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1988 (3) TMI 449 - SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

1988 (3) TMI 449 - SUPREME COURT OF INDIA - 1988 AIR 1060, 1988 (3) SCR 384, 1988 (2) SCC 513, 1988 (1) JT 664, 1988 (1) SCALE 615 - Civil Appeal No. 1014 of 1988 - Dated:- 29-3-1988 - E. S. Venkataramiah And N. D. Ojha, JJ. For the Appellant : Nalini Chidambaram, Setia Vaidalingam, N. Thiagarajan and Radha For the Respondent : S. Srinivasan JUDGMENT E. S. Venkataramiah, J. The question which arises for consideration in this case is whether a landlord who seeks eviction of a tenant from a non-re .....

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. Peer Mohammed. The respondent's brother was carrying on business in hardware in the front portion of the ground floor of the premises bearing No. 157, Kutcheri Road, Mylapore, Madras-4. The appellant purchased the said running business from the brother of the respon-dent on 5.7.1974. The said building, however, belonged to the father of the respondent. After purchasing the business, the appellant became a tenant under the father of the respondent by paying an advance of ₹ 1,500 and a .....

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t of ₹ 175. The rent of this portion was increased subsequently to ₹ 315 per month. On 25.11.1980 the appellant received a notice from an advocate, who was acting on behalf of the father of the respondent terminating the tenancy of the appellant in respect of both the portions with effect from 31.12.1980 and requiring the appellant to deliver possession of the two portions of the ground floor of the premises in question to the father of the respondent on the ground that he needed the .....

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ent for both the portions in the year 1981 and also paid a sum of ₹ 7,500 as advance. On 9.6.1982 an agreement was entered into in respect of both the portions specifying that the lease should remain in force till 8.5.1983. After the expiry of the said period, it is stated, the respondent again demanded enhanced rent. On the appellant not complying with the said demand the respondent instituted a petition for eviction of the appellant in the Court of the Controller at Madras under section .....

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sidential portions and that the respondent could not seek eviction of the appellant as the major portion of the demised premises was of residential character. Aggrieved by the decision of the Controller the respondent preferred an appeal before the Appellate Authority. The Appellate Authority dismissed the appeal. Thereupon the respondent preferred a revision petition before the High Court of Madras inCivil Revision Petition No. 215 of 1986. That petition was allowed by the High Court holding th .....

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pecial leave is filed against the judgment of the High Court of Madras. The crucial question which arises for consideration in this case is whether it is necessary for a landlord, who institutes a petition under section 10(3)(a)(iii) of the Act, to establish that his requirement is bona fide or not. As can be seen from the long title of the Act it was enacted by the State Legislature to amend and consolidate the law relating to the regulation of the letting of residential and non-residential bui .....

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bject to the provisions of clause (d), apply to the Controller for an order directing the tenant to put the landlord in possession of the building. (i) in case it is a residential building, if the landlord required it for his own occupation or for the occupation of any member of his family and if he or any member of his family is not occupying a residential building of his own in the city, town or village concerned; (ii) in case it is a non-residential building which is used for the purpose of k .....

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or village concerned which is his own; ............................................. (e) The Controller shall, if he is satisfied that the claim of the landlord is bona fide, make an order directing the tenant to put the landlord in possession of the building on such date as may be specified by the Controller and if the Controller is not so satisfied he shall make an order rejecting the application." For purposes of sub-section (3) of section 10 of the Act the buildings are classified into .....

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pying a residential building of his own in the city, town or village concerned. Sub- clause (ii) of clause (a) of sub-section (3) of section 10 of the Act relates to eviction from a non-residential building which is used for the purpose of keeping a vehicle or adapted for such use. If the landlord required such a building for his own use or for the use of any member of his family and if he or any member of his family is not occupying any such building in the city, town or village concerned which .....

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er for an order directing the tenant to put the landlord in possession of such a building. It may be stated here that the words 'if the landlord required it for his own use or for the use of any member of his family' are not to be found in sub-clause (iii) of section 10(3)(a) of the Act. Clause (e) of section 10(3) of the Act, however, provides that the Controller shall, if he is satisfied that the claim of the landlord is bona fide make an order directing the tenant to put the landlord .....

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. It is argued on behalf of the appellant that reading sub-clause (ii) and (iii) of section 10(3)(a) of the Act together, which relate to the eviction from non- residential buildings, the words 'if the landlord required it for his own use or for the use of any member of his family' which are found in sub-clause (ii) of section 10(3)(a) should be read into sub-clause (iii) of section 10(3)(a) also and that a landlord should establish in order to succeed in a petition for eviction filed un .....

