Sewak Vs. Munna Lal  INSC 380 (16 December 1987)
S. RANGNATHAN, S.
1988 AIR 452 1988 SCR (2) 416 1988 SCC (1) 389 JT 1987 (4) 690 1987 SCALE
Pradesh (Temporary) Control of Rent and Eviction Act, 1947: ss. 3(1)(a) &
7C-Default in payment of rent- Deposit in court-Validity of-Tenant to show
existence of circumstances justifying deposit.
% Section 3(1)(a) of the U.P. (Temporary) Control of Rent and Eviction Act, 1947
permits eviction of the tenant who is. in arrears of rent for more than three
months and has failed to pay the same to the landlord within one month of the
service upon him of a notice of demand. When a landlord refuses to accept any
rent lawfully paid to him, s. 7C (l) entitles the tenant to deposit such rent
in the court.
7C(4) requires the court to cause a notice of the deposit to be served on the
landlord. Section 7C(6) provides that where a deposit has been made as
aforesaid, it shall be deemed that the rent has been duly paid.
appellant-tenant was in arrears of rent of the demised shop from December, 1966
to February, 1971. The amount remained unpaid despite notices dated March 22,
1971 and April 12, 1971. In the suit for his ejectment under s. 3(1)(a), the
tenant took the defence that he had tendered the rent to the plaintiff-landlord
but the latter had refused to accept it, that even the rent sent by money order
was refused, and thereupon he had made the deposit in the court under s. 7C(1)
of the Act, and there were no arrears of rent due from him.
trial court and the first appellate court held that statutory conditions
requisite for a valid deposit were not fulfilled and, therefore, the default in
payment of rent within the meaning of s. 3(1)(a) stood established and the
tenant was liable to eviction. The High Court dismissed the appeal.
the appeal before this Court in addition to the defence taken before the courts
below, it was contended that though the landlord was aware that the rent was
being deposited in the court ever since August, 1967 he waited for a period of
four years before issuing a notice of demand for arrears for rent.
Dismissing the appeal, A ^
1. Both in law and equity the appellant had no case. The ejectment suit was
properly decreed by the Courts below. [429H; 430A] 2.1 The mere fact of a
deposit under s. 7C.of the U.P.
Control of Rent and Eviction Act, 1947 in itself cannot be an answer to an
action under s. 3(1)(a) for eviction of the tenant for default in payment of
of the fact of such deposit the tenant has to show the existence of
circumstances justifying the deposit. [42tG; 423A] Brahmanand v. Kaushalya
Devi,  3 SCC 1, referred to.
Reading s. 7C, the rules framed thereunder and the statutory forms together, it
cannot be said that a deposit under s. 7C is necessarily a valid one preceded
by an enquiry or satisfaction of the Court that the condition precedent set out
in s. 7C(1) is fulfilled. Though the applicant is asked to indicate briefly the
circumstances in which he wants to make a deposit, there is no procedure
contemplated for an enquiry into those circumstances. The statutory provisions
do not contemplate transmission of the application to the landlord, the fixing
of a date of hearing on which both the tenant and the landlord could be heard
or the passing of a considered order by the Court thereafter and being
satisfied that there was in fact a tender of rent by the tenant and a refusal
by the landlord to receive the rent or a dispute regarding the ownership of the
property which rendered it difficult or impossible for the tenant to send money
to the landlord straight. The notice which is sent to the landlord merely sets
out that the landlord is at liberty to withdraw it if he so desires. [424C-F]
In the instant case, the trial court, the first appellate court and the High
Court have concurrently found that there was no valid tender of rent by the
tenant or refusal thereof by the landlord. The application filed by the tenant
under s. 7C gave no details in the space against column 6 of the form
prescribed in Appendix 'A' to the Rules framed under the Act, setting out the
circumstances in which it was alleged that the landlord had refused to receive
the rent. The application barely asserted that the landlord had refused to
accept the rent. 'Where was no information as to the nature of notice served on
the landlord. [424H; 425B-C] There was no enquiry of finding recorded in the
proceedings 418 under s. 7C which could at all operate as res judicata against
the landlord in the suit under s. 3(1)(a). Though the order of the Munsif under
s. 7C mentioned that the landlord was absent though served succinctly, the
order was only that the landlord may withdraw the amount deposited on proper
application. It does not indicate any application of mind by the Munsif as to
whether the conditions precedent for a valid deposit under s. 7C were
satisfied. There was certainly no finding at that stage on this vital requirement.
