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C.N. Ananthram vs B.J. Ganpathy And Anr JT 1991 (5) SC 440, 1991 (1) SCALE 377, (1991) 2 SCC 359 The trial court found that, On comparative hardship, it was held that since the tenants had suitable alternative accommodations they would not be put to any difficulty. In revision, the order was set aside by the High Court because there was no evidence to show that the brothers and sisters of the appellant were demanding partition or that there was any 'compelling necessity' for appellant to shift. In SLP SC held that, the tenants who are well off businessmen would not be affected specially when they are carrying on their business from premises other than the plots in dispute. Therefore, to do justice between parties and on the facts and in the circumstances of this case, we are of opinion that the High Court was not justified in setting aside the findings of the trial court.
Shiv Singh Chak vs Baby Jain 2008 (2 ) SCR 566 The respondent filed an eviction petition before the Prescribed Authority, alleging that she had let out the shop when she and her family was living at Etah, that her family had subsequently shifted to Tundla and that she required the shop for her husband to carry on his business in motor parts. She further alleged that the appellant owned and possessed several shops near to the schedule shop, but had not vacated the shop belonging to her, and that he will not be put to any hardship if he is evicted as he could conveniently shift and occupy his own shop. - We find that the concurrent findings of the Prescribed Authority and Appellate Authority in favour of the landlord-respondent, on the question of bona fide need and comparative hardship, have been rightly affirmed by the High Court and no ground is made out to interfere with the said findings of fact.
B.R. Mehta vs Smt. Atma Devi & Ors 1987 AIR 2220, 1987 SCR (3)1184 The premises in question which the wife occu- pied was indisputably not the matrimonial home. The husband would not, therefore, have any statutory or legal right against the Government to use and enjoy the allotted prem- ises to the wife of the tenant because of her job. The tenant cannot be made to lose his tenancy because of the wife acquiring possession of a flat or allotment of a flat because of her official duties over which the husband has no right or domain or occupation. ………. If a wife or husband acquires a property and the other spouse if he/she is the tenant, has a legal right by virtue of such acquisition and stay there, then only can such acquisition or allotment of premises would disentitle or attract the provisions of cl. (h) of section 14(1) of the Act, otherwise the whole purpose would be defeated. That is the rationale behind the scheme.
The Apex Court, in the case of Raghavendra Kumar v. Firm Prem Machinery & Co.¸(2001) 1 SCC 679 has held: "Land lord is the best judge of his requirement. It is not open to the Court or the tenant to dictate him in what manner he should use his premises. He has got complete freedom in the matter."
Apex Court in the case of Baldev Singh Bajwa v. Monish Saini, (2005) 12 SCC 778 has held: "The need of the landlord is to be presumed as genuine and bona fide and it is not for tenant to prove that the is not bona fide. Heavy burden lies on the tenant to prove that the need is not genuine."
In Malpe Vishwanath Acharya and Ors. Vs. State of Maharashtra and Anr. (1998) 2 SCC 1 Court emphasized the need of social legislations like the Rent Control Act striking a balance between rival interests so as to be just to law. "The law ought not to be unjust to one and give a disproportionate benefit or protection to another section of the society".
In Arjun Khiamal Makhijani Vs. Jamnadas C. Tuliani and Ors. (1989) 4 SCC 612, Court dealing with Rent Control Legislation observed that provisions contained in such legislations are capable of being categorized into two : those beneficial to the tenants and those beneficial to the landlord. As to a legislative provision beneficial to landlord, an assertion that even with regard to such provision an effort should be made to interpret it in favour of the tenant, is a negation of the very principle of interpretation of a beneficial legislation.
The need for reasonable interpretation of Rent Control Legislations was emphasized by Court in Mst. Bega Begum and Ors. Vs. Abdul Ahad Khan (dead) by Lrs. And Ors. (1979) 1 SCC 273. Speaking in the context of reasonable requirement of landlord as a ground for eviction the Court guarded against any artificial extension entailing stretching or straining of language so as to make it impossible or extremely difficult for the landlord to get a decree for eviction. The Court warned that such a course would defeat the very purpose of the Act which affords the facility of eviction of the tenant to the landlord on certain specified grounds.
