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Smt. Rani Devi Vs. Bhole Nath & Ors [1991] INSC 268 (22 October 1991)

Ramaswamy, K. Ramaswamy, K. Yogeshwar Dayal (J)

CITATION: 1991 SCR Supl. (1) 535 1992 SCC (1) 61 JT 1991 (6) 178 1991 SCALE (2)923

ACT:

U.P. Urban Building (Registration of letting rent and evic- tion) Act1972:

Sections 3(a)(2) and 21--Eviction of tenant---Whether married daughters of original tenants necessary parties to eviction proceedings-Whether non-impleadment vitiates pro- ceedings and disentitles landlady to maintain action for ejectment.

HEAD NOTE:

The appellant-landlady, filed a suit under s.21 of the U.P. Urban Building (Regulation of letting, rent and evic- tion) Act, 1972 for eviction of the tenant on the ground of bona fide requirement- The prescribed authority and the Appellate Tribunal found as a fact that the appellant's requirement was bona fide and decreed the suit. But, the High Court set aside the order on the sole ground that the married daughters of the original tenant, who were the necessary parties, were not impleaded and, therefore, the non-joinder of the necessary parties disentitled the appel- lant-landlady to have the ejectment of the tenants, namely, the sons and the widow of the deceased tenant.

Allowing the appeal of the landlady, this Court,

HELD: 1.1 Section 3(a)(2) of the U.P. Urban Building (Regulation, of letting, rent and eviction) Act, 1972 postulates that tenant in relation to a building means a person by whom rent is payable, and on the tenant's death, in the case of a non-residential building, his heirs. There- fore, as defined under s3(a)(2) all heirs of the tenants are the tenants who succeeded intestate as per the Hindu Succes- sion Act, 1956. Consequently, the married daughters are tenants within the meaning of s. 3(a)(2), and entitled to succeed to the tenant's lease-hold rights under the Act, including not merely to the liabilities to pay rent but also to continue the business until duly ejected as per the provisions of the Act. [537 B-C]

1.2 However, in the instant case, the original tenant died in 1965.

536 Thereafter, the proceedings were initiated in 1974. Till then, one of the sons of the deceased tenant. namely, the first respondent was in occupation of the premises and did carry on business. The married daughters never participated, nor claimed interest in the business conducted by the first respondent and even before the death of the father, they were married and they were living with their husbands else- where. The Rent Appellate Tribunal has found that by neces- sary implication, the married daughters surrendered their tenancy rights inherited under the Act, since after the demise of the original tenant, the daughters evinced no interest to assert their rights. In view of this, their non-impleadment as respondents does not vitiate the action for non-joinder of them as necessary parties nor maintain- ability of the proceedings for ejectment itself. [S36 H, 537 AB, D-E]

CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION: Civil Appeal No. 129 of 1986.

From the Judgment and Order dated 12.5.1982 of the Allahabad High Court in Civil Misc. Writ Petition No. 13431 of 1981.

B.D. Agarwal and Indeever Goodwill for the appellant.

A.K. Srivastava for the Respondents.

The following Order of the Court was delivered:

This appeal by special leave has been filed by the landlady. She laid action under s.21 of the U.P. Urban Building (Regulation of letting, rent and eviction) Act, 1972 (for short 'the Act') for eviction of the tenant on the ground of bona fide requirement to start business by her son. The prescribed authority and the Appellate Tribunal found as a fact that the appellant required the premises bona fide to start the business. But the High Court allowed the writ petition, set aside the order on the sole ground that the married daughters of the original tenant, Lalu were not impleaded who are the necessary parties and, therefore, the non-joinder of the necessary-parties disentitle the landlady to have the ejectment of the tenants namely the sons and the widow of the deceased tenant Lalu.

The only question that arises in this case is whether the married daughters of the deceased tenant are necessary parties and that non-impleading them would disentitle the landlady to maintain the action for ejectment. Admittedly, Lalu the original tenant died in 1%5. Thereafter, the pro- ceedings were initiated in 1974. Till then, one of the sons of Lalu, 537 namely, Bhole Nath was in occupation of the premises and did carry on business as admitted by him in affidavit Exhibit SA-II "that the deponent is the tenant of a portion of house No. 55, Thatheri Bazar, Allahabad on payment of Rs. 40/- per month as rent including electric charges". It is also not in dispute that the married daughters never participated, nor claimed interest in the business conducted by Bhole Nath. It is also an admitted fact that even before the death of the father they were married and they are living with their husbands elsewhere. Indisputably s.3 (a)(2) postulates that "In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires (a) tenant in relation to a building means a person by whom its rent is payable, and on the tenant's death (2) in the case of a non-residential building, his heirs." Therefore, as defined under s.3(a)(2) all heirs of the tenants are the tenants who succeeded intestate as per the Hindu Succession Act, 1956. Certainly, therefore, they are tenants within the meaning of s.3(a)(2). They are entitled to succeed to the tenant's lease-hold rights under the Act, including not merely to the liabilities to pay rent as contended by the appellant but also to continue the business until duly ejected as per the provisions of the Act. Whether non-im- pleadment of the married daughters would vitiate maintain- ability of the proceedings for ejectment. The finding re- corded by the Rent Appellate Tribunal that by necessary implication, the married daughters surrendered their tenancy rights inherited under the Act. After the demise of Lalu, the daughters evinced no interest to assert their rights, is well justified. Once that is found to be so, their nonim- pleadment as respondents does not vitiate the action for non-joinder of them as necessary parties nor maintainability of the proceedings for ejectment itself. The High Court committed grave errors of law in allowing the writ petition and dismissing the application for ejectment. The order of the High Court is set aside and that of the Prescribed Authority and the Tribunal are restored. It is not in dis- pute that the landlady offered a reasonable portion of the premises to the respondent to an extent of 3-1/2'x 6' in the Varanda but respondent had refused to accept that offer but in this Court the learned counsel for the respondents re- quested to allow the tenant to retain the portion offered.

In fairness, Mr. Agarwal, learned senior counsel for the appellant, has not objected to it. Accordingly it is open to the tenant to occupy the portion offered by the appellant and vacate the other portion which is required by the peti- tioner for starting the business of her son. The appellant would carve out the portion in a suitable and convenient manner to run the business by the respondent. The appeal is allowed with the above modifications, but in the circum- stances parties are directed to bear their own costs.

N.P.V. Appeal Allowed.

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