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Dhani Ram Vs. Diwan Chand Sharma - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectTenancy
CourtHimachal Pradesh High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCivil Revn. No. 101 of 1978
Judge
ActsEast Punjab Urban Rent Restriction Act, 1949 - Sections 2, 13 and 13(3)
AppellantDhani Ram
RespondentDiwan Chand Sharma
Appellant Advocate Chhabil Dass, Adv.
Respondent Advocate K.D. Sood, Adv.
DispositionRevision dismissed
Cases ReferredLudhiana v. Bhupinder Pal Singh
Excerpt:
- .....of 'building', 'residential building', 'non-residential building', 'scheduled building' and 'rented land' are given and various provisions of section 13 of the act are available for eviction of tenants from such like buildings or rented land. 16. the purpose of the act is clear that if the building is a 'residential building' then the landlord can get the same vacated for 'his own occupation' but such own occupation should be of residential nature of the landlord and not for the purpose of his business or trade. 17. similarly, in the case of 'rented land', the eviction of the tenant is possible if the landlord requires the rented land for the purposes of business or trade. 18. as far as non-residential building is concerned, there is no specific provision except the general.....
Judgment:
ORDER

V.P. Gupta, J.

1. Aggrieved from the order, dated 5th July, 1978 of the Appellate Authority under the East Punjab Urban Rent. Restriction Act, 1049 (shortly called the Act), the petitioner (landlord) has filed this revision petition.

2. Dhani Ram petitioner is the landlord and Dewan Chand respondent is the tenant of a residential premises known as 3rd Storey Set No. 8, Cart Road, Simla.

3. The landlord filed an eviction application on 20th Mar., 1971 under Section 13Of the Act, on the grounds of non-payment of rent and personal requirement,As far as the ground of non-payment ofrent was concerned, the tenant tenderedthe arrears of rent along with interest,etc. to the landlord, who accepted thesame on 19th May, 1971, i. e. the firstday of hearing of the application, withthe result that the landlord gave up theground of non-payment of rent. Now theonly ground for eviction is narrated inpara 3 of the eviction petition as follows:'3. That the premises under the occupation of the respondent are requiredby the petitioner for his own occupationand use for providing accommodation tohis servants, who are serving under himin bakery business who are presentlybeen accommodated in the bakery itself,where the petitioner is running the business of bakery. That being so, the landlord owner of the bakery now objected to the use of the bakery being used forresidential purposes, as being againstMunicipal Bye Laws, as such the petitioner requires the set in occupation ofthe respondent for accommodating hisservants.'

4. The tenant contested the eviction petition and also raised an objection that a valid notice had not been served upon him.

5. On the pleadings of the parties the following issues were framed:

'1. Whether the petitioner requires the premises in dispute for his own use bona fide? OPP.

2. Whether a valid notice was served upon the respondent before this petition? OPP.

3. Relief.'

6. The Rent Controller, Simla, vide his order, dated 30th June, 1977, decided issues Nos. 1 and 2 in favour of the petitioner and as a result of these findings ordered the ejectment of the tenant from the premies in dispute.

7. The tenant feeling aggrieved from this order ot the Rent Controller, filed an appeal with the Appellate Authority, Simla, and the Appellate Authority held thai on the allegations made in the petition, no case for the ejectment' of the tenant was made out and as a result of this finding accepted the appeal of the tenant and dismissed the landlord's application for eviction.

8. Shri Chhabil Dass, the learned counsel for the landlord, contended that the order of the Appellate Authority is liable to be set aside as the landlord bona fide required the disputed premises for 'his own occupation'. It was contended that the words 'his own occupation' also included the right of the landlord to provide residential accommodation to his servants who were working in his bakery.

9. Shri K.D. Sood, the learned counsel for the respondent, contended that providing residential accommodation to the servants working in the bakery of the landlord would not come within the purview of 'landlord's own occupation'.

10. I have considered the contentions of the learned counsel for the parties and have also gone through the records of the case.

11. The premises in dispute is a 'residential building' and the landlord wants the eviction of the tenant on the grounds as mentioned' in Section 13 (3) (a) (i) of the Act.

12. The landlord is also running a bakery business in some other premises and for this bakery business he has employed some servants. These servants are employees of the landlord in connection with his business which is a commercial one.

Section 13 (3) (a) (i) of the Act reads as follows:

'(3) (a) A landlord may apply to the controller for an order directing the tenant to put the landlord in possession -

(i) in the case of a residential building, if -

(a) he requires it for his own occupation;

(b) he is not occupying any other residential building in the urban area concerned; ,

(c) he has not vacated such a building without sufficient cause after the commencement of this Act, in the said urban area; and

(d) xxx xxx xxx XXX XXX XXX'

13. Now, 'residential building' is defined in Section 2 (g) of the Act as 'any building which is not a non-residential building.'