In Kewal Singh Vs. Lajwanti (1980) 1 SCC 290
Court has observed, while the rent
control legislation has given a number of facilities to the tenants it should not be construed
so as to destroy the limited relief which it seeks to give to the landlord also. For instance one of the grounds for eviction which is contained in almost all the Rent Control Acts in the country is the question of landlord's bona fide personal necessity. The concept of bona fide necessity should be meaningfully construed so as to make the relief granted to the landlord real and practical.
Shiv Sarup Gupta Vs. Dr. Mahesh Chand Gupta (1999) 6 SCC 222, the Court has held that the concept of bona fide need or genuine requirement needs a practical approach instructed by realities of life. An approach either too liberal or too conservative or pedantic must be guarded against.
Hon'ble Supreme Court in the case of Kashmir Singh vs. Union of India and others reported in 2008(7) SCC - 259, wherein the Apex Court in para 68 held as under: "For the purpose of giving an effective and meaningful construction to the provisions, the Court is bound to take into consideration the situational change.
Ganpat Ram Sharma & Ors vs Smt. Gayatri Devi 1987 AIR 2016, 1987 SCR (3) 539 The landlord, in order to be entitled to evict the tenant, must establish one of the alternative facts positively, either that the tenant has built, or acquired vacant possession of or has been allotted a residence. It is essential that the three ingredients must be pleaded by the landlord who seeks eviction but after the landlord has proved or stated that the tenant has built, acquired vacant possession or has been allotted a residence, whether it is suitable or not and whether the same can be really an alternative accommodation for the tenant or not, are within the special knowledge of the tenant and he must prove and establish those facts.
Adapa Santharam, Petitioners And ... vs Sait Nathmal Manik Chand AIR 1996 AP 149 The lower appellate Court dismissed R.C.A. No. 20 of 1990 and allowed the cross-objections and thereby ordered eviction of the tenants not only on the ground of default in paying arrears of rent, but also on the ground that the tenants secured alternative accommodation. Upheld by High court.
Mudigonda Chandra Mouli Sastry vs Bhimanepalli Bikshalu & Others AIR 1999 S.C., 3095 The landlord filed a petition for eviction of the respondent- tenant from the premises
in dispute on the grounds, namely, (a) he required the said premises for his own needs; (b) the tenant has committed default in payment of rent; (c) the tenant has acquired an alternative accommodation; and (d) the premises was in a dilapidated condition which required reconstruction. The Rent Controller, after having satisfied that the grounds for eviction were well-substantiated, allowed the petition filed by the landlord. Aggrieved, the tenant preferred an appeal. The appellate authority dismissed the appeal filed by the tenant. The High Court, however, in the Civil Revision Petition filed by the tenant held, that by virtue of sub-section (4) (i) of Section 10 of A.P. Building (Lease, Rent & Eviction) Control Act, 1960 (hereinafter referred to as the Act) no order of eviction can be passed against the tenant, as the tenant is in the employment in a department which has been declared as an essential service. Supreme court held that Under such circumstances, it was also not open to the High Court in exercise of its revisional jurisdiction to have indulged in re-assessment of evidence and thereby interfered with the concurrent finding of facts recorded by the two courts below, especially when it was found by the High Court that the tenants wife had already acquired a vacant accommodation in the town of Tenali and the tenant himself was transferred from Tenali to Marcherla. Since the petition deserve to succeed on these two grounds, we are not inclined to go into the other grounds on which the landlord sought eviction of the respondent-tenant.
