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A.G.S. Moorthy Vs. Mrs. S. Satyanathan - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectTenancy
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Reported in(1976)1MLJ343
AppellantA.G.S. Moorthy
RespondentMrs. S. Satyanathan
Cases ReferredSeldaraj v. Narasimha Rao
Excerpt:
- .....some animosity between the landlady and the tenant would be of any relevance. 2. mr. n. sivamani, learned counsel appearing for the revision petitioner, strenuously urges before me that this is a case in which there is absolute lack of bona fides within the meaning of section 14(1)(5). the appellate authority has taken a light-hearted view and has made out a case for the landlady since all that was stated in paragraph 4 of her petition was a vague allegation that she bona fides required the building without any detail whatsoever. those details were sought to be supplied only by oral evidence as a result of which the tenant was taken by surprise. this apart, exhibit p-2 and p-3 have not been legally proved. more than this, exhibit p-4 and p-5 do not show that actually the landlady is in.....
Judgment:

S. Mohan, J.

1. This revision arises under the Tamil Nadu Buildings (Lease and Rent Control) Act consequent to the allowing of the application under Section 14 of the said Act by the appellate authority. The tenant is the revision petitioner. The Rent Controller found that there was lack of bona fides, because the landlady, P.W. 1, was not in a position to name the Engineer who prepared Exhibits P-2 and P-3 and also Exhibit P-1 plan. It was further found that she did not have the wherewithal notwithstanding Exhibit P-4 and P-5. Consequently, he dismissed her application. Aggrieved by the same, an appeal was preferred. The appellate authority reversed the findings and ordered eviction. In so doing, he held, that the evidence should not be examined in microscopic detail, nor again the prior proceedings which exhibited some animosity between the landlady and the tenant would be of any relevance. 2. Mr. N. Sivamani, Learned Counsel appearing for the revision petitioner, strenuously urges before me that this is a case in which there is absolute lack of bona fides within the meaning of Section 14(1)(5). The appellate authority has taken a light-hearted view and has made out a case for the landlady since all that was stated in paragraph 4 of her petition was a vague allegation that she bona fides required the building without any detail whatsoever. Those details were sought to be supplied only by oral evidence as a result of which the tenant was taken by surprise. This apart, Exhibit P-2 and P-3 have not been legally proved. More than this, Exhibit P-4 and P-5 do not show that actually the landlady is in a position to secure the necessary funds for the purpose of re-construction. In support of these submissions, the Learned Counsel relies on Neta Ram v. Jiwan Lal : AIR1963SC499 , and Selvaraj v. Narasimha Rao : (1969)1MLJ587 .

3. The Learned Counsel for the respondent would urge that the appellate authority, on an examination of all the relevant circumstances including the preparation made for the re-construction and also the attempts to secure the necessary finances, has come to the proper conclusion and therefore, no exception could be taken to its order of eviction.

In matters like this, as Ramaprasada Rao, J., pointed out in Seldaraj v. Narasimha Rao : (1969)1MLJ587 , the test is:

In an application under Section 14(1)(b), there is no scope for such bifurcation of bona fides and compartmentalisation thereof...Once it is found that the landlord has satisfied all other relevant considerations which might arise under Section 14(1)(b) of the Act, and his claim is found to be honest and not designed and not for an ingenuous purpose, then no option is left to the Court except to direct eviction of the tenant. This is so, because the landlord is always under the grave risk of facing a claim for repossession of the building or part thereof whenever he fails in his undertaking as contemplated in Sub-section (2) of Section 14 resulting in the tenant securing the redelivery of the building or part thereof secured by the landlord pursuant to the orders passed by the Controller under Section 14(1)(b). This safeguard acts as a pivot to tilt matters one way or the other and in effect a microscopic scrutiny into the subjective content of the expression 'bona fide' appearing under Section 14(1)(b) becomes absolutely unnecessary.

Applying the same test, I am unable to see any dishonest motive or design in the instant case. Merely because the landlady is not in a position to name the Engineer who had prepared either the plan or the report, Exhibit P-2 and P-3, that does not mean that there is any lack of bona fide. Exhibits P-4 and P-5 clearly show the necessary steps taken in regard to procuring the finances. Added to this, the landlady has stated in her oral evidence that her husband is having a clinic in a portion of the said premises and her son, who was a House Surgeon at the time of the enquiry of the Rent Control Petition, has become a Doctor and these factors make her requirement bona fide. Unfortunately, the Rent Controller has made much of certain small discrepancies in her evidence which, the appellate authority has pointed out, do not be little her claim for demolition and reconstruction. In this view, I am unable to see any merit in the revision, petition.

4. Mr. N. Sivamani, Learned Counsel, would submit that the tenant is running a workshop and in the normal course, this revision would have taken some more time to reach final disposal and therefore, at least six months' time may be granted to him while the Learned Counsel for the respondent would suggest a period of three months. Taking both into consideration, I direct the tenant to vacate the premises forming the subject-matter of the revision petition on or before 31st March, 1976. With this observation, this revision petition is dismissed. However, there will be no order as to costs.


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