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Manohar Lal Vs. Mool Chand - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectTenancy
CourtDelhi High Court
Decided On
Case NumberSECOND APPEAL 21 Of 1975
Judge
Reported in1976(12)DLT160; 1975RentLR510
ActsDelhi Rent Control Act, 59 of 1958 - Section 39
AppellantManohar Lal
RespondentMool Chand
Excerpt:
.....the landlord's choice prevails and it will not afford any valid plea to the tenant to contend that the accommodation with any other tenant of the landlord is more convenient to the landlord and he must try to evict the other person". the only question that the rent control authorities are required to determine is whether the landlord bona fide needs the premises for his residence and he has no other suitable accommodation available. mr. mehta also halfheartedly argued that if the landlord had been using the premises for tethering buffaloes or running diary business, the premises were being used for commercial purpose and so they were not residential. the appellant will pay costs of the appeal to the respondent......1973 finally ordering eviction of the appellant from the premises in dispute on the ground of bona fide personal necessity.( 2 ) . the dispute between the parties relates to one room in b 34, inder pur. new delhi, which was let out by the respondent landlord to the appellant on a rent of rs. 25. 00 per month the respondent instituted a petition for eviction on the grounds mentioned in clauses (a) (c) and (e) of the provision to subsection (1) of the section 14 of the act, but the other grounds of eviction did not survive and eviction has been ordered only on the ground of personal bona fide necessity mentioned in clause (e) of the proviso. the eviction petition was contested by the appellant. the additional controller and the tribunal have both come to the conclusion that respondent.....
Judgment:

B. C. MISRA, J.

( 1 ) THE second appeal under S. 39 of the Delhi Rent Control Act, 59 of 1958 (hereinafter REFERRED TO as 'the Act') has been filed by the tenant against the appellate order of the Rent Control Tribunal, dated 9th January, 1975, by which it has, after condoning the delay in filing the appeal, dismissed it on merits, thereby affirming the order of the Additional Controller, dated 13th September, 1973 finally ordering eviction of the appellant from the premises in dispute on the ground of bona fide personal necessity.

( 2 ) . The dispute between the parties relates to one room in B 34, Inder pur. New Delhi, which was let out by the respondent landlord to the appellant on a rent of Rs. 25. 00 per month The respondent instituted a petition for eviction on the grounds mentioned in clauses (a) (c) and (e) of the provision to subsection (1) of the section 14 of the Act, but the other grounds of eviction did not survive and eviction has been ordered only on the ground of personal bona fide necessity mentioned in clause (e) of the proviso. The eviction petition was contested by the appellant. The Additional Controller and the Tribunal have both come to the conclusion that respondent landlord hona fide needed the premises for residence of himself and members of his family within the meaning of the relevant clause (e) and so eviction of the appellant has been ordered.

( 3 ) . Mr. Mehta, the learned counsel for the appellant, has contended that the respondent landlord has in his possession five rooms, two of which are used by him for residence of the members of his family, while of the remaining three rooms, two are used for tethering buffaloes and the third for keeping fodder, and that the respondent landlord can easily acquire vacant possession of the aforesaid one or more rooms for his residence and that his application for eviction of human beings while housing his buffaloes is not bona fide and the findings of the Tribunal below must be reversed.

( 4 ) . I have heard the counsel for the parties. The findings of the Court below is that the family of the respondent landlord consists of himself, his wife, three sons and three daughters and they are residing in two rooms : obviously accommodation in those two rooms cannot be said to be reasonably suitable and both the rent control authorities below have answered the point in favour of the respondent landlord. The question that has been raised before me is whether the respondent landlord is bound to have the three rooms used for tethering his cattle and keeping fodder vacated to house himself. It is in evidence that the respondent bad been carrying on the dairy business earlier than he let out the room in dispute to the appellant. Whether carrying on the dairy business and tethering cattle in residential looms are or legally, not in accordance with bylaws of the Delhi Municipal Corporation is not relevant consideration for purposes of this appeal (see Smt Krishnawati v. Hand Raj ). The fact remains that the aforesaid three rooms are not available to the respondent for his residence and the accommodation otherwise available with the respondent landlord is insufficient. The landlord is entitled to make himself more comfortable in his own property and it does not lie in the mouth of the tenant to dictate to the landlord how he should acquire additional accommodation to make himself comfortable.

( 5 ) . In T. S. Devgun v. S. P. Walia, I had, discussed a decision of this court in Fready Fernandes v. P. L. Mehra and a Division Bench decision in Rup Lal Mehra v. Kamla Soni, and then I observed that although the landlord was entitled to be more comfortable by occupying his own house and in deciding his needs the social customs of society could not be completely ruled out as irrelevant, yet "the landlord has to establish to the satisfaction of the Controller, firstly he requires the residential premises bona fide for occupation as a residence for himself and/or for any members of his family dependent on him, and secondly there is no other reasonably suitable residential accommodation available with him. The required satisfaction must be done objectively and cannot be left entirely to the subjective will or mind of the landlord. The choice and desire of the landlord has an important part to play ; where there are two or more accommodations occupied by two or more different tenants and the landlord chooses to evict one of them, to occupy the premises himself the landlord's choice prevails and it will not afford any valid plea to the tenant to contend that the accommodation with any other tenant of the landlord is more convenient to the landlord and he must try to evict the other person". I also observed that the landlord could not urge that he was an arbiter of his needs, but he had to establish his case to the satisfaction of the Controller and that in what circumstances the need of the landlord could or could not be considered depended on the facts and circumstances of each case placed before the Controller I adhere to the aforesaid view.

( 6 ) . The only question that the rent control authorities are required to determine is whether the landlord bona fide needs the premises for his residence and he has no other suitable accommodation available. But in what manner other accommodation has been used by the landlord and for that matter whether that is in the occupation of some other tenant or it is being used for commercial purpose or for tethering cattle is not germane to the dispute so long as the landlord succeeds in his case that his need is bona fide in respect of tenanted premises that is dispute. Consequently, I hold that the submission of the counsel for the appellant, that the respondent should make arrangements for tethering buffaloes at some other place has been rightly repelled by the Tribunal. The question of bona fide personal necessity remains a finding of fact and is, therefore, not assailable in second appeal [see Mathu Lal v. Rodhe Lal. ]

( 7 ) . Mr. Mehta also halfheartedly argued that if the landlord had been using the premises for tethering buffaloes or running diary business, the premises were being used for commercial purpose and so they were not residential. This submission is clearly fallacious. The residentially nature of the premises is to be determined in respect of the premises in dispute, which were let out to the appellant as a tenant and those premises are admittedly and undoubtedly residential. Whether the premises where the buffaloes are tethered are residential or not is not necessary to be determined in these proceedings and in either view of the matter it has no material bearing on the appeal.

( 8 ) . Mr. Mehta has further argued that the petition for eviction was vague and the respondent landlord had not made clear allegation about the non-availability of the other three rooms to him on the ground that they had been used for tethering buffaloes or for carrying on the diary business. I am unable to allow the appellant to raise this question in second appeal since he had not raised it at the earliest opportunity in the court of first instance or in the lower appellate court. Although, as a matter of fact the landlord in his petition must state all the relevant and material facts correctly and fully, still I find that after the entire evidence has been led, the same has not caused any prejudice to the appellant, nor occasioned any failure of justice. The contention is without any substance.

( 9 ) . As a result, I dismiss the appeal and affirm the order of the Tribunal. The appellant will pay costs of the appeal to the respondent.


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