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1987 (7) TMI 586

al for the Respondent. JUDGMENT NATARAJAN, J. This appeal by special leave against a judgment of the High Court of Punjab and Haryana pertains to a contest between a widowed landlady seeking recovery of possession of a leased premises of the residential needs of herself and her sons and daughter on the one hand and an young medical practitioner on the other wanting to continue his medical practice in the premises without being evicted therefrom. The Rent Controller and the Appellate Authority declined to pass an order of eviction in favour of the respondent but the High Court had reversed their judgments and directed eviction and hence the present appeal by special leave by the tenant. One Iqbal Singh, the deceased husband of the respondent was the owner of house no. 16, Sector 18-A, Chandigarh. He leased out the entire portion of the house except a big hall to one Kuldeep Singh on May 27, 1977. Iqbal Singh died in the year 1980 and on 1.4.81, his widow viz. the respondent leased out the hail to the appellant on a monthly rent of ₹ 650. The lease was for a period of 11 months. The terms of the lease were reduced to writing but the deed was not registered. The respondent filed .....

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on. Before we enter into the merits of the case, it is relevant to state that the High Court went only into the question of the bona fide requirement of the hall by the respondent for her residential use and did not go into the question whether the appellant had changed the user of the hall by running a clinic and had thereby rendered himself liable for eviction on that ground also. The High Court was of the view that when the respondent's requirement of the hall was a genuine one, the eviction of the appellant could be ordered on that ground alone and there was no need or necessity to examine the merits of the second ground on which also eviction was sought for. In the light of the arguments advanced by Mr. Mahajan, learned counsel for the appellant, to assail the judgment of the High Court, the questions that fall for consideration can be enunciated as under: 1. Whether the High Court had erred in the exercise of its revisional powers in (a) setting aside the concurrent findings of the Rent Controller and the Appellate Authority that the respondent was not bona fide in need of the hail for her residential use and (b) ignoring the findings of the Rent Controller and the Appell .....

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therefore obvious that they have based their findings on imaginary material and not facts. Secondly, both the Authority have taken the erroneous view that the respondent had initiated action only against the appellant to get possession of the hall in the house and had not initiated action to get possession of the other portions of the house from the other tenant. Due to this mistake, the Authorities have disbelieved the respondent and held that the entire family cannot manage to live in a single hall. They have failed to note that the respondent had contemporaneously initiated proceedings against the other tenant Kuldeep Singh also for recovery of possession of the remaining portion of the house leased to him. Those proceedings were also before the very same Rent Controller and the Appellate Authority and they had themselves ordered the eviction of Kuldeep Singh. The respondent has clearly stated in her evidence as follows: "The house is of single storey. I require the property for my own use and for my children. I require the entire ground floor. I have filed the ejectment petition against the other tenant also." Her evidence was not and indeed could not be challenged. .....

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nly i.e. for running a clinic and hence the charge levelled by the respondent that the appellant had changed the user of the hall from residential to non-residential purpose cannot be sustained. As far as this aspect of the matter is concerned, the Rent Controller and the Appellate Authority have both failed to take note of the pleadings of the appellant. In the written statement, the appellant has averted as follows: "The demised premises were taken by the answering respondent from the petitioner for the purposes of his residence and for running his clinic therein ...... The answering respondent is having his residence and clinic in the premises in dispute and is using the same for the said purposes, as such." However, when the appellant entered the witness box, he gave up the case set out in the written statement and propounded a different case that the hall had been taken on lease only for non-residential purposes. The perceptible manner in which the appellant had shifted his defence has escaped the notice and consideration of the Statutory Authorities. Both the Authorities have failed to bear in mind that the pleadings of the parties from the foundation of their case .....

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he ground he required the premises for his own residential requirements. We find the facts in that case to be markedly different and it was the speciality of the facts which was largely instrumental in persuading this Court to render its decision in the aforesaid manner. Moreover, the Court had not considered the question whether the conversion of a residential premises into a non-residential one without the permission of the Rent Controller was permissible under the Delhi & Ajmer Rent Control Act and if it was not permitted, now far the contravention would affect the rights of the parties. In our opinion, the more relevant decision to be noticed would be Kamal Arora v. Amar Singh & Ors., [1985] SCC (Supplementary) 481 where this Court declined to interfere with an order of eviction passed in favour of the landlord as the Court was of the view that even if the landlord and the tenant had converted a residential building into a non-residential one by mutual consent, it would still be violative of Section 11 of the East Punjab Rent Restriction Act and therefore, the landlord cannot be barred from seeking recovery of possession of the leased building for his residential needs. .....

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now to the second question, Mr. Mahajan argued that the respondent cannot seek recovery of possession of the hall by means of an application under Section 13(3)(a)(i)(a) because the Rent Controller and the Appellate Authority have found that the hall had been let out only for running a clinic and not for the appellant's residence. It is true that under the Act, a landlord can apply to the Controller for an order or eviction against a tenant on the ground he requires the building for his own occupation only if the building is a residential one and not if it is a non-residential one. Since we have already held that the findings rendered by the Rent Controller and the Appellate Authority about the purpose for which the hall was let out are vitiated by several errors of facts and law, the appellant is not entitled to rely on those findings and dispute the respondent's right to seek his eviction under Section 13(3)(a)(i)(a) of the Act. In fact, such a contention was never put forward before the Statutory Authorities or before the High Court. Mr. Mahajan advanced another argument which also had not been urged before the Statutory Authorities or the High Court. He contended that e .....

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ppeal or revision would amount to applying once over again under the Act to seek eviction of a tenant on the ground of bona fide requirement. Over and above all these things, we find that the events which have taken place subsequently, give added force to the decision rendered by the High Court. The eviction proceedings against the other tenant Kuldeep Singh have ended in favour of the respondent and she has filed affidavits before this Court to state that she has re-occupied the portion leased out to Kuldeep Singh. The occupation of a portion of the house by the respondent places her claim for recovery of possession of the hall on a better footing. This is because of the fact the hall does not have an attached bath room or water closet. Consequently the appellant and the patients visiting his clinic are also making use of the common bath room and toilet in the house. This would not only cause inconvenience to the members of the respondent's family but would also expose them to the risk of infection from the patients using the bath room and toilet during their visit to the appellant's clinic. Though the appellant has averted in his affidavit that he has only a portable X-Ra .....

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