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Neta Ram Versus Jiwan Lal

C.A. 646 OF 1961 - Dated:- 17-1-1962 - Das S.K., Hidayatullah, M.Shah, JJ. Gopal Singh, for the appellates. Bishan Narain and Naunit lal, for the respondent JUDGMENT: Hidayatullah M., This is an appeal by special leave against an order of the High Court of Punjab at Chandigarh, dated April 7, 1961. The appellants are five tenants, who have been evicted from certain shops and chobaras in the town of Patiala, on the application of the first respondent, the landlord. The application by the landlord .....

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to a proposed plan of construction, and accumulated some building material before making the application. The tenants resisted the application. The Rent Controller framed issues relating to the three grounds; but the first two have ceased to be material now. On the issue relating to the third ground, the Rent Controller held that in deciding whether the tenants should be ordered to hand over possession to the landlord, the Courts must have regard to the bona fides of the request of the landlord .....

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dlord s state of mind. Examining the case from this angle, the Rent Controller held that there was hardly any proof that the building was in a dilapidated condition. One solitary witness who testified to this, admitted that he had not seen the building from the inside. The landlord himself did not give evidence. On the other hand, there was ample evidence that the building was good. As regards the financial status of the landlord, the witnesses who stated on his behalf that, he could spend ͅ .....

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gs of cement, because a greater part of the cement was used up already in building two or three latrines, and the quantity left was wholly insufficient for the proposed building. He, therefore, decided the issue against the landlord. On appeal, these findings were confirmed by the appellate authority, who held that the shops and chobaras were in good condition, and that the landlord was not, in good faith, wanting to replace the building, when he had no means to built it. Against the order of th .....

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wn the law in the following words: "It is pertinent to note that the word building in the aforesaid clause is not qualified by the words requiring reconstruction or requiring rebuilding .The landlord can, in these circumstances, require any building for the re-erection of the same, and when in any case a claim to that effect is made by him the only point that has to be determined is whether on the facts and circumstances of that case his requirement is bona fide. A building, for instance, m .....

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hat the consideration which must weigh in determining the question of ejectment is whether the landlord genuinely wants to rebuild the premises, and further, that the actual condition of the premises is "a wholly irrelevant factor". In dealing with the merits of the case, the learned Judge referred to the offer of the landlord to put back the tenants in possession, if the premises were not demolished within a month of his obtaining possession thereof, and concluded, without discussing .....

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atiala and East Punjab States Union Urban Rent Restriction ordinance, the decision of the appellate authority and subject only to such decision, an order of the Controller shall be final and shall not be liable to be called in question in any court of law whether in a suit or other proceeding by way of appeal or revision". It is contended that s.15(5) of the East Punjab Urban Rent Restriction Act, which conferred a power of revision on the High Court does not apply to the present case, beca .....

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on application in analogous circumstances was maintainable. In our opinion, even if a revision application lay, the learned single Judge was in error in his interpretation of the relevant sections of the ordinance, and in reversing a concurrent finding of fact, without giving any substantial reasons. Section 13 of the ordinance, omitting portions which are irrelevant here, reads as follows: "13. (1) Notwithstanding anything contained in any other law for the time being in force, a tenant in .....

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ng or for its replacement by another building, or for the erection of other building; X X X (b) The Controller shall, if he is satisfied that the claim of the landlord is bonafide, make an order directing the tenant to put the landlord in possession of the building or rented land 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; X X X (4) where a landlord who has obtained possession of building or rent .....

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d he satisfies the Controller, he can obtain possession of the building or the land, as the case may be. If, however, he does not re-erect the building and puts it to any other use or lets it out to another tenant, the former tenant can apply to be put back in possession. Clause (b) clearly shows both affirmatively and negatively that the landlord must satisfy the Controller about his claim, before he can obtain an order in his favour. The Controller has to be satisfied about the genuineness of .....

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ly, said to be entertained by him. The clause speaks not of the bona fides of the landlord, but says, on the other hand, that the claim of the landlord that he requires the building for reconstruction and re-erection must be bona fide, that is to say. honest in the circumstances. It is impossible, therefore, to hold that the investigation by the Controller should be confined only to the existance of an intention to reconstruct, in the mind of the landlord. This intention must be honestly held in .....

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urned out, on the bare plea that they want to reconstruct the houses, without first establishing that the plea is bona fide with regard to all the circumstances, viz., that the houses need reconstruction or that they have the means to reconstruct them, etc. The two Tribunals below had gone into the matter thoroughly, and had agreed that the landlord had neither the means to reconstruct the building nor had he made any attempt to face cross-examination as a party. They were also of the opinion th .....

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