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Hindusthan Gas and Industries Ltd. and anr. Vs. Adhish Chandra Sinha - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectProperty
CourtKolkata High Court
Decided On
Case NumberSuit No. 583 of 1980
Judge
Reported inAIR1981Cal307
ActsWest Bengal Premises Tenancy Act, 1956
AppellantHindusthan Gas and Industries Ltd. and anr.
RespondentAdhish Chandra Sinha
DispositionApplication allowed
Cases ReferredBholanath Shaw v. Badri
Excerpt:
- orderdipak kumar sen, j.1. the property in dispute in this suit is premises no. 2/8b, sarat bose road, calcutta irnmoveablc property situated outside the ordinary original jurisdiction of this court. on the 8th july 1980 m/s. hindusthan gas & industries ltd., the plaintiff no. 1 and ramjilal batlwal, its president, the plaintiff number 2 instituted this suit against adhish chandra sinha, the defendant. the material averments in the plaint are as follows :--(a) in terms of several deeds of leas'e executed by the defendant from time to time the said premises were demised in favour of the plaintiff no. 1.(b) the tenancy is governed by the provisions of the west bengal premises tenancy act, 1956.(c) the defendant under cover of his letter dated 4th january 1979 sent a draft agreement dated.....
Judgment:
ORDER

Dipak Kumar Sen, J.

1. The property in dispute in this suit is premises No. 2/8B, Sarat Bose Road, Calcutta irnmoveablc property situated outside the ordinary original jurisdiction of this Court. On the 8th July 1980 M/s. Hindusthan Gas & Industries Ltd., the plaintiff No. 1 and Ramjilal Batlwal, its president, the plaintiff Number 2 instituted this suit against Adhish Chandra Sinha, the defendant. The material averments in the plaint are as follows :--

(a) In terms of several deeds of leas'e executed by the defendant from time to time the said premises were demised in favour of the plaintiff No. 1.

(b) The tenancy is governed by the provisions of the West Bengal premises Tenancy Act, 1956.

(c) The defendant under cover of his letter dated 4th January 1979 sent a draft agreement dated the 14th January 1979 to the plaintiffs. The Secretary of the plaintiff No. 1 signed the said document on the 16th January 1979.

(d) The signature in the said document was made by the Secretary of the plaintiff No. 1 by reason of undue influence, coercion and duress by the defendant on the plaintiffs and the document records that the plaintiff No. 1 has given notice to quit and vacate the said premises on the 31st October 1979.

(e) The said document dated the 16th January 1979 is invalid and not binding on the plaintiffs and subsequent thereto the defendant has accepted the plaintiff No. 1 as a tenant in respect of the demised premises.

(f) By a letter dated 13th/14th June 1980 the advocate of the defendant has served a notice on the plaintiff No. 1 calling upon the latter to quit and vacate the demised premises in terms of the said document dated 16th January 1979. The said notice is not binding on the plaintiffs.

(g) it is alleged that the defendant and its servants and agents have committed various acts of nuisance and have been threatening the plaintiffs that they would cease to maintain the essential services to the said premises.

2. On the averments as aforesaid the plaintiffs have craved leave under Clause 12 of the Letters Patent and claimed the following reliefs:--

'(a) A declaration that the plaintiff No. 1 is a monthly tenant in respect of the demised premises governed by the provisions of West Bengal Premises Tenancy Act;

(b) A declaration that the purported document dated the 16th January, 1979 and the letter dated the 13/14th June, 1980 are void and/or voidable and the same should be delivered up and cancelled;

(c) The defendant, his servants and agents be restrained from giving effect to and/or acting upon the purported document dated 16th January 1979 and the said letter dated 13th/14th June, 1980;

(d) permanent injunction restraining the defendant, his servants and agents from causing any disturbance to the supply of essential services to the demised premises, peaceful use and occupation thereof by the plaintiffs, their servants and agents and their right of egress to and ingress from the said premises;

(e) permanent injunction restraining the defendant his servants and agents from committing nuisances and other reliefs.'

3. In this application of the defendant it is alleged that the reliefs claimed in this suit wholly relate to and affect the title and possession of the said premises outside the original jurisdiction of this Court. The suit is a suit for land and involves determination of questions relating to right, title, interest and possession of land and as such this Court has no jurisdiction to entertain this suit. It is also alleged thai no part of the plaintiff's alleged cause of action has arisen within the jurisdiction of this Court except that it is is pleaded that the agreement of lease was entered into within the jurisdiction.

