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S. Jaswant Singh Vs. A.R. Ramanathan - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectTenancy
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Reported in(1979)2MLJ187
AppellantS. Jaswant Singh
RespondentA.R. Ramanathan
Cases ReferredDakshinamoarthy v. Thuluja Bai. Before
Excerpt:
- .....will not be suitable for doing diamond and jewellery business carried on by the petitioner in the rented building in the 'heart of the town'. the cutting and polishing units are part of the diamond business carried on by the petitioner. when the building is not suitable for the diamond business carried on by the petitioner, the requirement of the building for locating the polishing and cutting units of the diamond business is not a bona fide requirement.in the reply notice sent by the petitioner, there is no mention about the bona fide requirement of the building either for residential or non-residential purpose. viewed against this background, the requirement of the building in question for the personal occupation of the petitioner is not a bona fide one. aggrieved against the order.....
Judgment:

P. Venugopal, J.

1. The civil revision petition is filed against the judgment, dated 20th March, 1976 of the Subordinate Judge of Devakottai in C.M.A. No. 24 of 1974 reversing the order dated 21st March, 1974 of the Rent Controller, Devakottai, made in H.R.C. No. 70 of 1971.

2. The petitioner is the landlord. The tenant was one A.O.R.M. Arunachalam Chettiar and the respondent before this Court is the L.R. of the said Arunachalam Chettiar. The petitioner purchased the building comprised in R.S. No. 39 from the original owner, Nagammai Achi who had already leased the building on the west. to Arunachalam Chettiar for a monthly rent of Rs. 100. The petitioner filed an application for eviction before the Rent Controller contending; (a) the said Arunaehalam Chettiar denied his title and claimed as though the entire R.S. No. 39 was leased out to him; (b) the said Arunachalam Chettiar, besides committing acts of waste also committed wilful default; (c) the petitioner required the building for his own residential as well as non-residential purposes. On the first two grounds the Rent Controller held against the petitioner. On the third ground, the Rent Controller held that though the requirement of the petitioner for doing diamond and jewellery business in the petition-mentioned premises is not a bona fide requirement, yet the requirement of the building for his residence and using the car shed for his car and for housing the machinery and putting up the cutting and polishing units of the diamond business is a bona fide requirement and the petitioner is entitled to evict the said Arunachalam Chettiar on this ground. Thiru Arunachalam Chettiar filed an appeal and during the pendency of the appeal he died and it is prosecuted by the legal representative who is now respondent before this Court. The only contention before the appellate Court was whether the requirement of the building by the petitioner for his own use and occupation was a bona fide requirement. The appellate Court held:

(1) In considering the question whether the building is required for personal residential occupation of the petitioner and the members of his family, the fact of possession of the house purchased by his wife with whom he admittedly resides is also a relevant factor to be considered, and when there is a house for residential occupation, the claim of the petitioner that the building let out for nonresidential purpose is essential for his immediate occupation is not a bona fide one.

(2) The nature of the building in question, the locality in which it is situated and the nature of the building in which the petitioner does his business and its location in a central place establish that the building in question can hardly be used for residential purpose and it can be used only for non-residential purpose for which it was leased.

3. The building in question and its surroundings will not be suitable for doing diamond and jewellery business carried on by the petitioner in the rented building in the 'heart of the town'. The cutting and polishing units are part of the diamond business carried on by the petitioner. When the building is not suitable for the diamond business carried on by the petitioner, the requirement of the building for locating the polishing and cutting units of the diamond business is not a bona fide requirement.

In the reply notice sent by the petitioner, there is no mention about the bona fide requirement of the building either for residential or non-residential purpose. Viewed against this background, the requirement of the building in question for the personal occupation of the petitioner is not a bona fide one. Aggrieved against the order passed by the appellate authority, the petitioner-landlord has filed this revision petition before this Court.

3. It is contended for the petitioner that the landlord is not disentitled from getting an order of eviction for his own residential purpose, merely because his wife has purchased a property and the use of the words 'of his own' in Section 10(3)(a)(i) indicates that it must be exclusively the house of the landlord and the house purchased by the wife cannot be claimed to be the house exclusively of his own, and so the eviction order passed against the tenant should be confirmed It is further contended that the finding of the Courts below that the building is not suitable for the diamond business carried on by the petitioner is not based on any evidence. The business need not, be carried in a premises situated in 'the heart of the town' and it can be carried on in any area considered fit by the petitioner and it is for the petitioner to choose the area where the business should be carried on. It is also contended that inasmuch as the Rent Controller has recorded a finding that the building is required for a non-residential purpose and it is a bona fide requirement, the order of eviction should be confirmed irrespective of whether the building is required for a residential purpose or not.

4. It is contended for the respondent that having leased out the building for a non residential purpose, it is not open to the petitioner to file a petition for eviction on the ground that fee requires the building both for residential and non-residential purposes. Since the building is not suitable for the diamond business carried on by the petitioner and as the cutting and polishing suits of the diamond business cannot be separated from the main diamond business as they formed one composite unit, the contention that the building is required by the petitioner for a non-residential purpose should be negatived.

5. The facts over which there are no dispute are:

(1) the petitioner is residing in a rented house and is doing business in diamond and precious stones and jewellery in another rented premises at No. 8, Kannu Pillai Street, Karaikudi;

2. the petitioner is having a rented premises No. 35, Kannn Pillai Street, for the purpose of housing the cutting and polishing units of the diamond business;

(3) the petitioner is having a car and is paying a rent of Rs. 20 for the car shed at door No. 9, Pallivasal Street, Karaikudi;

(4) the petitioner has no other non-residential building, except the petition-mentioned building.