The grant of permission to deposit under s. 7C, in the case cannot, therefore,
be treated as conclusive of the fact that a valid deposit had been made under
that section. [427B; 425D-E] Haji Abdul Karim v. Mohd. Ismail,  U.P. Rent
Cases 691, referred to. Fateh Chand, v. Bal Saroop Goel,  65 ALJ 979;
Kaloo and others v. Gauri Shankar,  3 SCC 51 and Kameshwar Singh
Srivastava v. IVAddl. District Judge, Lucknow and others, AIR 1987 S . . 138
The contention of the appellant that though the landlord was aware that the
rent was being deposited in the court ever since August, 1967 he waited for a
period of four years before issuing a notice of demand for arrears of rent was
without substance. The delay was not due to any laches on the part of the
respondent but was caused on account of the pendency of the litigation
instituted by the tenant claiming refund of a sum of Rs.275 paid towards rent.
APPELLATE JURISDICTION: Civil Appeal No. 1654 of 1979.
the Judgment and order dated 28.3.1979 of the Allahabad High Court in Second
Appeal No. 3064 of 1972.
Goyal and S.K. Jain for the Appellant.
Kacker and O.K. Garg for the Respondent.
Judgment of the Court was delivered by RANGANATHAN, J. The question which has
come up for consideration in this appeal from judgment of the Allahabad High
Court is whether the deposit of rent by a tenant under section 7-C of the Uttar
419 Pradesh (Temporary) Control of Rent and Eviction Act, 1947 (hereinafter called
the 'Act') as such entitles him to resist successfully eviction under the
provisions of the Act on the ground of default in payment of rent.
The appellant, Ram Sewak, was a tenant of the respondent, Munna Lal in respect
of a shop on a rent of Rs.25 per month. The rent upto 30. 11.66 had been paid
by the tenant. The landlord, however. claimed that the rent for the period from
1. 12.66 till 28.2.1971, less an amount of Rs.275 which had been received by
him by way of money order, was due from the appellant-tenant. This remained
unpaid despite notices of demand dated 22.3.71 and 12.4.1971, and a notice of
termination of the tenancy dated 27.4.1971. On these allegations. The landlord
instituted a suit for ejectment of the tenant on the ground of non-payment of
rent. He also claimed the recovery of arrears of rent. mesne profits and
certain taxes, which were alleged to be payable by the tenant. This suit was
decreed by the learned Munsif, Jhansi. A first appeal was unsuccessful insofar
as the decree related to the eviction of the petitioner was concerned but the
claim for arrears of rent was rejected in part on the ground of limitation. A
second appeal was also dismissed by the High Court and hence the present
The defence of the tenant to the suit was that he had tendered the rent to the
plaintiff-landlord but the latter had refused to accept it. The rent was sent
by money order but even then it was refused. It was submitted that the tenant
had thereupon made an application on 31.7.1967 under section 7-C of the Act in
the court of the learned Munsif, Jhansi, for permission to deposit the rent in
the court. The Court issued a notice to the landlord, which was also duly
served on him. On the date of hearing there was no appearance on behalf of the landlord.
Thereupon the learned Munsif passed an order, on 11.11.1967, permitting the
tenant to deposit the arrears of rent as well as future rent in court. It was
claimed that the tenant had deposited arrears of rent amounting to Rs.200 for
the period from 1. 12.1966 to 31.7.1967 in the court along with application and
that he continued to deposit in court the rent thereafter from month to month.
It was, therefore, submitted that there were no arrears of rent due from the
tenant to the landlord and that, therefore, the suit for eviction was not
The learned Munsif and, on appeal, the learned Subordinate Judge found as a
fact that the plaintiff had failed to prove that he had tendered the rent to
the landlord or that the latter that the latter had refused to 420 accept it. This
being so, they held, the statutory conditions requisite for a valid deposit
under section 7C was not fulfilled. Neither the application made by the
plaintiff under S. 7C nor the order passed by the learned Munsif on 11.11.67
could therefore, help the plaintiff. In this view of the matter, both the
courts held that the default in payment of rent, within the meaning of sec.
of the Act, stood established and the plaintiff was, therefore, liable to
eviction. Before us, as before the courts below, learned counsel for the tenant
based his case solely on the order under the provisions of S. 7C of the Act.
