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A. Doss Arockianathan Vs. S. Rita - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectTenancy
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Reported in(1984)2MLJ194
AppellantA. Doss Arockianathan
RespondentS. Rita
Cases Referred and Amolak Singh v. Madanlal
Excerpt:
- .....eviction of the petitioner.2. learned counsel for the petitioner challenged the finding of the learned appellate authority regarding wilful default. finding that there is force in the said argument of the learned counsel for the petitioner, the learned counsel for the respondent in turn canvassed the finding of the learned appellate authority about nuisance. i have pointed out even at the outset that though the landlady's complaint of nuisance found favour with the learned rent controller. it was rejected by the appellate authority. as i find that the landlady's complaint of nuisance deserves acceptance, i do not propose to advert to the ground of wilful default.3. learned counsel for the petitioner fairly conceded that though the respondent had not preferred any revision against.....
Judgment:

K. Shanmukham, J.

1. The tenant is the petitioner. His landlady, the respondent herein came forward with H.R.C. 4135 of 1920 on the file of the XIII Judge, Court of Small Causes Madras seeking the petitioner's eviction under Section 10(2)(i), 10(2)(v) and 10(3)(c) of the Tamil Nadu Buildings (Lease and Rent Control) Act (hereinafter referred to as the Act). The learned Rent Controller accepted the grounds of wilful default and nuisance and therefore directed eviction of the petitioner. On the petitioner's appeal, H.R.A. 798 of 1981, on the file of the VI Judge, Court of Small Causes, Madras, the Appellate Authority some what differed from the learned Rent Controller and held that the tenant was guilty of wilful default and that the tenant was not liable to be evicted on the complaint of nuisance, while it confirmed the finding of the learned Rent Controller regarding the landlord's case for additional accommodation. In view of its finding on the ground of wilful default, the appellate authority also ordered eviction of the petitioner.

2. Learned counsel for the petitioner challenged the finding of the learned Appellate Authority regarding wilful default. Finding that there is force in the said argument of the learned Counsel for the petitioner, the learned Counsel for the respondent in turn canvassed the finding of the learned Appellate Authority about nuisance. I have pointed out even at the outset that though the landlady's complaint of nuisance found favour with the learned Rent Controller. It was rejected by the Appellate Authority. As I find that the landlady's complaint of nuisance deserves acceptance, I do not propose to advert to the ground of wilful default.

3. Learned counsel for the petitioner fairly conceded that though the respondent had not preferred any revision against such adverse finding of the Appellate Authority regarding her case under Section 10(2)(v) of the Act, she is entitled to assail such adverse findings of the Appellate Authority in revision filed by the petitioner-tenant, because the landlady came forward with a sole petition claiming eviction on three grounds and because she was favoured with an order of eviction on one ground or other in the courts below. It is already seen that the learned Rent Controller did uphold the landlady's complaint of acts of nuisance on the part of the tenant. It is interesting to note that even the Appellate Authority did find as a matter of fact that 'There is evidence to show that the acts of the appellant must have necessarily caused disturbance to the dwellers of the houses in the vicinity'. Notwithstanding such finding, the Appellate Authority rejected the landlady's claim for eviction on the ground that that cannot form the basis of an order of eviction under the provisions of Section 10(2)(v) of the Act. 1 find, the respondent is entitled to take advantage of such concurrent finding of fact and that her task is limited to pointing out that the approach made by the Appellate Authority in its interpretation of Section 10(2)(iv) of the Act can hardly be sustained.

4. Section 10(2)(v) provides that if the Controller, after giving the tenant a reasonable opportunity of showing cause against the application, is satisfied that the tenant has been guilty of such acts and conduct which are a nuisance to the occupiers of other portions in the same building or of buildings in the neighbourhood, the Controller shall make an order directing the tenant to put the landlord to possession of the building and if the Controller is not so satisfied, he shall make an order rejecting the application. From the plain meaning of the section, it is clear that if the tenant has been guilty of such acts and conduct which are a nuisance to the occupiers of other portions in the same building, a portion of which is in his occupation, he is liable to be evicted, so too, if the tenant has been guilty of such acts and conduct which are a nuisance to the occupiers of buildings in the neighbourhood he will have to suffer eviction. Thus, what the Act requires to enable a landlord to take advantage of Section 10(2)(v) is either the tenant is guilty of such acts and conduct which are a nuisance to those who occupy other portions in the building, a portion of which he himself occupies as a tenant or such acts and conduct amount to nuisance to the occupiers of the building in the neighbourhood. There is nothing in the provision to suggest that the acts and conduct complained of against a tenant should be committed within the precincts of the premises. In the absence of express indication to the above effect, I am unable to countenance the argument advanced by the learned Counsel for the petitioner that in this case, the acts of complaint are admittedly made outside the building a portion of which is in the petitioner's occupation and therefore, the landlady is not entitled to invoke to her aid Section 10(2)(v), because the evidence adduced by the landlady is limited to such acts and conduct on the part of the petitioner said to have been made in the street itself.