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Metal Industries v. K. Suseeladevi, [1982] 2 Mad. L.J. 333; (ii) M. Abdul Rahman v. S. Sadasivam, [1984] 1 Mad. L.J. 410 and (iii) A. Khan Mohammed v. P. Narayanan Nambiar & Others, 99 Law Weekly 966 that there was no need for a landlord to establish the bona fides of his requirement or the requirement of a member of his family when a petition is filed under section 10(3)(a)(iii) of the Act and it is enough if his claim is proved to be bona fide. The High Court has upheld the said plea of th .....

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Other, [1960] 2 S.C.R. 896 this Court was required to construe section 13(3)(a)(iii) of the East Punjab Urban Rent Restriction Act, 1949 which at the relevant time provided that a landlord might apply to the Controller for directing a tenant to put the landlord in possession of the building in question if he required it for the re-construction of that building or for its replacement by another building or for the erection of other buildings. In that case the Rent Controller and the Appellate Au .....

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n of the High Court held that the landlord had, in fact, made out that he required the premises bona fide for purposes of re-construction. Thus it is seen that in the context of a law enacted for preventing unreasonable evictions this Court read into a ground on which a landlord could seek the eviction of his tenant that the landlord should establish that his requirement was bona fide. A mere desire on the part of the landlord to re-construct a building was not sufficient to evict a tenant from .....

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andlord wished to rebuild on the premises after dismantling the structure. On the said issue the Rent Controller held that in deciding whether the tenant should be ordered to hand over the possession to the landlord the Courts must have regard to the bona fide requirement of the landlord which meant that the desire to rebuild the premises should be honestly held by the landlord but that the condition of the building also played an important part in determining whether the landlord had the intent .....

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ndlord was not, in good faith, wanting to replace the building, when he had no means to build it. The High Court, however, allowed the revision petition filed before it holding that upon the evidence on record it had been established beyond doubt that the landlord genuinely and bona fide required the premises for re-building. On appeal by special leave to this Court, this Court observed that the very purpose of the Rent Restriction Act would be defeated if the landlords were to come forward and .....

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Division Bench of the High Court of Madras construed section 10(3)(a)(iii) of the Act thus: "Section 10 of the Madras Buildings (Lease and Rent Control) Act, 1960, provides for eviction of tenants in certain circumstances. Sub-section 3(a)(iii) of the section allows a landlord to apply to the Controller for an order directing a tenant to put him in possession of the building if the landlord is not occupying for purposes of business which he is carrying on, a non- residential building in th .....

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ng by us) In the Madras District Central Co-operative Bank Limited, Mylapore Branch, Madras-4 v. A. Venkatesh, 99 Law weekly 714 a single Judge of the High Court disagreed with the views expressed by another single Judge in Abdul Rahman's case (supra) and observed thus: "The question now is whether an order directing the tenant to put the landlord in possession should be made. It is pointed out by the learned counsel for the respondent landlord following a ruling of this Court in Abdul .....

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o jurisdiction to go into the question whether the requirement of the landlord is bona fide, as the Rent Controller has to pass an order of eviction in case the landlord is not occupying for the purpose of business which he is carrying on, any non-residential building in the city which is his own. The learned Judge further pointed out that when the provisions of s. 10(3)(a)(i) and s. 10(3)(a)(iii) use different expressions, it should be taken that the Legislature intended these provisions to hav .....

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or the eviction of the tenant. In other words eviction under the Rent Control Act can be effected only on the grounds mentioned in s. 10. The landlord may have a right to evict the tenant under the general law. S. 10(3)(a) says that the landlord may, subject to the provisions of Cl. (d), apply to the Controller for an order directing the tenant to put the landlord in possession of the buildings. S. 10(3)(a)(i) deals with residential buildings. S. 10(3)(a)(ii) deals with non-residential buildings .....

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Now after these sections, S. 10(3)(e) runs thus: 'The Controller shall, if he is satisfied that the claim of the landlord is bona fide make an order directing the tenant to put the landlord in possession of the building on such date as may be specified by the Controller and if the Controller is not so satisfied he shall make an order rejecting the application.' I find in the judgment of Ramanujam, J. this S. 10(3)(e) has not been adverted to. S. 10(3)(e) applies to Ss. 10(3)(a)(i), 10(3 .....