That section reads as follows:
by Deposit of Rental) When a landlord refuses to accept any rent lawfully paid
to him by a tenant in respect of any accommodation the tenant may in the
prescribed manner deposit such rent and continue to deposit any subsequent rent
which becomes due in respect of such accommodation unless the landlord in the
mean time signifies by notice in writing to the tenant his willingness to
Where any bona fide doubt or dispute has arisen as to the person who is
entitled to receive any rent referred to in sub-section (I) in respect of any
accommodation, the tenant may similarly deposit the rent stating the
circumstances under which such deposit is made and may until such doubt has
been removed or such dispute has been settled by the decision of any competent
court, or by the settlement between the parties, continue to deposit, in like
manner, the rent that may subsequently become due in respect of such building.
The deposit referred to in sub-section (1) or (2) shall be made in the Court of
the Munsif having jurisdiction in the area where the accommodation is situated.
on any deposit being made under sub- section (1) the Court shall cause a notice
of the deposit to be served on the landlord, and the amount of deposit may be
withdrawn by the landlord on application made by him to the Court in this
When a deposit has been made under sub- section (2) the amount of the deposit
shall be held by the Court for 421 the benefit of the person who may be
entitled to it and the same shall be payable to such person.
In any case where a deposit has been made, as aforesaid, it shall be deemed
that the rent has been duly paid by the tenant to the landlord." Learned
counsel submitted that, in the event of a landlord's refusal to accept the
rent, the tenant had no other alternative but to deposit the same in the court
under the above special provision. It was open to the landlord to have appeared
before the learned Munsif at the time of hearing of the application for deposit
and put forward any pleas, which he might have had. The landlord not having
done this, it was claimed that the order passed by the learned Munsif on
11.11.1967 provides a complete defence to the action under section 3(1)(a) of
the Act against the tenant particularly in view of the language of sub-section
(6) of s. 7C. It was contended that the statute should not be constured as
requiring that a tenant should prove the fact of his having tendered the rent
and the landlord having refused it twice over once while making a deposit under
s. 7C and, again, in proceedings under s. 3(1)(a). If, despite a deposit under
section 7-C, an action under section 3(1)(a) were to be permitted, it was
urged, section 7-C would be rendered nugatory and otiose. Learned counsel also
made a point that though the landlord in this case had knowledge that the rent
was being deposited in court since August 1967, he chose to keep quiet for a
period of four years before issuing a notice calling upon the appellant to pay
the arrears of rent.
Prima facie, the arguments of the appellant appear to have some force. However,
after hearing learned counsel for the respondent and considering the facts of
this case and the relevant statutory provisions, we have come to the conclusion
that this appeal must fail both on technicalities as well as on equities.
S. 7C is no doubt a provision intended to protect the interests of the tenant.
But there is the authority of this Court holding that the mere fact of a
deposit under this Section, in itself cannot be an answer to an action u/s.
3(1)(a). In Brahmanand v. Kaushalya Devi, [1977J 3] SCC 1, the relations
between the landlord and tenant were highly strained. The tenant therefore
deposited the moneys into court and pleaded this as a defence to an action u/s.
The High Court rejected this plea on the ground that there was nothing to show
that the tenant had tendered the rent physically to the landlord and so the 422
deposit could not be treated as a valid deposit u/s. 7C(I) so attract the
deeming effect in S. 7C(6). This Court held that the High Court had taken too
narrow a view of the words 'paid to' the landlord. Krishna Iyer J. Observed:
liberal construction of the expression 'paid to him by a tenant. in section
7-C(l) is necessary.
offering payment when the relations between the parties are strained is to ask
for trouble and be impractical. But harassing the landlord by straight-way
depositing the rent in court without fulfillment of the conditions required by
section 7-C ( l) is also unwarranted.
