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C.V. Govindan and anr. Vs. A. Rajagopal Nadar - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectTenancy
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Reported in(1968)2MLJ315
AppellantC.V. Govindan and anr.
RespondentA. Rajagopal Nadar
Cases ReferredJaffar v. Palaniappa
Excerpt:
- .....four tenants therein since the landlord required the building for his own occupation and was not occupying a residential building of his own in the city. the rent controller allowed the application. two of the four tenants did not challenge the order, but two others, c.v. govindan and t. govindaswami (the petitioners before me), took up the matter in appeal. the appeal was dismissed and hence this further revision petition.2. the facts concurrently found by the courts below are these. the landlord is not occupying a residential building of his own in the city. he is at present occupying no. 21, chinnathambi naicken street, kosapet, madras-12, about 7 miles away from the house in question in komaleeswaranpet. the house in kosapet belongs to the landlords' younger brother natarajan who.....
Judgment:

K.S. Venkataraman, J.

1. This civil revision petition arises out of an application filed by the owner of No. 13, Nagappa Mudali Street, Komaleeswaranpet, Madras-2, under Section 10 (3) (a) (i) of the Madras Buildings (Lease and Rent Control) Act (XVIII of 1960) for eviction of the four tenants therein since the landlord required the building for his own occupation and was not occupying a residential building of his own in the City. The Rent Controller allowed the application. Two of the four tenants did not challenge the order, but two others, C.V. Govindan and T. Govindaswami (the petitioners before me), took up the matter in appeal. The appeal was dismissed and hence this further revision petition.

2. The facts concurrently found by the Courts below are these. The landlord is not occupying a residential building of his own in the City. He is at present occupying No. 21, Chinnathambi Naicken Street, Kosapet, Madras-12, about 7 miles away from the house in question in Komaleeswaranpet. The house in Kosapet belongs to the landlords' younger brother Natarajan who got married recently on 28th February 1966. The landlord Rajagopal Nadar has a big family consisting of himself, his second wife, and his four children by his first wife.

3. The premises in question (No. 13, Nagappa Mudali Street, Komaleeswaranpet) consists of five portions in all. In one portion an oil mill of the landlord Rajagopal Nadar is being run. In the four other portions, the four tenants whose eviction was sought were living each separately. The landlord required the four portions for residence of himself and the members of his family and also of the three servants working in the oil mill. It is true that the landlord owns another building in No. 24/25, Venkatesa Naicken Street, Kosapet. But it is in the occupation of some 7 tenants and it will not at all be convenient for the landlord to occupy that house or any portion thereof. In particular, that would not solve the landlord's problem of looking after the oil mills because Kosapet is 7 miles from Komalleeswaranpet.

4. I see no reason to interfere with these findings of fact in revision. The point to land which Sri Gajapathy, learned Counsel for the revision petitioners, urges before me is that the application of the landlord will not fall under Section 10 (3) (a) (i), but will really fall under Section 10 (3) (c) and in such a case another criterion has to be satisfied by the landlord before he can evict the tenants, namely, if the hardship which could be caused to the tenants by eviction will outweigh the advantage to the landlord, under the First Proviso to Section 10 (3) (e) the application will have to be rejected. Learned Counsel submits that the Courts below have 1. to discussed this aspect of the matter.

5. To deal with the point it is necessary to quote certain portions of the Act.

10(3)(a). A landlord may, subject to the provisions of Clause (d), apply to the Controller for an order directing the tenant to put the landlord in possession of the building:

(i) in case it is a residential building, if the landlord requires it for his own occupation or for the occupation of his son and if he or his son is not occupying a residential building of his own in the City, town or village concerned;

(ii) in case it is a non-residential building which is used for the purpose of keeping a vehicle or adopted for such use, if the landlord requires it for his own use or for the use of his son and if he or his son is not occupying any such building in the City, town or village concerned which is his own;

(iii) in case it is any other non-residential building, if the landlord or his-son is not occupying for purposes of a business which he or his son is carrying on, a non-residential building in the city, town or village concerned which is his own:

10 (3) (c). A landlord who is occupying only a part of a building, whether residential or non-residential, may notwithstanding anything contained in Clause (a), apply to the Controller for an order directing any tenant occupying the whole or any portion of the remaining part of the building to put the landlord in possession thereof, if he requires additional accommodation for residential purposes or for purposes of a business which he is carrying on as the case may be.

