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Sriram Pasricha Versus Jagannath

1976 (8) TMI 162 - SUPREME COURT

Civil Appeal No. 1223 of 1975 - Dated:- 24-8-1976 - GOSWAMI, P.K., CHANDRACHUD, Y.V. AND GUPTA, A.C. JJ. V.N. Tarkunde, and H.K. Puri, for the Appellants. V S. Desai, N. Mukherjee, N.R. Choudhary, A.K. Sen and 5. P. Nayar for the Respondents. JUDGMENT: The Judgment of the Court was delivered by GOSWAMI, J. This is an appeal by the defendant-tenant by certificate from the judgment of the Calcutta High Court. The question that arises for decision is whether a landlord who is a co-owner of the prem .....

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2 and 3 (hereinafter to be referred to as the defendants). The tenancy was in respect of a part of the premises No. 221/1, Rash Behari Avenue, Calcutta, being the entire second floor of the building. The tenancy commenced some time in 1946 and Bhagat Ram Pasricha promised to vacate the said premises within March 31, 1947 and positively after March 31, 1948. Bhagat Ram Pasricha, however, did not vacate and died on February 18, 1960, leaving behind the defendants as his heirs. The plaintiff is onl .....

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creed the suit on both the grounds. On the question of reasonable requirement the trial court held that the plaintiff being only a co-sharer owner cannot be said to be the owner within the meaning of section 13(1)(1) of the Act. The trial court, however, held that the plaintiff succeeded in proving the case of reasonable requirement of the members of the family "for whose benefit the premises were held by him" within the meaning of the second part of section 13(1) (f). On appeal by the .....

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reasonable requirement of the premises was established the plaintiff was not entitled to a decree for eviction being only a co-sharer and as such not "the owner" of the premises within the meaning of section 13(1) (f). It was submitted that a co-owner was only a part-owner and was not entitled to an order of eviction under section 13(1)(f) of the Act. The learned single Judge accepted the contention of the defendants and dismissed the suit observing :- "it will not be sufficient i .....

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reference to the interest held by him". Mr. Tarkunde, the learned counsel appearing on behalf of the appellant submits that the decision of the Division Bench is erroneous and we should accept the views of the single Judge. He submits that a landlord in order to be able to evict a tenant under section 13(1)(f) must be an absolute owner of the premises from which eviction is sought. A co-owner landlord without impleading all the owners of the premises is not entitled to ask for eviction unde .....

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ent. Counsel relied upon the decision in Bollye Satee and another v. Akram, Ally and other. (1879) I.L.R. 4 Cal. 961 This was a case in which it was held that a lessee of a jalkar cannot be ejected by a suit brought by one only of the several proprietors all of whom had granted the lease. This case, with its own facts, is, therefore, of no aid in the present controversy. In Kattusheri Pishareth Kanna Pisharody v. Vallotil Manakel Narayanan Somayajipad and others, (1878-81) I.L.R. 3 Mad. 234 the .....

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him on account of the highest rate of assessment for the three years preceding the suit. The defendant disputed the plaintiff's right to demand the highest rate of assessment and contended that the plaintiff had no right to sue alone as he and his co-sharers owned the jagir and the defendant cultivated the land in that village by paying the jagirdars something less than the full assessment prior to the years in the suit. It was in that context that the following observation appears in the ju .....

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a Roy and others (1890) I.L.R. 17 Cal. 160. the objection of the defendant was to the form of the suit and it was pressed from the very commencement by the defendant. This was a suit by the plaintiffs for balance of arrears of rent making other co-sharers as defendants. The court held that unless the co-sharers had refused to join in the suit or had otherwise acted prejudicially to their interests the plaintiffs were not entitled to sue alone. In this view of the matter the suit was dismissed. W .....

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the plea pertains to the domain of the frame of the suit as if the suit is bad for non-joinder of other plaintiffs. Such a plea should have been raised, for what it is worth, at the earliest opportunity. It was not done. Secondly, the relation be- tween the parties being that of landlord and tenant, only the landlord could terminate the tenancy and institute the suit for eviction. The tenant in such a suit it estopped from questioning the title of the landlord under section 116 of the Evidence A .....

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repetition of the first submission in a different form. Counsel relied upon Mclntyre and another v. Hardcastle (1848) 1 All E.R. 696. The English rule laid down in that decision is that if two or more landlords institute a suit for possession on the ground that a dwelling house is required for occupation of one of them as a residence the suit would fail. The requirement, according to the decision, must be of all the landlords. The High Courts of Calcutta and Gujarat have dissented from the rule .....

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vity and ties, which is not based on pure individualism. A widowed sister, suddenly shipwrecked in the mid-stream of married life, with no other help, returns to parental home or to her brothers' where sympathetic and affectionate shelter is readily avail- able to her. In such a case the additional requirement of the widowed sister and her children may furnish a reasonable requirement of the father or the brothers for the purpose of eviction of their tenant. It is enough if the requirements .....

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elonging jointly to several persons and hence warranting a suit by all the co-owners, Mr. Tarkunde drew our attention to the admission of the plaintiff in his deposition regarding the death of his father in 1949 and that Bhagat Ram Pasricha was inducted by him as instructed by his father to do so. From this he submitted that all the heirs of late Motilal Sen were the landlords and, there- fore, they should have been impleaded as plaintiffs in the suit. We are unable to give effect to this submis .....

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ction to eject a trespasser without joining other co-owners in such action can have no application where a co-owner seeks to evict a tenant who is in possession of the property after determination of the lease. Such a tenant can be evicted only by an action taken by all co-owners" But this rule is not applicable in the present case as would appear from the decision itself. The Gujarat decision at para 10 of the judgment excludes two categories described therein and the rule of estoppel appl .....

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more of the following grounds, namely - (f) where the premises are reasonably required by the landlord either for purposes of building or rebuilding or for making thereto substantial additions or alterations or for his own 'occupation if he is the owner or for the occupation of any person for whose benefit the premises are held". This is not a case attracting the second part of section 13(1)(f), that is to say, the clause providing for the occupation of any person for whose benefit the .....

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being his mother and married brother, who reside in the Same premises along with him. The premises m suit, namely, the second floor of the building in occupation of the tenant is required by the plaintiff for occupation of the members of the joint family and for their benefit. A major portion of the ground floor of the building accommodates the joint family business and the first floor is found by the court to be inadequate to the requirements of the large family of eighteen members including t .....

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quot;if he is the owner" in section 13 ( 1 ) (f). Mr. V.S. Desai reads to us from Salmond on Jurisprudence (13th edition) and relies on the following passage in Chapter 8 (Ownership), paragraph 46 at page 254: "As a general rule a thing is owned by one person only at a time, but duplicate ownership is perfectly possible. Two or more persons may at the same time have ownership of the same thing vested in them. This may happen in several distinct ways, but the simplest and most obvious c .....

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