It is thus clear that the petitioner is carrying on the diamond business in a rented building, the polishing and cutting units of the business is housed in another rented building and his car is parked in a rented car shed. The petitioner has purchased the petition mentioned building so that his by business which is scattered and being carried on in a number of small rented buildings, can be carried on in a single building. This clearly demonstrates that the building is required by the petitioner for nonresidential purposes viz., for carrying on diamond and jewellery business, and is bona fide. The fact that the petitioner is carrying on business in two rented buildings which are situated at two different places and the further fact that the car is parked in a car shed for rent together with the factum of purchase of the petition-mentioned building for a considerable amount of Rs. 15,000 amply go to establish that the requirement of the petitioner for carrying on the business in the petition-mentioned building is a bona fide requirement. When the petitioner purchased the building from the original owner Nagammai Achi a portion of the building in the west was already leased to the respondent on a monthly rent of Rs. 100. Then the petitioner was in occupation of only a portion of the building. It is significant to note that the petitioner has not leased out the portion in his possession. This is yet another indication to show that the building was purchased by the petitioner for his own use and occupation.

6. The Rent Controller's finding is that the petition mentioned building is situated in an industrial area and not being situated in the 'heart of the town' it is not suitable for carrying on the diamond business of the petitioner The appellate Court has held that since the diamond business and the cutting and polishing unit of the diamond business constitute one composite unit and as the building is rot suitable for carrying on the diamond builness, the requirement of the building by the petitioner for non-residential purpose is not a bona fide requirement. Except a vague reference in the evidence of PW. 2 that the petition-mentioned building it situated in an industrial area, there is absolutely no evidence to suggest why the building is not suitable for the diamond business of the petitioner. The finding by the Courts below is that the rented premises where the petitioner is carrying on the diamond business is not situated in the 'heart of the town.' This is a finding not supported by any evidence. That apart, there is absolutely no evidence to show why the petitioner-mentioned building is not suitable for the diamond business of the petitioner. The petitioner-premises may be situated in an industrial area. That by itself is not sufficient for holding that it is not suitable for the diamond business of the petitioner. After all, where the petitioner should carry on his business is a matter of his choice and it is not for the Courts to sit in judgment and indicate the preference. It is next contended for the respondent that the building is required for the non-residential purpose of the petitioner is not indicated in Exhibit A-4, the reply notice sent by the petitioner and this is a strong circumstance to indicate that the contention that the petitioner is requiring the building for non residential purposes is an after-thought and the requirement of the petitioner is not a bona fide one. Exhibit A-4 is a reply to the notice sent by the respondent. The respondent issued a notice containing various allegations and Exhibit A-4 is mainly directed towards denying the various allegations made by the respondent in the notice issued by him Further it is significant to note that even in Exhibit A-4 the petitioner 1 as stated in unmistakable terms that the building is required for the purpose of additional accommodation for carrying on the business of the petitioner. So the contention that the requirement of the building by the petitioner for non-residential purposes is not a bonafide requirement and a mere after-thought, is devoid of merits and has to be negatived.

7. It is next contended for the respondent that having leased out the building for a nonresidential purpose; it is not open to the petitioner to file a petition for eviction on the ground that he requires the building both for residential and for non-residential purposes. In support of this contention, the decision of this Court in C.R P. No. 2063 of 1977, dated 31st August 1978 reported in V. Balakrishnan Menon v. M.A. Gorindan : (1979)1MLJ237 was cited. In that case the contention that was advanced : AIR1952Mad413 before the appellate authority was that the building was let out for residential as well as for nonresidential purposes and the landlord cannot obtain possession of the premises for his own residential purpose. The appellate authority rejected the contention following the decision of a Full Bench of this Court reported in Dakshinamoarthy v. Thuluja Bai. Before : [1968]1SCR536 the High Court it was contended that the decision of the Full Bench is no longer good law in view of the decision of the Supreme Court reported in Miss S Sany l v. Gian Chand : [1968]1SCR536 . The High Court pointed out that the decision of the Supreme Court was rendered with reference to the provisions of the Delhi and Ajmer Rent Control Act, 1952, which are not in pari materia with the provisions of the Tamil Nadu Buildings (Lease and Rent Control) Act, 1960 and the decision of the Full Bench of this Court does not require any reconsideration. It was next contended before the High Court the Tamil Nadu Buildings (Lease and Rent Control) Act is intended to cover cases where the building is let out exclusively for residential purpose or exclusively for non-residential purpose and the Act is not intended to cover a case where the building has been let out partly for residential and partly for non-residential purpose. That contention was also rejected by the High Court. The decision of this Court cited by the learned Counsel for the respondent amply supports the plea that when a building is let out for residential as well as for non-residential purpose, an application by the landlord to obtain possession of the premises for his own residential purpose is clearly maintainable. That apart, the evidence on record clearly establishes that the building let out by the petitioner is required for non-residential purposes viz., to carry on the diamond and jewellery business of the petitioner and to park his vehicle. In view of this finding that the entire building is required by the petitioner for non-residential purpose, the question whether the petitioner having let out the building for a non-residential purpose can seek to obtain possession of the building for both residential and non-residential purposes does not really survive for consideration. In the result, the civil revision petition is allowed. No costs. Time to vacate the premises 6 months.


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