7-C(6) by using the expression 'where the deposit has been made as aforesaid'
takes us back to section 7-C( I). That is to say the deposit is permissible
only when the condition in section 7- C(l) is complied with. If the landlord
refuses to accept rent paid to him a deposit is permissible.
payment need not be by physical tender, person to person. It can be by money
order, or through messenger or by sending a notice to the landlord asking him
to nominate a bank into which the rents may be regularly paid to the credit of
the landlord. If the landlord refuses under these circumstances, then a court
deposit will be the remedy." In the present case, on account of the bad
blood between the parties a physical tender of the rent is ruled out. At the
same time the Courts below have not considered whether the circumstances which
drove the appellant into depositing the rent in court were such as eliminated
the other possibilities of direct payment we have indicated. It is therefore
fair to set aside the finding of the Courts below and remand the case to the
lower appellate Court (which is the final court of fact under ordinary
circumstances) to ascertain whether any of the alternatives we have indicated,
or may otherwise be made out by the tenant as equivalent to payment of rent, is
present in the case. if no such circumstances is made out by the tenant
justifying deposit of rent in court, the decree for eviction will stand. Other
wise, the petition for eviction will be dismissed." It is important to
note that this Court did not view the deposit u/s. 7C as conclusive of the
issue. On the other hand, it held that if no circumstance was made out by the tenant
justifying the deposit in court, the decree for eviction will stand. In other
words, this Court the view that, irrespective of the fact of deposit u/s. 7C,
the tenant has to show, when a suit is under S. 3(1)(a), that the existence of
circumstances justifying a deposit under S. 7C. In the present case, the Courts
have been concurrently found that there was no valid tender of rent by the
tenant or refusal thereof by the landlord. There is no ground therefore to
interfere with the decision of the Courts below.
A careful perusal of S. 7C and the rules and forms made there under also
supports the above conclusion. The application for a deposit under this section
has to be made in the form prescribed in Appendix A to the rules framed under
the Act. The appellant's application to the court was filed in this form.
Column 6 of the application form is filled in by the tenant may be extracted:
Whether deposit is made "the deposit is being under sub-section (1)/(2)
made under sub-section(1) of Section 7-C.-In case of 7-C of the Act. Fact in
Sub-section(1) briefly brief is that the landlord state the circumstances of
has reused to accept the refusal by the owner. in rent. It is being deposited
case of sub-section(2), under section 7-c of the UP mention circumstances of
act 3 of 1947." doubt or dispute about ownership.
rules framed under the Act also prescribed the form in which notice is to be
served on the respondent when an application is made under section 7-C This
form reads as follows:
XX "To Whereas .............. has deposited Rs ..... as rent for the
period .. ...for the premises .. .... Of which you have been mentioned as the
Notice is hereby given to you under sub- section (4) of Section 7-C of the U.P.
(Temporary) Control of Rent and Eviction Act, 1947, that the said amount will
be paid to you on an application for withdrawal being presented to this Court.
under my hand seal this day of . . .. . .
Reading section 7-C, the rules framed thereunder and the above statutory forms
together, it would appear that this provision envisages that where a tenant
finds that the landlord refuses to accept the rent or there is some dispute
regarding the ownership, he can, in order to protect his interests seek the permission
of the Court to deposit the arrears of rent as well as future rent in the court
instead of running after the landlord. Though the applicant is asked to
indicate briefly the circumstances in which he wants to make a deposit, there
is no procedure contemplated for an enquiry into those circumstances. The
section or rules do not seem to contemplate the transmission of this
application to the landlord, the fixing of a date of hearing on which both the
tenant and the landlord could be heard or the passing of a considered order by
the court after hearing both sides and being satisfied that there was in fact a
tender of rent by the tenant and a refusal by the landlord to receive the rent
or a dispute regarding the ownership of the property which rendered it
difficult or impossible for the tenant to send the money to the landlord
straight. The notice which is sent to the landlord merely sets out that money
has been deposited in the court and that the landlord is at liberty to withdraw
it if he so desires. All that the landlord can do on receipt of the notice is
either to withdraw the moneys deposited or stop future deposits by expressing a
willingness directly to the tenant to accept direct payment of rent thereafter.