In Ram Narain Arora v. Asho Rani, 1998 MLJ (Supp) 18 (SC): (1999) 1 SCC 141, the Apex Court has held that non disclosure by the landlord about his having another accommodation would not be fatal to the eviction proceedings if both the parties understood the case and placed materials before the court and case of neither party was prejudiced. It has also been held in that decision that defective or vague pleadings would not be fatal if both parties understood what the case pleaded was and accordingly placed material before the court and neither party was prejudiced. .............................'
(2001) 8 SUPREME COURT CASES 110
S.R.BABU V. T.K.VASUDEVAN AND
OTHERS, certain excerpt from it would run thus: "14. In our view, once it is held that the landlord requires additional accommodation for his personal use, he is entitled to utilise it to best suit his requirement. The condition in which the additional accommodation is to be used by the landlord cannot be dictated by the tenant. The first respondent may use it as it exists or he may use it after necessary repairs, additions or alterations to suit his requirements. The appellant has no say in such matters."
In another judgment of the Apex Court reported in Smt. Prativa Devi v. T.V.Krishnan (1996) 5 SCC, 353, it was held that the bona fide requirement of the landlord has to be
viewed from his convenience and that the landlord is the best judge of his requirement. In view of the aforementioned judgments, it is clear that the of the landlord takes priority than the necessity of the tenant to stay in the tenanted premises. The Apex Court had also an occasion to deal with the concept where the landlord is not occupying a non-residential building as his own and held that the bona fide requirement of the landlord is to be seen where he is actually in possession and is occupying the premises as his own. Hence, it is not for the tenant to take the stand that the landlord can very well stay in the joint family premises along with others without claiming eviction. Once the landlord establishes that he intends to start his own business and that the premises is required for his own ! bona fide requirement, it is not for the tenant to contend that a person having no practical experience in that particular field is incapable of starting the business.
The Apex Court in the judgment reported in Dattatrayalaxman Kamble v. Abdul Rasul Moulali Kotkunde (1999) 4 SCC 1, held as follows: "If a person wants to start a new business of his own it may be to his own advantage if he acquires experience in that time. But to say that any venture of a person in the business field without acquiring past experience reflects lack of his bona fides is a fallacious and unpragmatic approach. Many a business has flourished in this country by leaps and bounds which was started by a novice in the field; and many other business ventures have gone haywire despite vast experience to the credit of the propounders.
Kvss Prasada Rao vs Godavari Bai And Ors. 1998 (2) ALD 222, 1998 (1) ALT 799 By reading Section 10(2)(y) of the aforesaid Act, it is evident that the Legislatures have not used the word in the section that the tenant has secured alternative building in his own name. .In the absence of the words "in his own name" it can be interpreted that the tenant must secure alternative building where he will have a legal right to stay that is the requirement of law. In the present set of facts, the tenant has secured alternative building though it was purchased in the name of his wife, the tenant has a right to stay alongwith his wife as the relations between them is cordial. Under these circumstances, this Court holds that the tenant did secure alternative building and ceased to occupy the building which was leased out to him by the landlords for continuous period of four months without reasonable cause.
Syed Nazmuddin vs N.S. Krishna Murthy 1998 (4) KarLJ 110 The respondent herein filed an eviction petition against the petitioner herein on various grounds, important of them being that the premises in occupation of the tenant is required for his son to start a Small Scale Industry; That the tenant has acquired suitable alternative premises; This
petition was resisted by the tenant by filing a detailed objection statement, denying generally all the petition averments including the ground of eviction viz., that the premises is required for landlord's own use; Besides the above, the tenant objected, for the landlord in including the adjoining open space, also as the "petition schedule premises", as the same belonged to him. - On the question that the tenant has obtained an alternative accommodation, the Court below has held that the tenant has secured premises No. 75, Nehru Road, Kuvempunagar for running a factory and residence. The tenant himself has stated that the said premises is bigger than the leased premises and relying on the decision of this Court in Dr. M. Shashibushan v M/s. Bata India Limited and Another , the Court has held that the tenant has acquired suitable alternative accommodation which has made him liable to be evicted. I do not find any infirmity in the said finding.
