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Rent control case – Eviction case – Landlord – tenant – BONA FIDE OCCUPATION for son – trial court allowed the petition – High court reversed the same – Apex court held that we find that the High Court has given too much emphasis to the affidavit filed by the witness Vijay Pratap Singh that the appellant attempted to sell disputed shop to him. It is relevant to mention here that the said fact was denied by the appellant. In our opinion, merely for the reason that some witness has stated that the landlord attempted to sell the property his statement cannot be said to be reliable, as has been believed by the High Court or the Appellate Court, unless such fact is supported with documentary proof. There appears no document on record to support the bald statement of the witness Vijay Kumar Singh to dislodge the case of bonafide requirement of the shop claimed by the appellant for his son who was unemployed. Another fact relied by the High Court pertains to the fact that elder son of the appellant was running a business as a tenant in a shop opposite to the disputed shop. Had it been found that the son for whom the landlord needed the shop had already got his own shop, it could have been said that the need for the landlord is not genuine, but in the present case if one of the sons was running his business that too in a rented accommodation, it cannot be said that the need of the landlord was not bonafide. The sons of the appellant are not supposed to starve on street till the shop is actually vacated for them = CIVIL APPEAL NOs.7796-7797 of 2014 (Arising out of S.L.P(c) Nos.34694-34695 of 2013) KRISHNA KUMAR RASTOGI ….APPELLANT VERSUS SUMITRA DEVI ….RESPONDENT = 2014- Aug. Part – http://judis.nic.in/supremecourt/filename=41837

Rent control case – Eviction case – Landlord – tenant – BONA FIDE OCCUPATION for son – trial court allowed the petition – High court reversed the same – Apex court held that  we  find

that the High Court has given too much emphasis to the  affidavit  filed  by the witness  Vijay  Pratap  Singh  that  the  appellant  attempted  to  sell disputed shop to him.  It is relevant to mention here  that  the  said  fact was denied by the appellant. In our opinion, merely  for  the  reason  that some witness has stated that the landlord attempted  to  sell  the  property his statement cannot be said to be reliable, as has  been  believed  by  the High Court or the Appellate  Court,  unless  such  fact  is  supported  with documentary proof. There appears no document on record to support the  bald statement of the witness Vijay Kumar Singh to dislodge the case of  bonafide requirement of the shop claimed  by  the  appellant  for  his  son  who  was unemployed.   Another fact relied by the High Court pertains to  the  fact  that elder son of the appellant was running a business as  a  tenant  in  a  shop opposite to the disputed shop.  Had it been found that the son for whom  the landlord needed the shop had already got his own shop, it  could  have  been said that the need for the landlord is not genuine, but in the present  case if one  of  the  sons  was  running  his  business that  too  in  a  rented accommodation, it cannot be said that the  need  of  the  landlord  was  not bonafide.  The sons of the appellant are not supposed to  starve  on  street till the shop is actually vacated for them =

 

 In Mohd. Ayub and Another vs Mukesh Chand (2012)  2  SCC  155,  while

interpreting the above provisions of law, this Court has  observed  in  para

15 as under:

“ 15. It is well settled the landlord’s  requirement  need  not  be  a  dire

necessity.  The  court  cannot  direct  the  landlord  to  do  a  particular

business or imagine that  he  could  profitably  do  a  particular  business

rather than the business he proposes to start.  It was wrong on the part  of

the District Court to hold that the appellants’ case that  their  sons  want

to start the general merchant  business  is  a  pretence  because  they  are

dealing in eggs ……………Similarly,  length of tenancy of the respondent in  the

circumstances of the case ought not to have weighed with the courts  below.”

12.   In para 17 of the case  of  Ayub  Khan  (supra),  this  Court  further

observed:

 “17. It is also important to note that there is nothing on record  to  show

that during the pendency of this litigation the respondent made any  genuine

efforts to find out any alternative accommodation”.

