IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
CIVIL APPEAL NO. 9378 OF 2014
(Arising out of SLP (Civil) No. 37274/2012)
SHANTI DEVI …Appellant
RAJESH KUMAR JAIN & ANR. ..Respondents
O R D E R
R. BANUMATHI, J.
2. In this appeal, short question falling for consideration is
whether the appellant be granted leave to defend the eviction petition
filed by the respondents-landlords.
3. Appellant is a tenant in respect of shop premises situated on
the ground floor of a property No. 6157, Partap Street, Behind Kothi
Bhagwan Dass, Gandhi Nagar, Delhi -110031 since 1988. The
appellant has been engaged in carrying on her business (Disco Hair Dresser)
in the said premises. The respondents-landlords filed an eviction petition
under Section 14 (1) (e) of Delhi Rent Control Act (DRC Act) against the
appellant, interalia, on the ground of bonafide requirement to open office-
cum-display counter on the main road side to expand their business of
cosmetic unit. The appellant filed application under Section 25B (5) of
DRC Act read with Section 151 CPC seeking leave to defend the eviction
petition. The appellant raised the plea that there is no bonafide
requirement and that the respondents have alternative accommodation. The
Addl. Rent Controller, Karkardooma Court, Delhi dismissed the application
of the appellant-tenant on the ground that the appellant has failed to
raise any triable issue. Being aggrieved, the appellant filed revision
petition before the High Court under sub-section (8) of Section 25B of DRC
Act and the same was dismissed. Hence, this appeal by special leave.
4. We have heard counsel for the appearing parties. Learned
counsel for respondents contended that the landlords needed the property in
question to expand their business, as the space currently available to them
is insufficient. It was submitted that the appellant-tenant owned another
property, along with her husband in the same locality, where she could
shift her business. The appellant-tenant denied the issues raised by the
respondents-landlords with respect to having alternative accommodations.
5. We are not inclined to go into the merits of rival contentions,
lest, it would amount to expression of views on the merits of the matter.
In the facts and circumstances of the case, we are of the view, that the
appellant has raised a triable issue, in the sense, that there is a fair
dispute to be tried in the eviction petition and the appellant be granted
leave to defend. However, leave to defend could be granted to the
appellant only conditionally. When the revision petition was pending
before the High Court, the appellant agreed to pay to the landlords rent at
the rate of Rs.3,000/- per month and the same could be continued.
6. The impugned order of the High Court in Revision Petition No.
347/2011 is set aside and the appeal is allowed. The appellant shall file
her reply statement before the Addl. Rent Controller, Karkardooma Court,
Delhi within four weeks from today and the learned Addl. Rent Controller
shall afford sufficient opportunity to both the parties and proceed with
the matter in accordance with law and dispose of the same preferably within
a period of six months from the date of receipt of copy of this Order.
Till the disposal of the eviction petition, the appellant shall continue to
pay rent at the rate of Rs.3,000/- per month on or before 7th of
each succeeding English calendar month. No costs.
October 9, 2014