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Shiv Parshad Vs. Smt. Shila Rani - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectTenancy
CourtHimachal Pradesh High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCivil Revn. No. 52 of 1972
Judge
Reported inAIR1974HP22
ActsTransfer of Property Act, 1882 - Sections 106 and 111
AppellantShiv Parshad
RespondentSmt. Shila Rani
Appellant Advocate H.S. Thakur, Adv.
Respondent Advocate A.C. Sud and; K.D. Sud, Advs.
DispositionRevision dismissed
Cases Referred and Bhaiya Ram Hargo Lal v. Mahavir Parshad Murari Lal
Excerpt:
- .....of the learned counsel for the petitioner is that there is no repudiation of the title of the landlord/landlady by the tenant viz., shri shiv parshad. in order to hold that there has been repudiation or denial of the title of the landlord by a tenant there should be a disclaimer of the landlord's title in clear and unequivocal words made to the knowledge of the landlord and that in the instant case there is no such clear and unequivocal repudiation made to the knowledge of the landlady by shri shiv parshad. as such the decision of the appellate authority holding that there was repudiation of the title of the landlady by the tenant was wholly erroneous and he has referred me to the statement of the tenant, (petitioner in this court) and has also relied upon raja mohammad amir ahmad.....
Judgment:
ORDER

Chet Ram Thakur, J.

1. This revision has been filed by Shiv Parshad against the order of the Appellate Authority, Solan, dismissing his appeal against the order of the Rent Controller ordering his eviction from the premises situate in Khasra Plot No. 941/ 831/3, Khewat No. 209, Khatauni No. 343 of village Ser Pargana Takroli, Tehsil Solan. The petitioner was in occupation of the premises. Smt. Shilla Rani who is now respondent in this Court alleged herself to be the landlady of the premises and she filed the application under the provisions of Section 13 of the East Punjab Urban Rent Restriction Act for the eviction of the present petitioner on the ground that he was in arrears of rent to the tune of Rs. 126/- and that she required the premises for her bona fide use. The present petitioner resisted the application pleading inter alia that there was no relationship ot landlady and tenant between the parties and that he was not served with a notice as is required under Section 106, T. P. Act and that the petition was liable to be dismissed on the ground that the premises were outside the municipal limits and that the petition had been filed with a mala fide intention.

2. The Rent Controller by his separate order held that the relationship of landlady and tenant subsisted between the parties. Further, that Shiv Parshad petitioner was in arrears of rent. It had also been held that the tenancy had been determined by the respondent taking the plea in his written statement that there was no relationship between the parties qua the premises in question. That being so, it was not necessary for the landlady to issue a notice under Section 106 of Transfer of Property Act. It was however, held that the petitioner had failed to establish her bona fide requirement of the premises. Against the order directing the petitioner's eviction, he went in appeal. The Appellate Authority affirmed the order of the Rent Controller to the effect that the tenant had denied the title of the landlady and, therefore, the notice terminating the tenancy was not necessary in the case and that Shri Shiv Parshad failed to prove that the petition filed by Smt. Shilla Rani was not maintainable under Section 106 of Transfer of Property Act and he, therefore, dismissed the appeal.

3. The main point, therefore, requiring decision is whether by the denial of the title of the landlady by the tenant in his written statement the tenancy got determined; if so, was there no necessity to issue a notice under Section 106 of Transfer of Property Act to determine the tenancy. The submission of the learned counsel for the petitioner is that there is no repudiation of the title of the landlord/landlady by the tenant viz., Shri Shiv Parshad. In order to hold that there has been repudiation or denial of the title of the landlord by a tenant there should be a disclaimer of the landlord's title in clear and unequivocal words made to the knowledge of the landlord and that in the instant case there is no such clear and unequivocal repudiation made to the knowledge of the landlady by Shri Shiv Parshad. As such the decision of the appellate authority holding that there was repudiation of the title of the landlady by the tenant was wholly erroneous and he has referred me to the statement of the tenant, (petitioner in this Court) and has also relied upon Raja Mohammad Amir Ahmad Khan v. Municipal Board of Sitapur, AIR 1963 SC 1923. He has also submitted that the Punjab authority Sada Ram v. Gajjan, (1970) 72 Pun LR 223 = (AIR 1970 Punj 511), relied upon by the Appellate Authority was contrary to what has been stated in the aforesaid Supreme Court authority. In 1965 Supreme Court case the appellant held nazul land subject to payment of nominal rent, which had been unvarying as long as was known. There was no document evidencing the lease. Its origin was shrouded in obscurity. A bunglow was constructed on a part of the property in dispute which was originally owned by another from whom the appellant's predecessor had purchased it. The appellant's ancestor was the then Taluqdar. Certain properties including the one in dispute were annexed by him to the Taluqdari and were declared subject to the Oudh Estates Act, 1869. This deed which was executed under the terms of Section 32-A of the Oudh Estates Act, was registered on August 12, 1918. The land in dispute was being acquired under Section 9 of the Rehabilitation of Refugees Act 26 of 1948. Before the Land Acquisition Officer, a contention was raised by the Government that the appellant was merely a non-occupancy tenant and was entitled to only one year's rent as compensation. It was claimed by the appellant that he and his ancestors had been owners of the land and had been exercising 'permanent, heritable and transferable rights' in the land openly and to the knowledge of and with the consent of the Government. He, therefore, claimed that he was entitled to a sum of Rs. 52,900 as compensation for its acquisition. Alternatively he prayed that if his claim as to the amount of compensation was not accepted the matter may be referred for decision to the Court for adjudication. The Compensation Officer, however, rejected the claim of the appellant to the title that he claimed to the property. Paragraph 2 of the claim application of the appellant before the Land Acquisition Officer ran: 'The land acquired is part of Jali Kothi or Bunglow belonging to me, in the Civil Lines, Sitapur'. After reciting in paragraph 4 the declaration made by his ancestor under Section 32-A Oudh Estates Act the appellant proceeded in paragraph 5 to state:

'That I and my ancestors have been owners of the land and have been exercising permanent heritable and transferable rights in this land, openly and to the knowledge and consent of the Government.'