MOHD. AYUB & ANR. VS MUKESH CHAND 2012 AIR 881 “ In Ganga Devi v. District Judge, Nainital & Ors. (2008) 7 SCC 770 Court held that comparative hardship indisputably is a relevant factor for determining the question as to whether the requirement of the landlord is bona fide or not within the meaning of the provisions of the U.P. Act and the said Rules and it is essentially a question of fact. This Court observed that Rule 16 provides for some factors which are required to be taken into consideration. This Court clarified that the court would not determine the question only on the basis of sympathy or sentiment. Bhimanagouda Basanagouda Patil v. Mohd. Gudusaheb (2003) 3 SCC 101 where the District Judge decided the issue of comparative hardship in favour of the tenant solely on the basis of affluence of the parties. This Court observed that if this is the correct approach then an affluent landlord can never get possession of his premises even if he proves all his bona fide requirements.”
Chunilal B. Shah vs Smt. Shanthakumari 2003 (3) KarLJ 592 The objective behind the clause is to ensure that a tenant is not deprived of accommodation merely on the premise that his spouse or children acquired vacant possession of any premises and it is to emphasise this aspect that the Apex Court has made it a condition precedent that the tenant should have the legal right to occupy the newly acquired premises. But where it is shown that the tenant has not been actually residing in the petition premises and he is residing with his son in his son's own residence, the question whether or not the tenant has a right to occupy the premises acquired by his son recedes to the background and it must be held that the tenant has the benefit of vacant possession of a premises and is living there comfortably which disentitles him and deprives him of the right to continue to reside in the petition premises. The rule of law, for functional success, must run close to the rule of life. The statutory provisions must be tested on the touchstone of societal factors. The Court is bound to advance the cause of justice and should not encourage any person to convert law
into a weapon merely to wreak vengeance against any other person. It is most improbable that the tenant who is 85 years old is staying all alone in the petition premises away from his son who is having a palatial house in a prominent locality of the city. Technicality by itself alone ought not to permit the Court to decide an issue since justice oriented approach is the call of the day presently. Judicial approach must be justice oriented and viewed from this angle I have no doubt in my heart and mind that the landlord is entitled to an order of eviction under Clause (j) of Section 27 of the present Act. In the peculiar circumstances of the case, I do not find any illegality or irregularity in the order of the Court below which has recorded the same finding. The revision petition is, therefore, liable to be dismissed.
Ram Dass Vs. Ishwar Chander & Ors. AIR 1988 SC 1422, Court held that “Statutes enacted to afford protection to tenants from eviction on the basis of contractual rights of the parties make the resumption of possession by the land-lord subject to the satisfaction of certain statutory conditions. One of them is the bonafide requirement of the land-lord, variously described in the statutes as "bona-fide requirement", "reasonable requirement", "bona-fide and reasonable requirement" or, as in the case of the present statute, merely referred to as "landlord requires for his own use". But the essential idea basic to all such cases is that the need of the landlord should be genuine and honest, conceived in good faith; and that, further, the court must also consider it reasonable to gratify that need. Landlord's desire for possession however honest it might otherwise be, has inevitably a subjective element in it and that, that desire, to become a "requirement" in law must have the objective element of a "need". It must also be such that the court considers it reasonable and, therefore, eligible to be gratified. In doing so, that court must take all relevant circumstances into consideration so that the protection afforded by law to the tenant is not rendered merely illusory or whittled down.” (See also Rahabhar Productions Pvt. Ltd. Vs. Rajendra K. Tandon AIR 1998 SC 1639; and Shiv Sarup Gupta Vs. Dr. Mahesh Chand Gupta AIR 1999 SC 2507).
In Malpe Vishwanath Acharya & Ors. Vs. State of Maharashtra Anr. AIR 1998 SC 602, Court emphasised the need for social legislations like the Rent Control Act striking a balance between rival interests so as to be just to law. ‘The law ought not to be unjust to one and give a disproportionate benefit or protection to another section of the society.’
