Sales Corpn. Vs. Indermull Mimtaji  INSC 230 (8 April 1994)
M.M. Punchhi, M.M. Bharucha S.P. (J)
1994 SCC (2) 286
This appeal is directed against the judgment of the High Court of Madras in the
second appeal filed by the appellant before us. The appellant is the sublessee
of premises belonging to the Pasumarthy Rukmani Ammal Charity, which has been
held to be a public charitable trust and which is not disputed in this appeal.
The respondent is the lessee of the said premises. The suit was filed by the
respondent against the appellant for eviction from the said premises upon the
ground that the sub-lease of the appellant had been terminated by the
respondent. The suit was filed upon the basis that the said premises were
exempt from the provisions of the Tamil Nadu Buildings (Lease and Rent Control)
Act, 1960 read with GO No. 2000 dated August 16, 1976 issued by the Governor of Tamil Nadu
under the provisions of Section 29 of the said Act. The suit was dismissed by
the trial court but was decreed in the first appeal. The second appeal before
the High Court was dismissed.
only contention raised before us is that the appellant, as sublessee of the
said premises, is entitled to the protection of the said Act and that the said
GO has no application.
Section 29 empowers the Government to exempt any building or class of buildings
from all or any of the provisions of the said Act. By the said GO all buildings
owned by Hindu, Christian and Muslim religious trusts and public charitable
trusts are exempted from all the provisions of the said Act.
virtue of Section 29 the Government is entitled to exempt any building or class
of buildings from the provisions of the said Act and what has been exempted by
the said GO are all buildings owned by public religious and charitable trusts
of Hindus, Christians and Muslims. The exemption, therefore, attaches to the
buildings. The said premises, being owned by a trust of the kind stipulated,
are exempt from the provisions of 288 the said Act and a sublessee thereof
cannot claim the protection of the provisions of the said Act.
attention was drawn by learned counsel for the appellant to the judgment of
this Court in S. Kandaswamy Chettiar v. State of T. N. I wherein it was held that public religious and charitable
endowments and trusts constitute a well-recognised distinct group inasmuch they
not only serve public purposes but the disbursement of their income is governed
by the objects with which they were created and buildings belonging to such
endowments or trusts clearly fall into a distinct class different from
buildings owned by private landlords and, as such, their classification into
one group by the State Government while issuing the said GO had to be regarded
as being based on an intelligible differentia. It was also observed that the
objectives of the said Act were to control rents and to prevent unreasonable
eviction and these objectives were interrelated. It was obvious that if the
trustees of public religious trusts and public charities were to be given
freedom to charge the normal market rent then to make that freedom effective it
was necessary to arm the trustees with the right to evict tenants for
non-payment of such market rent. The State Government, on the materials before
it, had come to the conclusion that the 'fair rent' fixed under the said Act
was unjust in the case of such buildings and it was necessary to permit the
trustees of such buildings to recover from their tenants reasonable market rent
and, if that were so, non-eviction when reasonable market rent was not paid
would be unreasonable. Relying upon these observations, it was submitted that
it was only the lessor trust which was entitled to take proceedings dehors the
said Act against the lessee and not the lessee against the sublessee. It was
submitted that the whole rationale of the finding that the said Section 29 and
GO did not contravene Article 14 was that these provisions were necessary in
the interest of the lessor trust and the lessee, therefore, could not utilise
these provisions against the sub lessee.
our view, the reasoning adopted in Kandaswamy Chettiar case1 must be carried to
its logical conclusion.
religious and charitable trusts are given freedom to charge the normal market
rent. To make that freedom effective, it is necessary to arm the trustees with
the right to evict tenants for non-payment of such market rent.
eviction cannot in fact be obtained where the tenants have created sub-tenants
unless the sub-tenants are also liable to eviction without the protection of
the said Act.
provisions, therefore, of the said Section 29 and GO attach to the buildings
owned by the religious and public charitable trusts and the protection of the
said Act is not available both to lessees and sub lessees thereof.
this view of the matter, the appeal fails and is dismissed with no order as to
have heard learned counsel for the parties. We direct that the appellant shall
not be evicted from the said premises for a period of 6 months from today
provided he files an undertaking in this Court that he 1 (1985) 1 SCC 290
shall, on or before the expiry of six months, hand over to the respondent
vacant possession of the said premises. The undertaking shall be filed within