10 (3) (e). The Controller shall, if he is satisfied that the claim of the landlord is bona fide, make an order directing the tenant to put the landlord in possession of the building on such date as may be specified by the Controller and if the Controller is not so satisfied he shall make an order rejecting the application:

Provided that, in the case of an application under Clause (c), the Controller shall reject the application if he is satisfied that the hardship which may be caused to the tenant by granting it will outweigh the advantage to the landlord:

2. (2) In this Act, unless the conext otherwise requires, 'building' near any building or hut or part of a building or hut, let or to be let separately for 'residential or non-residential purposes....

6. It seems to me that on the facts of this case, the application of the landlord will fall under Section 10 (3) (a) (i) and not under Section 10 (3) (c). It may be noted that both in the definition in Section 2 (2) and in Sub-clause (i), (ii) and (iii) of Section 10 (3) (a) a distinction is made between a residential building and anon-residential building and correspondingly occupation for residential purposes of the residential portion and occupation for purposes of business of the, non-residential portions. It will seem, therefore, that under the Act, the non-residential portion of the premises in question where the oil mill is being run--and it is not disputed before me by the learned Counsel for the petitioners that it cannot be used for residential purposes as it stands, will be a building separate from the other portions of the building which are occupied for residential purposes and which the landlord intends to occupy for purposes of his residence. In other words, even, though the landlord is already occupying a part of the building taking the structure as a whole for non-residential purposes, it cannot be said that merely because of that circumstances Section 10 (3) (c) is attracted, because the occupation of that non-residential portion is for non-residential purposes, whereas he wants to occupy the other portions for residential purposes. The natural and normal interpretation of Section 10 (3) (c) is that if a landlord is occupying a part of a residential building for residential purposes and wants additional accommodation for residential purposes in the same building, then Section 10 (3) (c) will apply. But this is not such a case. 1 put forth this interpretation and invited learned Counsel on the two sides to cite any decision which would confirm or run counter to this view. But they have stated that there are no decisions either way. It seems to me that the decision of Jagadisan and Srinivasan, JJ. in Jaffar v. Palaniappa (1954) 1 M.L.J. 112 : I.L.R. (1964) 1 Mad. 34, is not inconsistent with the view which I am expressing. In that case the landlord was occupying a part of the building for residential purposes and wanted additional accommodation of a part of the remaining portion of the premises which part was occupied as a shop by the tenant. The landlord invoiced Section 7 (3) of the Act of 1949, corresponding to Section 10 (3) (c) of the Act of 1960. The contention of the tenant was that Section 7 (3) (c) of the Act of 1949 would not apply and this was put on a two-fold aspect; first, that, having regard to the definition of building in Section 2 (same as the present Act for purpose) the portion already in the occupation of the landlord must be considered as a separate building by itself, and secondly, that similarly the portion sought to be recovered must also be considered as a separate building. In effect, therefore, the tenant's contention was that the application would fall under Section 7 (3) (a) (i) of the Act of 1949 corresponding to Section 10 (3) (a) (i) of the Act of 1960, and therefore, not maintain-.able. This contention was repelled on the reasoning that the definition of building as including part of a building was only a statutory fiction created for the benefit of the tenant, but would not make the part of the building cease to be a part of the .building for construing Section 7 (3) (c) and that, where the landlord in occupation of a part wants additional occupation of a portion or whole of the remaining part, the terms of Section 7 (3) (c) will clearly apply. The question which I am now considering did not fall for decision in that case.

7. Assuming, however, for the sake of argument that the decision will apply, it will only mean this, that the landlord here is already occupying a part of the building No. 13, Nagappa Mudali Street, Komaleeswaranpet by running an oil mill there and even though he wants to occupy the other portions of the building for residential purposes, the case will fall under Section 10(3)(c) of the Act. But even on this footing it seems to me that there is no reason for interference with the order of eviction. I invited the learned Counsel for the petitioners to take me through the evidence to convince me that the hardship which may be caused to the tenants by the order of eviction will outweigh the advantage to the landlord. Learned Counsel says that there is no evidence on this point. It does not appear at all that the tenants were precluded from giving evidence on that point. Further, the circumstances of the case speak for themselves, namely, here is a landlord who is not occupying a residential building of his own and wants this residential portion badly for his large family. The hardship which may be caused to the tenants by the order of eviction cannot in any sense outweigh the advantage to the landlord in such a case.

8. In the result the petition is dismissed with costs. The tenants will be given two months' time from now to vacate provided they pay up the arrears of rent, if any, up-to-date within a week from now. That may be determined by the executing Court.


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