14. 'Non-residential building' is defined in Section 2 (d) of the Act as 'a building being used solely for the purpose of business Or trade' provided that residence in a building . only for the purpose of guarding it shall not be deemed to convert a 'non-residential' building into a 'residential' building. 15. In Section 2 of the Act the definitions of 'building', 'residential building', 'non-residential building', 'scheduled building' and 'rented land' are given and various provisions of Section 13 of the Act are available for eviction of tenants from such like buildings or rented land.

16. The purpose of the Act is clear that if the building is a 'residential building' then the landlord can get the same vacated for 'his own occupation' but such own occupation should be of residential nature of the landlord and not for the purpose of his business or trade.

17. Similarly, in the case of 'rented land', the eviction of the tenant is possible if the landlord requires the rented land for the purposes of business or trade.

18. As far as non-residential building is concerned, there is no specific provision except the general provisions of the Act.

19. if the eviction of a residential building is allowed for the purposes of accommodating the servants of the landlord, who are only connected with his business or trade, then it will mean that the residential building is utilised by the landlord for the purpose of his business or trade because indirectly the accommodation of the servants working in the bakery will only be for the purposes of running the bakery business. This type of conversion of the use of a 'residential building' for a non-residential purpose cannot be allowed.

20. By no stretch of imagination it can be termed that providing accommodation to the servants, who are employed by the landlord for running his commercial activities, can be deemed to be a residential requirement of the landlord. It is correct that the requirement of the landlord for his own occupation may also include the requirement of his dependents or relations for residential purposes. If the servants of the landlord were his personal servants (not connected with the business) then it could be said that such like servants of the landlord could be accommodated by him in the residential building. However, in this particular case, the landlord has specifically stated that he wants to accommodate his servants who have no concern with him or his family members but are connected with his bakery business, therefore, it cannot be said that the landlord requires the residential building for his own occupation.

21. For the eviction of tenant from rented land we find a similar provision in Section 13 (3) (a) (ii), which reads as follows:--

'(3) (a) A landlord may apply to the Controller for an order directing the tenant to put the landlord in possession-

(ii) in the case of a rented land, if-

(a) he requires it for his own use;

(b) he is not occupying in the urban area concerned for the purpose of his business any other such rented land; and

(c) he has not vacated such rented land without sufficient causes after the commencement of this Act, in the urban area concerned.'

Rented land is defined in Section 2 (f) as meaning 'any land let separately for the purpose of being used principally for business or trade'.

22. In Attar Singh v. Inder Kumar (AIR 1967 SC 773), the landlord filed an application for eviction of the tenant from 'rented land' on the ground that he required the rented land for erection of a residential house on the rented land. The eviction application was contested by the tenant who claimed that even if the landlord required the rented land for construction of a residential house, an order of ejectment could not be given under Section 13 (3) (a) (ii) of the Act. Their Lordships of the Supreme Court held that the Act is a piece of ameliorative legislation in the interest of the tenants of premises in urban areas, so that they may be protected against large increase in rents and from harassment by eviction. It was further held (at p. 775): --

'It should therefore be clear that 'lor his own use' in Sub-clause (a) means use for the purpose of business principally, for otherwise we cannot understand why, if the landlord had given up some rented land which he had taken for business principally, he should not be entitled to recover his own rented land if he required it (say) as in this case, for constructing a residential building for himself. The very fact that Sub-clauses (b) and (c) require that the landlord should not be in possession of any rented land for his own business and should not have given up possession of any other rented land, i.e., land which he was principally using for business, show that he can only take advantage of Sub-clause (a) if he is able to show that he requires the rented land for business. Otherwise the restrictions contained in Sub-clause (b) and Sub-clause (c) would become meaningless, if it were held that Sub-clause (a) would be satisfied if the landlord requires the rented land for any purpose as (for example) constructing a residential house for himself. We are of opinion therefore that Sub-clauses (a), (b) and (c) in this provision must be read together, and reading them together there can be no doubt that when Sub-clause (a) provides that the landlord requires rented land for his own use, the meaning there is restricted to use principally for business or trade. We have already said that the Act is an ameliorative piece of legislation meant for the protection of tenants, and we have no hesitation in coming to the conclusion that the words 'for his own use' in Sub-clause (a) in the circumstances must be limited in the manner indicated above, as that will give full protection to tenants of rented land and save them from eviction unless the landlord requires such land for the same purpose for which it had been let, i.e., principally for trade or business. We are therefore of opinion that the view taken in the case of Municipal Committee Abohar is incorrect, and as the respondent landlord required the land in this case not for business or trade principally but only for constructing a house for himself he is not entitled to eject the appellant under Section 13 (3) (a) (ii).

23. In Model Town Welfare Council, Ludhiana v. Bhupinder Pal Singh (AIR 1973 Punj & Har 76 (FB) the words 'for his own use' in Section 13 (3) (a) (ii) were again interpreted in a similar manner.

24. Hence I am of the view that the requirement of the landlord as given in para 3 of the eviction petition cannot be treated to be his personal requirement or that he requires premises for his own occupation. There are no grounds to differ with the findings of the Appellate Authority.

25. No other point was urged.

26. As a result of the above discussion, this revision petition is hereby dismissed. The parties are however, left to bear their own costs.


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