13.   In Rishi Kumar Govil vs. Maqsoodan and Ors (2007) 4 SCC  465,  on  the

plea and evidence relating to bona fide need  of  landlord,  this  Court  in

para 19 observed as under:

“19. In Ragavendra Kumar v. Firm Prem Machinery & Co. (2000)  1  SCC  679  :

AIR 2000 SC 534,  it was held that it is  the  choice  of  the  landlord  to

choose the place for the business which is most suitable for  him.   He  has

complete freedom in the  matter.   In  Gaya  Prasad  v.  Pradeep  Srivastava

(2001) 2 SCC 604: AIR 2001 SC  803,  it  was  held  that  the  need  of  the

landlord is to be seen on the date of application for release.   In  Prativa

Devi vs T.V. Krishnan (1996) 5 SCC 353 it was held that the landlord is  the

best judge of his requirement and courts have  no  concern  to  dictate  the

landlord as to how and in what manner he should live.”

14.    In the present case, on going through the papers on  record  we  find

that the High Court has given too much emphasis to the  affidavit  filed  by

the witness  Vijay  Pratap  Singh  that  the  appellant  attempted  to  sell

disputed shop to him.  It is relevant to mention here  that  the  said  fact

was denied by the appellant.  In our opinion, merely  for  the  reason  that

some witness has stated that the landlord attempted  to  sell  the  property

his statement cannot be said to be reliable, as has  been  believed  by  the

High Court or the Appellate  Court,  unless  such  fact  is  supported  with

documentary proof.  There appears no document on record to support the  bald

statement of the witness Vijay Kumar Singh to dislodge the case of  bonafide

requirement of the shop claimed  by  the  appellant  for  his  son  who  was

unemployed.

  15.     Another fact relied by the High Court pertains to  the  fact  that

elder son of the appellant was running a business as  a  tenant  in  a  shop

opposite to the disputed shop.  Had it been found that the son for whom  the

landlord needed the shop had already got his own shop, it  could  have  been

said that the need for the landlord is not genuine, but in the present  case

if one  of  the  sons  was  running  his  business  that  too  in  a  rented

accommodation, it cannot be said that the  need  of  the  landlord  was  not

bonafide.  The sons of the appellant are not supposed to  starve  on  street

till the shop is actually vacated for them.

16.      For the reasons as discussed above, we are of  the view  that   the

High Court has erred  in law in dismissing  the petition of  the  appellant.

 We further  find  that the Appellate Court  has   allowed   the  appeal  of

the tenant against the weight of the evidence  on  record.   We  concur  the

view taken by the trial court /Prescribed Authority. Accordingly,  we  allow

these  appeals  and set aside the orders  challenged   before  us.  However,

considering the facts  and   circumstances   of  the  case,   we  allow  the

respondent / tenant  to vacate the   premises   by    31st  December,

2014   whereafter   the landlord/appellant shall be at liberty to get executed the order dated  21st

September, 1999  passed  by  the   Prescribed  Authority/Addl.  Civil  Judge

(S.D),    Nagina.      However,   there   is   no   order   as   to   costs.

 

2014- Aug. Part – http://judis.nic.in/supremecourt/filename=41837

REPORTABLE

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

CIVIL APPEAL NOs.7796-7797 of 2014
(Arising out of S.L.P(c) Nos.34694-34695 of 2013)

KRISHNA KUMAR RASTOGI ….APPELLANT

VERSUS

SUMITRA DEVI ….RESPONDENT

J U D G M E N T

PRAFULLA C. PANT, J.

1. Leave granted.

2. These appeals are directed against the judgment and order dated
12th October, 2006 passed by the High Court of judicature at Allahabad in
Civil Misc. Writ Petition No.34997 of 2000 whereby the writ petition filed
by the landlord has been dismissed, and the order dated 13th February, 2012
passed on Review Application No.225618 of 2006, whereby the said
application has also been rejected.

