Kumar Sahay Vs. Rama Shankar Prasad  INSC 23 (13 January 1994)
S. (J) Mohan, S. (J) Mukherjee M.K. (J)
1994 SCC Supl. (2) 638
Though the appellant-landlord succeeded in the trial court, that success was actually
short-lived. The High Court reversed the decree. The landlord obtained a decree
for eviction on the ground of bona fide need. His plea in the plaint was that
he was a Karta of the joint family of two branches, namely, Sureshwar Sahay and
as PW 1 he deposed as under :
disputed-house stands in the names of Sureshwar Sahay and Madheshwar Sahay.
Prior to them, this house belonged to their mother, namely, Indramani Kunwar.
She has a daughter, namely, Girja Devi. The name of Girja Devi was not entered
in mutation because she did not raise 639 any objection. In 1982, Indramani Kunwar
had died. I am a Karta of the family of Madheshwar Sahay. The disputed land
belongs to both of the brothers. I am a Karta Khandan of half share. There is
no written partition but verbal partition has been made. I have not instituted
a case on behalf of all the landlords of the house as I am not a Kart a Khandan
of all the landlords. From the very childhood, I knew the defendant. Formerly,
the defendant had opened a shop of radio by covering asbestos on my parti land
which is by the side of the present shop. He used to pay rent therefore but I
cannot say whether he got receipts thereof or not."
Unfortunately, this aspect of the matter has not been properly appreciated by
the trial court which ended in a' decree in favour of the landlord. The High
court, finding that the landlord does not represent the branch of Sureshwar
came to the view that he does not represent the entire body of co-sharers and
partition had not been proved, so as to establish that the suit property had
been allotted in favour of the branch represented by the landlord. In assailing
these findings two contentions are urged before us :
Section II (1)(c) of the Bihar Buildings (Lease, Rent and Eviction) Control Act
whereunder the landlord is enabled to seek eviction, not only on his own
behalf, but on behalf of any person for whose benefit the building is held by
Section 116 of the Evidence Act raising a presumption in favour of the
find neither of these contentions could be held to be tenable. No doubt,
Section 11 (1)(c) enables the landlord to seek eviction on the ground that he
reasonably and in good faith requires
his own occupation or for the occupation of any person; or
the occupation of any person for whose benefit the building is held by him.
in this case, having regard to the deposition extracted above, the landlord
does not represent the branch of Sureshwar Sahay.
not the person holding the building on behalf of that branch. As regards
Section 116 of the Evidence Act, no doubt, the tenant is estopped from denying
the title of the landlord, but the case proceeded on bona fide need and,
therefore, this will not affect the finding in relation to that bona fide need.
The civil appeal will stand dismissed. No costs. The dismissal will not
preclude the other remedies of the landlord seeking eviction.