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The Jamia Darus Salem Arabic College Trust by Its Honorary Secretary, Kaka Haji Mohammed Omar Sahib Vs. B. Rajanna and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectTenancy
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Reported in(1972)2MLJ141
AppellantThe Jamia Darus Salem Arabic College Trust by Its Honorary Secretary, Kaka Haji Mohammed Omar Sahib
RespondentB. Rajanna and anr.
Excerpt:
- .....door no. 3, thambu chetty street, george town, madras-1, belong to the petitioner trust, and two rooms, room nos. 4-a and 6 in the first floor of the said premises were let out about 25 years ago to the first respondent rajanna, a chartered accountant. the allegation in the petition for eviction dated 2nd november, 1965 was that the first respondent had sub-let a portion bearing door no. 4-a (small room) to the second respondent panduranga rao on a rent of rs. 50 per month and thus rendered himself liable to eviction under section 10(2)(ii) of the act. the first respondent denied the sub-letting and stated that the second respondent was his friend whom he had permitted to occupy a portion of room no. 6 free of rent. the second respondent also filed a similar counter.2. the petitioner's.....
Judgment:

K.S. Venkataraman, J.

1. This petition' has been filed under Section 25 of the Madras Buildings (Lease and Rent Control) Act, 1960, (XVIII of i960), by a landlord (a trust) who has been unsuccessful in its application for eviction of the first respondent. The premises bearing Door No. 3, Thambu Chetty Street, George Town, Madras-1, belong to the petitioner trust, and two rooms, room Nos. 4-A and 6 in the first floor of the said premises were let out about 25 years ago to the first respondent Rajanna, a Chartered Accountant. The allegation in the petition for eviction dated 2nd November, 1965 was that the first respondent had sub-let a portion bearing Door No. 4-A (small room) to the second respondent Panduranga Rao on a rent of Rs. 50 per month and thus rendered himself liable to eviction under Section 10(2)(ii) of the Act. The first respondent denied the sub-letting and stated that the second respondent was his friend whom he had permitted to occupy a portion of room No. 6 free of rent. The second respondent also filed a similar counter.

2. The petitioner's agent gave evidence as P.W. 1 and stated that subsequent to the filing of the petition, the second respondent had gone to room No. 6. The two respondents examined themselves.

3. The Rent Controller held that the petitioner had not proved the case of subletting and accepted the case of the respondents that the second respondent had been allowed to occupy a portion of room No. 6 free of rent on account of his friendship with the first respondent. This finding was confirmed in appeal. Hence, this further revision petition.

4. I am unable to agree with the conclusions of the authorities below. In my opinion, the facts speak for themselves. Admittedly the second respondent had been occupying a portion of room No. 6 and according to the orders of the authorities below, the occupation has been from 1958. The size of the first room is 8'X 8' and that of the second room is 16' X 8'. The evidence on the side of the respondents is that room No. 4-A is occupied exclusively by the first respondent, Auditor, and that the second room is divided by a screen and in a portion, the second respondent is having a table and furniture and is carrying on business as an Advertising Agent under the name of Swastik Agencies. He is also having a telephone of his own from 1964, in addition to the telephone which the first respondent has in his own name. The first respondent has four clerks and a typist who also work in room No. 6, the second room. It will be seen that room No. 6 is only i6' X 8' and surely the first respondent would not have put himself to the inconvenience of limiting the space available for his staff and clients by permitting the second respondent to occupy a portion of room No. 6, merely on account of friendship. I am certain that some rent must have been received from the second respondent by the first respondent, though naturally it does not find a place in the accounts of either the first respondent or the second respondent, They are no doubt income-tax assessees. But it would have been suicidal to them if they had exhibited the payment of rent in the accounts, because that would have immediately created evidence of sub-letting and entailed their evidence straightaway. Not merely has the second respondent a separate phone and a board of his own, but according to the admission of the first respondent, the second respondent has also a key for room No. 6, though the second respondent would deny it. Incidentally, the denial by the second respondent would show a desire to suppress an inconvenient fact. It is clear that even on the evidence on the side of the respondents, the second respondent has been occupying a portion of room No. 6, as a sub-tenant on payment of rent, and that occupation is without the permission of the landlord. Hence, the first respondent is liable to be evicted under Section 10(2)(ii) of the Act.

5. In the above view, it is immaterial to consider whether the petitioner has not succeeded in proving its case of occupation of room No. 4-A during a prior period by the second respondent. But I would observe that as a matter of probability it is not likely that the petitioner would have come forward with such a case unless it had been true. If the second respondent had throughout been occupying only a portion of room No. 6 that allegation itself should have been sufficient for the petitioner. In other words, it could well have stated that the second respondent had been occupying a portion of room No. 6 as a sub-tenant. The authorities below have relied on one circumstance to show that the second respondent would not have been occupying room No. 4-A at any time. The circumstance is that if he had been occupying room No. 4-A, he must have had also his phone there and the phone must have been shifted later to room No. 6 and for such shifting the permission of the telephone authority would have been necessary and would have been taken and it should have been easy for the petitioner to summon the records from the telephone department to prove that fact. But all this proceeds on the assumption that the telephone was shifted with the permission of the telephone authority. Of that one cannot be certain. In any case, the facts proved on the side of the respondents themselves show that on the date of the petition, the first respondent had sub-let a portion of room No. 6 to the second respondent.

6. Room No. 4-A and room No. 6 constitute one single tenancy and for the purpose of attracting Section 10(2)(ii) it is immaterial which portion was exactly sub-let. The inference which I have drawn is the only inference which any reasonable person can draw and the views expressed by the authorities below are such that no reasonable person would take.

7. Accordingly I hold that there has been sub-letting and consequently order the eviction of the first, respondent. This means that the second respondent will also have to vacate the premises. They are given time till first January, 1972 to vacate the premises. The parties will bear their costs throughout.


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