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the application' very clearly show that the Controller should, before passing an order for eviction, be satisfied with the bona fide of the claim, or else he should dismiss it." The main ground on which the learned Judge who decided the above case disagreed with the decision in Abdul Rahman's case (supra) is that in Abdul Rahman's case (supra) section 10(3)(e) of the Act, which applied to all the three sub- clauses, namely (i), (ii) and (iii) in section 10(3)(a) of the Act had .....

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idambaram v. C. Sundaresan, [1985] 1 Mad. Law J. 106. It is observed in that case thus: "In the present case, the Appellate Authority has not adverted to these features at all and in one place he observes that the bona fide of the claim of the landlord is extraneous and it should not be tested too severely. This exposes his wrong approach to the question of bona fide which is a relevant one. The very ingredient of section 10(3)(e) of the Act requires that the question of bona fide has got t .....

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circumstances has to be adverted to on this question. As already stated, I am not expressing any opinion over these features on merits, and it is for the Appellate Authority to advert to them and adjudicate upon the question afresh one way or the other. The discussions above oblige me to interfere in revision and accordingly the revision is allowed and the matter stands remitted to the Appellate Authority for him to consider it afresh taking note of all the relevant features and factors of the .....

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a period of three months from the date of receipt of the copy of this order." In P. Thanneermalai Chettiar v. S.J. Dhanraj, [1986] Mad. L.J. 115 another learned Judge of the High Court of Madras has construed section 10(3)(e) of the Act thus: "It is not disputed that section 10(3)(e) of Act 18 of 1960 is applicable to the case of residential building as well as non-residential building and it is provided therein that if the Controller is satisfied that the claim of the landlord is bon .....

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t proved and in any event there is no bona fide in the same" The main ground on which the learned Judge who decided Abdul Rahman's case (supra) held that it was not necessary to establish the bona fide equipment of the landlord when he made an application for eviction under section 13(3)(a)(iii) of the Act was that, the word 'require' was not to be found in section 10(3)(a)(iii) of the Act. We are of the view that having regard to the pattern in which clause (a) of sub- section .....

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se, in which event the clause would have read thus: 'in case it is a non-residential building which is used for the purpose of keeping a vehicle or adapted for such use, if the landlord required it for his own use or for the use of any member of his family and if he or any member of his family is not occupying any such building in the city, town or village concerned which is his own; and in case it is any other non-residential building, if the landlord or any member of his family is not occu .....

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e attributed with the intention that it required a more stringent proof by insisting upon proof of bona fides of his requirement or need also when a landlord is seeking eviction of a tenant from a garage than in the case of a non-residential building which is occupied by large commercial house for carrying on business. The learned counsel for the respondent was not able to explain as to why the State Legislature gave greater protection to tenants occupying premises used for keeping vehicles or a .....

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. Lord Denning L.J. said: "When a defect appears, a judge cannot simply fold his hands and blame the draftsman. He must set to work on the constructive task of finding the intention of Parliament ..... and then he must supplement the written word so as to give 'force and life' to the intention of the legislature ..... A judge should ask himself the question how, if the makers of the Act had themselves come across this ruck in the texture of it, they should have straightened it out? .....

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fides of the requirement of the landlord, the Court is not doing any violence to the statute nor embarking upon any legislative action. The Court is only construing the words of the statute in a reasonable way having regard to the context. We are of the view that by merely proving that the premises in question is a non-residential building and that the landlord or any member of his family is not occupying for the purpose of a business which he or any member of his family is carrying on any resid .....

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asonable evictions and for the purpose of making equitable distribution of buildings amongst persons who are in need of them in order to prove that his claim is bona fide a landlord should establish that he deserves to be put in possession of the premises which is in the occupation of a tenant. Any decision on the question whether a landlord deserves to be put in possession of a premises in the occupation of a tenant should naturally depend upon the bona fides of the landlord's requirement o .....

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ord will be able to evict a tenant to satisfy his whim by merely proving the ingredients mentioned in section 10(3)(a)(iii) of the Act. Take a case where a landlord for some oblique reason wishes to get rid of his tenant from a non-residential building of the category mentioned in section 10(3)(a)(iii) and to achieve his aim fakes to start money-lending business (for which indeed no specified separate portion in a building may be needed) in a building not belonging to him and to create evidence .....

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the need of the landlord for the non-residential building is not to be considered and the circumstances that the landlord on the date of making the application is factually carrying on business and has no non-residential building of his own in his occupation in the city, town or village concerned is to be construed sufficient to make his claim bona fide, the tenancy of no non-residential building will be secure. It will be preposterous to attribute such an intention to the legislature. Such a co .....

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