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A.V. Guruswami Nadar (Deceased) and ors. Vs. Natesa Nadar - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectTenancy
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Reported in(1969)2MLJ488
AppellantA.V. Guruswami Nadar (Deceased) and ors.
RespondentNatesa Nadar
Excerpt:
- t. ramaprasada rao, j.1. the legal representatives of a chief tenant aggrieved by the order of the third assistant judge, city civil court, madras, who directed that one other party apart from the petitioners on record should be impleaded to the proceedings as a legal representative of the deceased chief tenant, have filed this civil revision petition canvassing the propriety and correctness of the same. one a. v. guruswamy nadar is admittedly the chief tenant of the premises in question. the respondent is his tenant. the chief tenant secured an order of eviction in h. r. g. no. 1544 of 1961 which was sustained in appeal. there were ancillary civil proceedings questioning the correctness of the eviction order passed under the madras buildings (lease and rent control) act, 1960. such civil.....
Judgment:

T. Ramaprasada Rao, J.

1. The legal representatives of a chief tenant aggrieved by the order of the Third Assistant Judge, City Civil Court, Madras, who directed that one other party apart from the petitioners on record should be impleaded to the proceedings as a legal representative of the deceased chief tenant, have filed this Civil Revision Petition canvassing the propriety and correctness of the same. One A. V. Guruswamy Nadar is admittedly the chief tenant of the premises in question. The respondent is his tenant. The chief tenant secured an order of eviction in H. R. G. No. 1544 of 1961 which was sustained in appeal. There were ancillary civil proceedings questioning the correctness of the eviction order passed under the Madras Buildings (Lease and Rent Control) Act, 1960. Such civil proceedings also proved unsuccessful in so far as the respondent is concerned. During this protracted period, when the chief tenant was confronted with various proceedings, one or the other, filed by or at the instance of the respondent, the chief tenant died leaving behind him petitioners 2, 3 and 4 in this Civil Revision Petition as his legal representatives. The petitioners 2, 3 and 4 sought to bring themselves on record as members of the chief tenant's family, who had been living with the chief tenant in the premises as such members of his family upto the date of the death of the chief tenant. This petition filed by petitioners 2, 3 and 4 hereinafter referred to as petitioners, was opposed by the respondent on the ground that the wife of the respondent, who happens to be another daughter of the chief tenant, should also be impleaded as a legal representative of the deceased chief tenant and without such impletion, further process in execution cannot issue. This found acceptance with the learned City Civil Judge, who after hearing the parties found that the wife of the respondent, one of the daughters of the deceased chief tenant, should also be impleaded as one of the legal representatives of the deceased chief tenant.

2. The main contention of the learned Counsel for the petitioners, who canvasses the correctness of the above order, is that the chief tenant being a tenant within the meaning of the Madras Act XVIII of 1960, the petitioners who applied to be brought on record as the legal representatives of such a tenant, do satisfy the requirement of law and particularly Section 2, Clause (8) read with the Explanation to Section 2, Clause (6) of Madras Act XVIII of 1960. On the other hand, the contention of the learned Counsel for the respondent is that the chief tenant is a landlord in so far as the respondent is concerned and that this is expressly provided for in the Explanation to Section 2, Clause (6) of the Act and that therefore, the meaning or the elaboration of the word ' tenant' as provided in Section 2 (8) of the Act, cannot be pressed into service to ascertain as to who the legal representatives of a chief tenant are: The Explanation to Section 2, Clause (6) of the Act runs as follows;

A tenant who sub-lets shall be deemed to be a landlord within the meaning of this Act in relation to the sub-tenants.

It is common ground that the chief tenant sub-let a portion of the premises to the, respondent. It, therefore, follows that by the operation of the fiction contained in the Explanation as above, the chief tenant is the landlord vis-a-vis the respondent. This, of course, is for certain specific purposes. In my view, the chief tenant does not lose his primary status as a tenant under Act XVIII of 1960 merely because he has sub-let and by virtue of the fiction set out above a relationship of landlord and tenant is created as between himself and his sub-tenant. If, therefore, the primary status of the chief tenant is maintained throughout, and in my view has to be maintained, then the language employed in Section 2, Clause (8) of the Act gives a key to find a solution to the problem as to who ought to be considered as a legal representative of a chief tenant. In the instant case, it is not in dispute that the petitioners were living with the chief tenant as members of the chief tenant's family upto the date of his death. Such persons are enumerated expressly as legal representatives of a deceased chief tenant. I do not find any difficulty in adopting this enumerative Explanation provided in Section 2, Clause (8) which sets out who the legal representatives of a deceased chief tenant are. It may be for purposes of convenience and for certain specific reasons, that the Legislature has dubbed the chief tenant with the status of a landlord so that he could work out his rights under the special enactment as against the sub-tenant concerned. But that would not, in my view, be sufficient to change the status of a chief tenant to that of a landlord as is normally and grammatically understood. It cannot be disputed that the chief tenant is not a landlord for all purposes. He is only a landlord for certain specific purposes and for certain specific reasons mentioned in the Act XVIII of 1960. In this context, and having regard to the language of Section 2, Clauses (6) and (8), I am of the opinion that in so far as the legal representatives of a chief tenant are concerned, such of those members of the chief tenant's family, who were living with him upto the date of his death would only be the proper legal representatives, who ought to be brought on record for purposes of farther process to be undertaken by such legal representatives of the deceased chief tenant in proceedings filed by the chief tenant against the sub-tenant. In this view, the decision of the lower Court that the respondent's wife ought to be impleaded as one of the representatives of the deceased even though she was not a member of the tenant's family in the strict sense and living with him till the date of his death, appears to be one passed without jurisdiction.

3. It is, therefore, set aside and the Civil Revision Petition is allowed. No costs.


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