4. The defendant prays that leave under Clause 12 of the Letters Patent be revoked and the plaint in this suit be directed to be taken off the file.

5. This application is opposed. An affidavit of the plaintiff No. 1 affirmed on the 17th September 1980 has been filed in opposition disputing the contentions raised in the application.

6. At the hearing it was conceded that the plaintiffs are not entitled to any declaration in respect of the tenancy nor to any permanent injunctions as prayed for. It was however contended on behalf of plaintiffs that they are entitled to a declaration that the document dated Kith January 1979 and the notice of ejectment dated 13th/14th June 1980 were void or voidable and the same should be delivered up and cancelled and the plaintiffs were entitled to an injunction restraining the defendant from giving any effect upon the said document dated 16th January 1979 and the said notice dated 13th/14th June 1980.

7. Contentions to the contrary were made on behalf of the defendant.

8. Several decisions were cited on behalf of the defendant in support of his contentions. The judgment of a single Bench of this Court in Proyas Chandra Sinha v. Ashutosh Mukherji reported in AIR 1930 Cal 258 was cited for the following proposition :--

'The expression 'suit for land and other immovable property' in Clause 12 means suits in which having regard to the issues raised in the pleadings the decree or order will affect directly the proprietary or possessory title to land or other immovable property.'

9. The case of M/s. Moolji Jaitha and Co. v. Khandesh Spinning Weaving Mills Co. Ltd. reported in AIR 1950 FC 83 was cited for observations of several learned Judges of the Federal Court as follows (at p. 83) :--

'Per Kania C. J.-- In order to see whether a suit is covered by the expression 'suit for land' in Clause 12, one has to consider whether it is for the purpose of obtaining a direction for possession or a decision on title to land, or the object of the suit is something different but involves the consideration of the question of title to land indirectly. Per Fazal Ali J. :--

The expression 'suit for land' covers the following three classes of suits : (1) suits for the determination of title to land; (2) suits for possession of land; and (3) other suits in which the reliefs claimed, if granted, would directly affect title to or possession of land. Per Patanjali Sastri J. :--

The words 'suits for land or other immovable property' in Clause 12, besides obviously covering claims for recovery of possession or control of land, are apt to connote also suits which primarily and substantially seek, an adjudication upon title to immovable property or a determination of any right or interest therein. Per Mahajan J. :--

Where the nature of the suit is such that in substance it involves a controversy about land or immovable property and the Court is called upon to decide conflicting claims to sucb property and a decree or order is prayed for which will bring about a change in the title to it, that suit can be said to be in respect of land or immovable property; but where incidentally in a suit the main purpose of which or the primary object of which is quite different, some relief has to be given about land, the title to it not being in dispute in the real sense of the term, then such a suit cannot fall within the four corners of this expression.

Per B. K. Mukherjea, J. :--

The words 'suit for land' mean a suit for establishing title to land or any interest in the same or for possession or control thereof; and the decree sought lor must be intended proprio vigore to be enforceable against and binding on the land itself.'

10. Another judgment of single Judge of this Court in Bholanath Shaw v. Badri-nath Shaw, reported in : AIR1974Cal292 was also cited.

11. The principles being well settled, the only question which remains far determination is whether the plaintiffs should be allowed to proceed with the suit in respect of two declarations regarding two documents, namely, the purported agreement dated 16th January 1979 and the notice dated 13th/14th June 1980.

12. It appears to me that the material parts of the cause of action of the plaintiffs to enable them to obtain such declarations are the alleged undue influence, duress and coercion exercised by the defendant. It is not stated in the plain? whether such influence, duress and coercion were exercised within the jurisdiction of this Court. The only part of the alleged cause of action within the jurisdiction appear to be the execution of the deeds of lease. The original tenancy not being in dispute, it does not appear to me that the same can form part of the cause of action of the plaintiffs in respect of the limited reliefs claimed in respect of of the two documents. It also appears to me that the real purpose of the plaintiffs in this suit is to affirm and continue the tenancy of an immovable property which fs situated outside the jurisdiction of this Court.

13. In that view of the matter, the plaintiffs are not entitled to have their tenancy affirmed indirectly by challenging the two notices to quit -- one given by the plaintiff No. 1 to the defendant and the other given by the defendant's Advocate to the plaintiff.

14. For the reasons as stated above, the defendant succeeds in his application. There will be an order revoking the leave given under Clause 12 of the Letters Patent and directing the plaint to be taken off the file. There will be no order as to costs.

15. The operation of this order will remain stayed for a fortnight.


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