In paragraph 6 he set out his having plotted out the land to various tenants for being built on and ia paragraph 7 he said:

'Under a misconception of my rights some wrong entries have been made perhaps by the Patwari without any official order. (The reference here was to his being recorded as a non-occupancy tenant of the land). On the same basis the Municipal Board, Sitapur disputed my rights of transfer or lease in September, 1947, requested the Government to hand over possession of the plot to the Municipal Board and ultimately persuaded the Government to acquire the land for rehabilitation of refugees, though other vacant lands were available for the said purposes.'

Paragraph 8 stated:

'That on account of the conduct of the Municipal Board, Sitapur I have been forced to file a suit in the civil Court for declaration of my title in respect of this land.'

In the suit that was filed, it was contended by the Government that the averment in paragraphs 2, 5 and 8 of the appellant's statement amounted to a clear and unequivocal denial of the Government's title and that there was forfeiture of the lease.

Held, that the words 'belonging to me' in para 2 did not amount to a disclaimer of the tenancy and a repudiation of the landlord's title. Though the word 'belonging' no doubt was capable of denoting an absolute title, the word was nevertheless not confined to connoting that sense. That word could signify, even possession of an interest less than that of full ownership. Against the background of the circumstances, the words did not connote that the appellant was disclaiming the reversionary interests of Government or its right to demand and receive a fixed rent in respect of the property. There was no disclaimer or a renunciation of tenancy.' Now we have to see how far the principle laid down in this authority can be made applicable to the facts of the present case.

4. The submission of the learned counsel for the petitioner is that he had taken the premises from a third person some 15 years back and that he did not charge any rent, etc. from him, and in the written statement filed by him to the eviction petition he categorically denied the relationship of landlord/landlady and tenant between them and also denied in unequivocal words the payment of any rent. In his statement as a witness, however, he has tried to explain that the property belonged to a man, who was a lawyer and was residing at Delhi. He had given the house to him some fifteen years back and the same was in a dilapidated condition and he (petitioner) renovated the same. He is living in that house since then. In his further statement he also took up the same stand. On the denial by him about the relationship of landlord and tenant there was a specific issue framed by the Court and that would amply demonstrate that there was a clear denial of the title of the landlady by the tenant. No doubt the tenant set up a title in a third person but it is clear that he did not admit Smt. Shila Rani as his landlady. Therefore, under Section 111 (g) of Transfer of Property Act this denial which is quite unequivocal and unambiguous and to the knowledge of the landlady would entail forfeiture of his tenancy Merely that he did not pay rent to the landlady would however not be sufficient to conclude that there was a denial of the title of the landlady by the tenant. But the plea set up by the tenant in his written statement is quite unambiguous which leaves no manner of doubt to hold that he has renounced or repudiated the title of the landlady. In view of this fact this Supreme Court authority is clearly distinguishable and will have no application to the present case. The Appellate Authority relied on Sada Ram's case, (1970) 72 Pun LR 223 = (AIR 1970 Punj 511) (supra) which according to the learned counsel for the petitioner is contrary to the Supreme Court decision. I have perused this authority and I am not in agreement with the submission made by the petitioner's learned counsel. This authority is fully applicable to the facts of the present case. In that case also there was a denial of the relationship of landlord and tenant by the tenant in his written statement to a suit for ejectment and the Court held that a year to year tenancy or a tenancy at will gets determined by such a denial or renunciation of title by the tenant, Therefore, in view of the different facts of the case from the one as there were in the 1965 Supreme Court, I am of the view that the tenancy got determined.

5. Now the further question that arises is whether in such a case a notice under Section 106 of the Transfer of Property Act was necessary to be issued to the tenant by the landlady for determination of the tenancy. My answer to this question is that in view of the fact that there was denial of the relationship of the landlady and the tenant between the two there was hardly any necessity for the landlady to issue any notice under Section 106 of the Transfer of Property Act for the determination of the tenancy. The reading of Section 106 of Transfer of Property Act presupposes the existence of relationship of landlord and tenant between the parties before a tenancy can be determined by issue of a notice under the Act. The repudiation of the title of the landlady entailed forfeiture of the tenancy as is also obvious from Section 111 (g) of the Transfer of Property Act. It is also apparent that in the case of statutory tenancy notice to terminate the tenancy is not required as would be evident from Roop Narain v. Smt. Krishna Devi Bagadia, 1969 Delhi LT 127 and Bhaiya Ram Hargo Lal v. Mahavir Parshad Murari Lal, AIR 1969 Punj 110 (FB). The submission made by the learned counsel for the petitioner is that the landlady had not taken up such a plea that the tenancy was a statutory one. There is no need to discuss this point because there is a denial of the title of the landlady by the tenant and, therefore, I am of the view that the non-issue of a notice as contemplated under Section 106 did not in any way prove fatal to the case of the landlady so as to dismiss her petition by the Rent Controller as also by the Appellate Authority.

6. The result of the above discussion, therefore, is that the revision petition fails and is hereby dismissed. However, I pass no order as to costs.


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