose of stating that he was depositing the rent in the State Bank since the first respondent has refused to receive the rent. The trial Court has referred to Exhibit B-4 from which it is clear that when 3 months' rent was due, the petitioner herein has deposited only 2 months' rent. So also en 3.9.1981, when 6 months' rent was due, the petitioner remitted only three months' rent. The several withdrawals by the petitioner herein would probablise the contention of the respondents that Exhibit B-4 is only a personal savings account of the petitioner herein and it was not intended to remit the rent due to the respondents. It is only on 19.3.1982 under Exhibit B-1 a demand draft for Rs. 2,350/-stating that it represents the arrears for all months was sent. It is subsequent to all these dealings R.C.O.P.No. 29/82 was filed on the ground of wilful default for the months from May, 1981 to May, 1982. The Tacts stated above will clearly' reveal that the petitioner has never taken any steps either to address the respondents for the purpose of depositing the rent or to invoke Section 8 of the Tamil Nadu Buildings (Lease and Rent Control) Act for depositing the rent into Court. Taking all these aspect into consideration, the two authorities below have held that the default is wilful and as such the petitioner has to be evicted from the building under his occupation. The facts clearly reveal the supine indifference and callousness on the part of the petitioner to pay the rent due to the respondents herein. This aspect of the case has been properly discussed by the two authorities below. In Krishna Reddy v. Vasudevayya 1982 M.L.J.22 Nainar Sundaram, J. has specifically held that the concurrent findings based on evidence shall not be interferred with by this Court exercising jurisdiction under Section 25 of the Act. In this case, I do not find any misconception of the principles to be applied nor any ignorance on the part of the authorities below to advert to such principles nor the authorities below have taken any extraneous or Irrelevant factors, into consideration to arrive at the decision.

6. For all these reasons I do not find any merit in the present revision petition and I am in complete agreement with the reasoning of the two authorities below. Accordingly the civil revision petition is dismissed. There will be no order as to costs.


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