5. Now, let me examine the order of the Appellate Authority on this particular ground. It is useful to extract the crucial part of the order dealing with this particular point:

The order of eviction has been passed by the Rent Controller holding that the appellant is guilty of acts of nuisance. But the admitted evidence of the respondent is that the appellant used to station his vehicle only on the street and not in any portion of the petition mentioned premises. If disturbance is caused by the appellant by repairing or washing his vehicle on the street, it can only amount to a public nuisance. The act complained of cannot be taken to have (sic)relation to the tenancy of the appellant. Therefore, though there is evidence to show that the act of the appellant must have necessarily caused disturbance to the dwellers of the houses in the vicinity, still that cannot form the basis for an order of eviction under the provisions of Section 10(2)(v) of Act 18 of 1960.

The Appellate Authority did find that the acts and conduct of the petitioner can only amount to a public nuisance, nonetheless, it rejected the landlady's request for eviction on its reasoning that the disturbance caused to the dwellers of the houses in the vicinity cannot form the basis of an order of eviction under Section 10(2)(v). The Appellate Authority had not correctly understood the scope and effect of the said provision. I have already pointed out that the landlady can successfully sustain her petition for eviction on the ground of nuisance if her tenant had been guilty of such acts and conduct which are a nuisance to the occupiers of the building in the neighbourhood alone. If that is so, on such finding of the Appellate Authority the landlady is entitled to be favoured with an order of eviction and the revision has to be allowed.

6. Nevertheless, learned Counsel for the petitioner contended that in a revision under Section 25 of the Act, this Court is entitled to interfere with such concurrent findings of fact; It is relevant to notice that the Supreme Court had ruled with reference to a case of wilful default that this Court shall not interfere on such concurrent findings of fact, even though the language of Section 25 is in wider terms than Section 115, Civil Procedure Code, 1908. In view of the above ruling, I have my own doubt whether the petitioner is entitled to challenge the correctness of such concurrent findings of fact unless such finding is characterised and established as perverse. Be that as it may, I have myself assessed the evidence placed by both sides relating to the complaint of nuisance, I must immediately point out here that if on the assessment of evidence, such concurrent findings of fact could be supported, certainly, such finding will not be termed as perverse. P.W. 3, a resident of premises No. 24, Palaniandavar St., Chintadripet, Madras, has corroborated the evidence of P.W. 1, the respondent's son. It is pertinent to recall that the petition premises is No. 25, Palaniandavar St., Chintadripet. Thus, it is established that P.W. 3 is an occupier of the neighbouring buildings. In fact the section only prescribes that even if the occupiers of the building in the neighbourhood should complain that the tenant has been guilty of such acts and conduct, the tenant should suffer an order of eviction. In the instant case, it is the adjacent building, which is in the occupation of P.W. 3. It is seen from the evidence of P. Ws.l and 3 that at about 10 p.m., and sometime later, the tenant used to park his two tempos to wash and to repair them, that for that purpose, he used to have a lighting by drawing supply of electric energy from the portion demised to him and used to take water from the building, a portion of which he is occupying and that the occupants of the building and those of the neighbouring building were disturbed in their sleep. Above all, the tenant's defence that he never parked the vehicles in front of the building, is rejected by the courts below, because the evidence of P.W. 4 as employee of the Church is to the effect that the petitioner never parked his tempos in front of the Church as contended by him in his counter. Besides it was found that the tenant put forward a belated plea that he used to park his tempos in a shed along Coovam river bank. Thus, I find that there is enough evidence for the courts below to reach a finding that the petitioner's acts and conduct in parking, washing and repairing his tempo vehicles are a nuisance to the occupiers of other portions in the same building or of buildings in the neighbourhood I must reiterate that the evidence of P. Ws.l and 3 do establish that such nuisance is caused not only to the occupiers of the building, a part of which is in the occupation of the petitioner, but also to the occupiers in the neighbouring buildings.

7. Incidentally, it has to be noticed that the appellate authority has observed that the act complained of cannot be taken to have any relation to the tenancy of the appellant obviously because the tempos are repaired and washed in the street. Such an approach is wholly erroneous, because the tenant was occupying a part of 24, Palaniandawar Street, Chintadripet, (sic) and he was able to park his thtemposio in front of that building. That is enough to hold that the act complained of has every relation to the tenancy in favour of the petitioner.

8. In support of his contention, learned Counsel for the petitioner invited my attention to three decisions, viz., Rama Dass v. Meenakshi Sundrareswarar Devasthanam (1956) 1 M.L.J. 55, Biswanath Chatterjee v. A.K. Sarkar : AIR1972Cal52 , and Amolak Singh v. Madanlal (1978) 1 R.C.J. 386 : 80 P.L.R. 224 : A.I.R. 1978 P.& H. 211. I find none of these decisions renders any help to the petitioner, Basheer Ahmed Sayeed, 3., in the first decision had pointed out that even a nuisance to the occupiers of the building in the neighbourhood is a valid ground to sustain an order of eviction according to the learned Judge, the term 'occupiers of other portions in the same building', meant other tenants under the same landlord in the same premises. It is nowhere ruled by the learned Judge that nuisance should be committed in the premises itself, otherwise, Section 10(2)(v) cannot come into play. The other two decisions are relied on by the learned Counsel for the petitioner to support his contention that a single act of nuisance will not enable a landlord to claim an order of eviction. In the instant case, that was not the pleading at all by the petitioner; at any rate, the evidence of P. Ws.l and 3 is that over a year, the nuisance was unabated.

9. In the result, the revision fails and is dismissed with costs. The tenant is granted two months time to vacate on his depositing two months rent into the court of the learned Rent Controller or before 26th April, 1983.


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