In Siddalingamma & Anr. Vs. Mamtha Shenoy AIR 2001 SC 2896, Court held that while determining the case of eviction of the tenant, an approach either too liberal or too conservative or pedantic must be guarded against. If the landlord wishes to live with comfort in a house of his own, the law does not command or compel him to squeeze himself
and dwell in lesser premises so as to protect the tenant's continued occupation in tenancy premises. However, the bona fide requirement of the landlord must be distinguished from a mere whim or fanciful desire. It must be manifested in actual need so as to convince the Court that it is not a mere fanciful or whimsical desire. The need should be bona fide and not arbitrary and the requirement pleaded and proved must neither be a pretext nor a ruse adopted by the landlord for evicting the tenant. Therefore, the Court must take relevant circumstances into consideration while determining the issue of bona fide need so that the protection afforded to a tenant is not rendered illusory or whittled down.
Dr. Saroj Kumar Das vs Arjun Prasad Jogani 1987 AIR 2131, 1987 SCR (3)1164 "So far as the law on the question is concerned it is well settled that the alternative accommodation must be reasonably suitable and if it is not so then mere availability of alternative accommodation will not be a ground to refuse a decree for eviction if otherwise the courts are satisfied about the genuine requirement of the landlord and to this counsel for both the parties also agreed but the main contention was that on the facts appearing in evidence in this case whether the inference could be drawn that the flat on the thirteenth floor in South Calcutta was reasonably suitable to satisfy the need of the appellantlandlord."
S.J. Ebenezer v. Velayudhan, AIR 1998 S.C. 746 it was held by Hon'ble Apex Court that while considering the question of bona fides, - what is necessary to bear in mind is that mere desire on the part of the landlord is not enough. The desire must be tested objectively and not subjectively. The burden also lies upon the landlord to establish that the genuinely requires the accommodation.
AIR 2001 SC 803, Gaya Prasad v. Pradeep Shrivastava it was held that landlord should not be penalised for the slowness of the legal system. Crucial date for deciding the bona fides of the requirement of landlord is the date of his application for eviction. Subsequent developments during pendency of eviction petition occurring because of slowness of process of litigation itself and made use of by sitting tenants cannot be made the basis for denying the landlord relief when the litigation as last reaches final stage. It was clarified that subsequent events may in some situations to be considered but the same should not be used to penalise the landlord where litigation drags on for no fault of his.
In J. Pandu v. R. Narsubai (1987) 1 SCC 573, court held that a landlord, notwithstanding his occupation of a non- residential building, can still seek eviction of his tenant from his business premises if the landlord is able to satisfy that the non-residential building occupied by him is not sufficient and suitable for the purpose of expansion of his business or for the purpose of a new business which he bona fide proposes to commence or that the shifting of his business has become inevitable.
D. Devaji v. K. Sudarashana Rao 1994 Supp. (1) SCC 729 had an occasion to deal with section 10(3)(a)(iii) of the 1960 Act. (AP ACT) In that case, court took a contrary view and categorically held that a landlord in possession of other non-residential buildings is not entitled to evict tenant from a non-residential building. Boorgu Jagadeshwaraiah & Sons vs Pushpa Trading Co. AIR 1999 SC 1503, The aspects of quality, size and suitability of the building have been totally put out of consideration. We think this would frustrate the purposes of the Act. Here was a claim set up by the landlord that the non-residential premises he owned did not serve the purpose of his need of setting up a textile and cloth business and that the need could only be met in seeking eviction of the tenant from the premises sought. As we view it there is no difficulty in D. Devaji Case (Supra) standing in the way of the landlord-appellant to have the issue examined from the point of view which would carry out the purposes of the Act. We refrain from mentioning any facts on the basis of which the landlord's claim is based lest the manner they are recounted cause prejudice to either of the parties.