3. Brief facts of the case are that the present appellant (landlord)
filed an application under Section 21(1)(a) of Uttar Pradesh Urban
Buildings (Regulation of Letting, Rent and Eviction) Act, 1972 (hereinafter
referred as U.P. Act No.13 of 1972) against the respondent Sumitra Devi
(tenant) for release of the shop in question situated in Shivaji Market
(Chhota Bazar), Shyohara, District Bijnor, before the Prescribed
Authority/Addl. Civil Judge(Senior Division), Nagina. It is pleaded on
behalf of the appellant that the respondent was tenant of the appellant in
the shop on rent @ Rs.125/- per month. The appellant further pleaded that
he needed the shop in question to establish his son Amit Kumar in the
business by opening a General Merchant Shop in it. It is also alleged by
the appellant that vide notice dated 11th March, 1985, the appellant asked
the respondent to vacate the premises occupied by her as the same was
required by the landlord/appellant as above, and since the respondent did
not vacate the shop, the application for release of the shop was moved by
the appellant before the Prescribed Authority/Addl. Civil Judge (S.D.),
Nagina.

4. The respondent/tenant contested the application for release of
the accommodation and denied the allegations contained in it. It is
pleaded by her that she has three sons and four daughters apart from her
husband in the family, and her hardship is more than that of the appellant.
It is further stated by her that the need of the appellant is not genuine.
It is further stated by her that the respondent through her son sells
shoes in the shop, and does not use the shop as store, as alleged by the
appellant. It is also alleged that the appellant actually wants
enhancement of rent, and the answering respondent is ready to pay Rs.300/-
per month instead of Rs.125/- per month as rent. It is also pointed out by
the respondent in her pleading that earlier suit No. 198 of 1980 (Krishna
Kumar vs. Sumitra Devi) was instituted by the appellant for vacation of the
shop, and when he failed in it, the present proceeding has been drawn.

5. By way of amendment on 11th August, 1995 respondent further took the
plea that during the pendency of the proceedings, Jayanti Prasad, brother
of the appellant had filed proceedings No.6 of 1987 against Chaturpal
Gupta – husband of the respondent on personal ground of necessity and said
application has been allowed against which the appeal is pending. Lastly,
it is pleaded by the respondent that the respondent has attempted to search
another shop but the same was not available near the disputed shop.

6. In reply to the amended plea of the respondent, the appellant pleaded
that even if the application of his brother Jayanti Prasad is allowed, it
does not fulfill the necessity of the appellant and his son for the shop in
question. It is also pleaded by the appellant that actually husband of the
respondent is running the business in another shop of shoes belonging to
one of his relatives.

7. The affidavits were exchanged and after recording evidence and
hearing the parties, the Prescribed Authority accepted the case of the
appellant/landlord and allowed the application for release of shop in his
favour vide order dated 21st September, 1999 against which the tenant
(present respondent) Sumitra Devi filed Rent Control Appeal No. 9 of 1999
before Additional District Judge, Bijnor, and said Authority after hearing
the parties vide its order dated 23rd April, 2000 allowed the appeal and
set aside the order passed by the Prescribed Authority/Addl. Civil
Judge(S.D), Nagina. Aggrieved by the said order dated 23rd April, 2000,
the appellant filed Civil Misc. Writ Petition No. 34997 of 2000 before the
High Court of judicature at Allahabad, and said petition, after hearing
the parties, was dismissed. Hence these appeals are before us.

8. We have heard learned counsel for the parties and considered their
submissions.

9. Before further discussion, we think it just and proper to quote the
relevant provisions of law under which the release application was moved:

“21. Proceedings for release of building under occupation of tenant. –(1)
The prescribed authority may, on an application of the landlord in that
behalf, order the eviction of a tenant from the building under tenancy or
any specified part thereof if it is satisfied that any of the following
grounds exists, namely, –

that the building is bona fide required either in its existing form or
after demolition and new construction by the landlord for occupation by
himself or any member of his family, or any person for whose benefit it is
held by him, either for residential purposes or for purposes of any
profession, trade or calling, or where the landlord is the trustee of a
public charitable trust, for the objects of the trust;

that the building is in a dilapidated condition and is required for
purposes of demolition and new construction:

Provided that where the building was in the occupation of a tenant since
before its purchase by the landlord, such purchase being made after the
commencement of this Act, no application shall be entertained on the
grounds, mentioned in clause (a), unless a period of three years has
elapsed since the date of such purchase and the landlord has given a notice
in that behalf to the tenant not less than six months before such
application, and such notice may be given even before the expiration of the
aforesaid period of three years:

Provided further that if any application under clause (a) is made in
respect of [ any building let out exclusively for non-residential purposes]
(subs by U.P. Act 28 of 1976 (w.e.f.5.7.1976) ) the prescribed authority
while making the order of eviction shall, after considering all relevant
facts of the case, award against the landlord to the tenant [an amount not
exceeding two years’ rent ] (subs by U.P. Act 28 of 1976 (w.e.f.5.7.1976) )
as compensation and may, subject to rules, impose such other conditions as
it thinks fit:

xx xx xx xx

Provided also that the prescribed authority shall, except in cases provided
for in the Explanation, take into account the likely hardship to the tenant
from the grant of the application as against the likely hardship to the
landlord from the refusal of the application and for that purpose shall
have regard to such factors as may be prescribed] Ins. by U.P. Act 28
of 1976 and shall be deemed always to have been inserted.

Explanation – In the case of a residential building:-

Where the tenant or any member of his family [who has been normally
residing with or is wholly dependant on him] has built or has otherwise
acquired in a vacant state or has got vacated after acquisition a
residential building in the same city, municipality, notified area or town
area, no objection by the tenant against an application under this sub-
section shall be entertained;

xx xx xx xx

(4) An order under [sub-section(I) or sub-section(I-A) or sub section
(2)], may be made notwithstanding that the tenancy has not been determined:

Provided that no such order shall be made in the case of a tenancy created
for a fixed term by a registered lease before the expiry of such term.

On an order being made under [sub-section(I), or sub-section(I-A) or sub
section (2)], the building or part or appurtenant land, as the case may be,
shall stand released in favour of the landlord:

Provided that on the occurrence of any of the circumstances mentioned in
Section 24, any building or part thereof (but not appurtenant land alone)
released as above, shall, without prejudice to the provisions of Section
24, be deemed to become again subject to allotment in accordance with
Chapter III.

On the expiration of a period of thirty days from an order under [sub-
section(I) or sub-section(I-A) or sub section (2)], the tenancy of the
tenant shall stand determined in its entirety or, as the case may be, in
respect of any part of appurtenant land released in favour of the landlord,
and in the latter case, the rent payable for the remainder of the building
under tenancy shall be such as may be agreed upon between the parties and
in the absence of such agreement as may be determined under Section 8.”

10. Sub-Rule (2) of Rule 16 of Uttar Pradesh Urban Buildings (Regulation
of Letting, Rent and Eviction) Rules, 1972 framed under U.P. Act 13 of 1972
reads as under:

“16. Application for release on the ground of personal requirement
[Sections 21(1)(a) and 34(8)]. –

xx xx xx

(2) While considering an application for release under clause (a) of sub-
section(1) of Section 21 in respect of a building let out for purposes of
any business, the prescribed authority shall also have regard to such facts
as the following:-

The greater the period since when the tenant opposite party, or the
original tenant whose heir the opposite party is, has been carrying on his
business in that building, the less the justification for allowing the
application;

where the tenant has available with him suitable accommodation to which he
can shift his business without substantial loss there shall be greater
justification for allowing the application;

the greater the existing business of the landlord’s own, apart from the
business proposed to be set up in the leased premises, the less the
justification for allowing the application, and even if an application is
allowed in such a case, the prescribed authority may on the application of
the tenant impose the condition where the landlord has available with him
other accommodation (whether subject to the Act or not) which is not
suitable for his own proposed business but may serve the purpose of the
tenant, that the landlord shall let out that accommodation to the tenant on
a fair rent to be fixed by the prescribed authority;

(d) where a son or unmarried or widowed or divorced or judicially
separated daughter or daughter of a male lineal descendant of the landlord
has, after the building was originally let out, completed his or her
technical education and is not employed in Government service, and wants to
engage in self-employment, his or her need shall be given due
consideration.”

