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M. Ramalingam Vs. Kothandaraman - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectTenancy
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Reported in(1980)2MLJ283
AppellantM. Ramalingam
RespondentKothandaraman
Cases ReferredA. Muthukumaraswamy v. A. Devaraj
Excerpt:
- .....the ground floor is unsuited for the needs of my client and his family. he desires to occupy the portion tenanted by the respondent which consists of two rooms and two verandahs in the rear block of the upstairs portion as well as the rest of the upstairs portion in the occupation of the other tenant, purashothaman, which consists of two rooms and two varandahs in the front block of the upstairs portion. the petitioner submits that the upstairs portion alone is airy and well ventilated the petitioner desires these benefits for the members of the family.2. as set out above, the respondent is a tenant under the petitioner in occupation of two verandahs on a monthly rent of rs. 55 according to the english calendar. the comparative hardship which will result by reason of the petition being.....
Judgment:
ORDER

S. Mohan, J.

1. The revision is by the landlord who sought to evict the respondent-tenant, on the following allegations : The petitioner resides in one portion of the suit house consisting of three rooms and koodam in the front block o the ground floor. His family consists of himself, his wife, two married sons with their wives and two grand-children by the second son. For such a very large family and its growing needs the present accommodation is very inadequate and the family needs additional accommodation. The rear portion of the ground floor is unsuited for the needs of my client and his family. He desires to occupy the portion tenanted by the respondent which consists of two rooms and two verandahs in the rear block of the upstairs portion as well as the rest of the upstairs portion in the occupation of the other tenant, Purashothaman, which consists of two rooms and two varandahs in the front block of the upstairs portion. The petitioner submits that the upstairs portion alone is airy and well ventilated The petitioner desires these benefits for the members of the family.

2. As set out above, the respondent is a tenant under the petitioner in occupation of two verandahs on a monthly rent of Rs. 55 according to the English Calendar. The comparative hardship which will result by reason of the petition being not ordered will be greatly in favour of the petitioner rather than the respondent. More hardship will be caused to the petitioner if he does not get the additional accommodation.

3. The respondent is not employed in any essential service and the suit building is not exempt from any of the provisions of the Tamil Nadu Buildings (Lease and Rent Control) Act, 1960.

The petitioner has terminated the tenancy of the respondent with the month of tenancy ending 30th September, 1975 under advocate's registered notice dated 18th August, 1975 received by the respondent on 20th August, 1975 as per postal acknowledgment.

If the respondent is evicted the petitioner proposes to allow his eldest son to occupy the same.

The allegations were denied by the tenant in his counter stating that the first son was married about fifteen years ago and he has no children and is living comfortably with his wife in the same portion in which he has been living for fifteen years. There are no bona fides in toe request for additional accommodation. As a matter of fact, one portion of the ground-floor fell vacant even before the petition was filed and that was never occupied by the landlord. The will itself show the lack of bona fides. On these allegations and counter allegations, the matter namely, H. R. C. No. 2526 of 1978, came to be tried by the VIII Judge, Court of Small Causes, Madras (Rent Controller) who was of the view that the need of the landlord for additional accommodation had not been made out. Therefore, he dismissed the application. Aggrieved by the dismissal, the matter was taken in appeal in H. R. A. No. 463 of 1977 before the learned III Judge, Court of Small Causes, Madras, constituting the Appellate Authority. He also confirmed the findings of the Original Authority and hence the present revision.

4. Thiru Subramanian, learned Counsel for the petitioner, urges that since both the Courts below have misconceived the scope of the petition in so far as the' landlord had made out clearly his need for upstairs, this is a case in which his bona fides should have been held to have been established. Further, having regard to the largeness of the family viz. his eldest son and his wife and the second son and his wife and children, eviction should have been ordered under Section 10(3) (c) of the Tamil Nadu Buildings (Lease and Rent Control) Act. As against this, the learned Counsel for the respondent states that the petition itself was on account of the strained relationship between the landlord and tenant and further the lack of bona fides is established by reason of the landlord failing to occupy, after the issue of Ex. P. 1, the portion which fell vacant. In any event, what is material in this case is the bona fide need of the landlord and not his son as held by this Court in A. Muthukumaraswamy v. A. Devaraj (1976) 2 M.L.J. 520, which alone is material for the purpose of Section 10(3) (c) of the Act.

5. In order to appreciate the rival contentions let me extract Section 10(3) (c) of the Act.

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.

A reading of this clearly shows that what is required to be established is the need of the landlord himself. The relevant portions of the petition, already narrated, clearly show that the landlord has nowhere categorically stated that the additional accommodation is required or needed. He merely states that he desires to occupy the portion tenanted by the respondent. Then again, he states in paragraph 7 'if the respondent is evicted, the petitioner proposes to allow his eldestson to the occupy the same.' If this be the position, coupled with the statement in paragraph 3 of the petition namely the petitioner desires to have the said upstairs portion, for the benefit of his family, I think he has not made out his bona fide need in terms of Section 10(3) (c) of the Act. It requires to be noted that though the definition of 'family' occurring under Section 2(6) (a) has been amended so as to include son, daughter, etc. of the landlord, that cannot be made applicable to Section 10(3) (c) of the Act. What is material is the need of the landlord alone. Even in the evidence the landlord says that it would be comfortable for him to occupy the upstairs portion, but he does not say that there is need or requirement which the law insists upon [under Section 10(3) (c). In fact Ramaprasada Rao, J., as he then was, in dealing with a non-residential premises held thus:

It cannot be said that when the Legislature did amend Section 10(3) (c) (iii) of Act XVIII of 1960 it was not aware of the need to expand the word 'landlord' appearing in Section 10(3) (c). This deliberate avoidance on the part of the Legislature appears to be significant and therefore, it would not be within the canons of propriety, if the expression 'landlord' appearing in Section 10(3) (c) should be liberally interpreted notwithstanding the deliberateness on the part of the Legislature not to make it elastic or not to expand it at all.

Therefore, under Section 10(3) (c) the landlord could seek for additional accommodation only for the purpose of a business which he was carrying on and it would be difficult to accept that the landlord's wife's business or his daughter's business would also be covered by the expression 'his business' in Section 10(3) (c) of the Act.

This being the legal position in so far as the landlord has failed to make out his bona fide requirement, he has to fail. In this view, I find no difficulty in upholding the concurrent orders of the Authorities below. The civil revision petition is hereby dismissed, but without costs.


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