In the case of Pratap Rai Tanwani v. Uttam Chand [(2004) 8 SCC 490], it was held that the bona fide requirement of the landlord has to be seen on the date of the petition and the subsequent events intervening due to protracted litigation will not be relevant. It was held that the crucial date is the date of petition; therefore, the normal rule is that the rights and obligations of the parties are to be determined on the date of petition and that subsequent events can be taken into consideration for moulding the reliefs provided such events had a material impact on those rights and obligations. It was further observed that it is a stark reality that the longer is the life of the litigation the more would be the number of developments sprouting up during the long interregnum. Therefore, the Courts have to take a very pragmatic approach of the matter. It is common experience in our country that especially landlord-tenant litigations prolong for a long time. It is true that neither can the person who has started the litigation sit idle nor can the development of the event be stopped by him. Therefore, the crucial event should be taken as on the date when the suit for eviction was filed, unless the subsequent events materially change the ground of relief.
In the case of Gaya Prasad v. Pradeep Srivastava [(2001) 2 SCC 604], Court held that the landlord should not be penalized for the slowness of the legal system and the crucial date for deciding the facts of the requirement of the landlord is the date of his application for eviction. It is also observed that the process of litigation cannot be made the basis for denying the landlord relief unless the litigation at least reaches the final stages. However, it is further added that subsequent events may, in some situations, be considered to have overshadowed the genuineness of the landlords' needs but only if they are of such nature and dimension as to completely eclipse such need and make it lose the significance altogether.
Badrinarayan Chunilal Bhutada vs Govindram Ramgopal Mundada AIR 2003 SC 2713, JT 2003 (1) SC 438, 2003 (1) SCALE 147 In deciding the extent of the hardship, each party has to prove its relative advantages or disadvantages and the entire onus cannot be thrown on plaintiffs to prove that lesser disadvantages will be suffered by the defendants and that they were remediable. The owner of the property cannot be denied eviction and compelled to live poorly merely to enable the tenants to carry on their flourishing business activity at the cost of the landlord. The fact that there is no other means for the landlord to augment his income except by getting the tenancy premises vacated compared against the conduct of the tenant who having obtained the premises for a fixed number of years has overstayed and enjoyed the premises for a long period of time are relevant factors not to deprive the landlord from the possession over the tenancy premises and recording a finding of no equity in favour of the tenants continuing in possession any further. If the tenants prove that they will not be able to get any accommodation anywhere in the city, that may be a relevant consideration. However, the tenant cannot insist on getting an alternative accommodation of a similar nature in the same locality because that will be asking for the impossible. What are to be weighed as relevant factors are the comparative inconvenience, loss, trouble and prejudice.
C.N. Rudramurthy vs. K. Barkathulla Khan [1998 (8) SCC 275]. In these and others case, the Court consistently held that the paramount object of every Rent Control Legislation is to provide safeguards for tenants against exploitation by landlords who seek to take undue advantage of the pressing need for accommodation of a large number of people looking for a house on rent for residence or business in the background of acute scarcity thereof. However, a different trend is clearly discernible in the latter judgments.
In Joginder Pal vs. Naval Kishore Behal [2002 (5) SCC 397], the Court after noticing several judicial precedents on the subject observed as under: "The rent control legislations
are heavily loaded in favour of the tenants treating them as weaker sections of the society requiring legislative protection against exploitation and unscrupulous devices of greedy landlords. The legislative intent has to be respected by the courts while interpreting the laws. But it is being uncharitable to legislatures if they are attributed with an intention that they lean only in favour of the tenants and while being fair to the tenants, go to the extent of being unfair to the landlords. The legislature is fair to the tenants and to the landlords both. The courts have to adopt a reasonable and balanced approach while interpreting rent control legislations starting with an assumption that an equal treatment has been meted out to both the sections of the society. In spite of the overall balance tilting in favour of the tenants, while interpreting such of the provisions as take care of the interest of the landlord the court should not hesitate in leaning in favour of the landlords. Such provisions are engrafted in rent control legislations to take care of those situations where the landlords too are weak and feeble and feel humble.
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