11. In Mohd. Ayub and Another vs Mukesh Chand (2012) 2 SCC 155, while
interpreting the above provisions of law, this Court has observed in para
15 as under:
“ 15. It is well settled the landlord’s requirement need not be a dire
necessity. The court cannot direct the landlord to do a particular
business or imagine that he could profitably do a particular business
rather than the business he proposes to start. It was wrong on the part of
the District Court to hold that the appellants’ case that their sons want
to start the general merchant business is a pretence because they are
dealing in eggs ……………Similarly, length of tenancy of the respondent in the
circumstances of the case ought not to have weighed with the courts below.”

12. In para 17 of the case of Ayub Khan (supra), this Court further
observed:

“17. It is also important to note that there is nothing on record to show
that during the pendency of this litigation the respondent made any genuine
efforts to find out any alternative accommodation”.

13. In Rishi Kumar Govil vs. Maqsoodan and Ors (2007) 4 SCC 465, on the
plea and evidence relating to bona fide need of landlord, this Court in
para 19 observed as under:

“19. In Ragavendra Kumar v. Firm Prem Machinery & Co. (2000) 1 SCC 679 :
AIR 2000 SC 534, it was held that it is the choice of the landlord to
choose the place for the business which is most suitable for him. He has
complete freedom in the matter. In Gaya Prasad v. Pradeep Srivastava
(2001) 2 SCC 604: AIR 2001 SC 803, it was held that the need of the
landlord is to be seen on the date of application for release. In Prativa
Devi vs T.V. Krishnan (1996) 5 SCC 353 it was held that the landlord is the
best judge of his requirement and courts have no concern to dictate the
landlord as to how and in what manner he should live.”

14. In the present case, on going through the papers on record we find
that the High Court has given too much emphasis to the affidavit filed by
the witness Vijay Pratap Singh that the appellant attempted to sell
disputed shop to him. It is relevant to mention here that the said fact
was denied by the appellant. In our opinion, merely for the reason that
some witness has stated that the landlord attempted to sell the property
his statement cannot be said to be reliable, as has been believed by the
High Court or the Appellate Court, unless such fact is supported with
documentary proof. There appears no document on record to support the bald
statement of the witness Vijay Kumar Singh to dislodge the case of bonafide
requirement of the shop claimed by the appellant for his son who was
unemployed.
15. Another fact relied by the High Court pertains to the fact that
elder son of the appellant was running a business as a tenant in a shop
opposite to the disputed shop. Had it been found that the son for whom the
landlord needed the shop had already got his own shop, it could have been
said that the need for the landlord is not genuine, but in the present case
if one of the sons was running his business that too in a rented
accommodation, it cannot be said that the need of the landlord was not
bonafide. The sons of the appellant are not supposed to starve on street
till the shop is actually vacated for them.
16. For the reasons as discussed above, we are of the view that the
High Court has erred in law in dismissing the petition of the appellant.
We further find that the Appellate Court has allowed the appeal of
the tenant against the weight of the evidence on record. We concur the
view taken by the trial court /Prescribed Authority. Accordingly, we allow
these appeals and set aside the orders challenged before us. However,
considering the facts and circumstances of the case, we allow the
respondent / tenant to vacate the premises by 31st December,
2014 whereafter the
landlord/appellant shall be at liberty to get executed the order dated 21st
September, 1999 passed by the Prescribed Authority/Addl. Civil Judge
(S.D), Nagina. However, there is no order as to costs.

………..………………,,,,,………….……J.
(SUDHANSU JYOTI MUKHOPADHAYA)

…………………………………………..J
(PRAFULLA C. PANT)
New Delhi
August 20, 2014

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