On the language of the statutory provisions therefore, it is not possible to
say that a deposit u/s. 7C is necessarily a valid one preceded by an enquiry or
satisfaction of the court that the condition precedent set out in S. 7C( I) is
Counsel for the petitioner submits that in Fateh Chand v. Bal Saroop Goel, [
1967] 65 ALJ 979 and other cases, the Allahabad High Court has held that a
deposit u/s. 7C is not a mere formality and that before directing or permitting
a deposit the court has to go into the question whether there has been a tender
and a refusal. In fact, the 425 High Court has gone further and held that the
Court has to go into that question, at two stages: one, when an application is
presented and before issuing notice to the landlord; and the other when the
landlord appears before the court and disputes the validity of the procedure
sought to be invoked by the tenant. Perhaps these requirements have been read
into the section on grounds of equity and natural justice. Whatever that may
be, we are constrained to say that such procedure does not appear to have been
followed in this case. As we have already mentioned the application in the
present case gave no details in the space against column
Instead of setting out the circumstances in which it was alleged that the landlord
had refused to receive the rent, the application barely asserted that the
landlord had refused to accept the rent. There is no information as to the
nature of the notice served on the landlord but it must have been only in the
form of Appendix already set out.
though the application of the appellant under section 7-C appears to have come
up before the Munsif on 11.11.1967, and the order mentions that the landlord is
"absent though served sufficiently", the order is only that the
landlord may withdraw the amount deposited on proper application. It does not
indicate any application of mind by the learned Munsif as to whether the
conditions president for a valid deposit u/s. 7C was satisfied. There is
certainly no finding at that stage on this vital requirement. The grant of
permission to deposit under s. 7C, in the circumstances of the case, cannot
therefore be treated as conclusive that a valid deposit had been made under
Sri Kackar took up the stand that even if S. 7C is interpreted as providing an
opportunity to both parties and even if a clear finding is recorded in these
proceedings, after hearing both parties, that the preconditions of a valid
deposit under that section are satisfied, that will not constitute res judicata
or take away the court's rights in an action u/s. 3(1)(a), of being satisfied
on the evidence before it to the same effect. He relied in this context on two
decisions of the Allahabad High Court. It is sufficient to refer to extract
some portions from the head note of one of them, viz. Hazi Abdul Karim v. Mohd.
Ismail.  U.P. Rent Cases 691) P. "A finding merely on a collateral
fact of jurisdiction cannot operate as res judicata in later proceedings
between the same parties. It has been stated in Halsbury's Laws of England,
Third Edition (Volume XV) paragraph 367 (at page 192).
is a fundamental rule that a judgment is not conclusive to anything but the
point decided, or of any matter 426 which came collaterally in question or of
any matter incidentally cognizable.
principle behind this rule seems to be that even though in the previous
proceedings a decision on a collateral fact about jurisdiction, wrongly given
may be binding on the parties for a limited purpose i.e., only so far as those
proceedings are concerned, yet it would completely defeat the ends of justice,
if such erroneous decision were allowed to become final and perpetuate itself.
It would be conducive to the ends of justice that in later regular proceedings
the parties should not be thwarted by an earlier wrong . finding and should be
afforded full opportunity of demonstrating that the condition precedent to the
exercise of jurisdiction were absent.
cannot, therefore, operate as res-judicata and the parties must be left free to
agitate the same question again in a subsequent suit for ejectment or other
appropriate proceedings. The whole scheme of Section 7-C is inconsistent with
any adjudication of the rights of the parties.
this section the learned Munsif is not required to determine the rights and
obligations of the landlord and the tenant in these proceedings. All that he
has to do on deposit of rent under Section 7-C (1) is to issue a notice to the
landlord informing him that such deposit has been made.
deposit, made under section 7-C is by itself a neutral act and it acquires its
legal completion only when F. the rights of the parties are later determined in
deposit is thus without prejudice to the rights of the parties which ought to
be determined in the appropriate proceedings.
x x x x X ..... the entire scheme of Section 7-C leads to the inescapable
conclusion that it is merely a tentative or provisional forum provided for the
purpose of checkmating any sinister attempt on the part of the landlord for
letting it appear that no rent had been actually paid to him and thereby
procuring the ejectment of a tenant. It is a legal fiction operating 427 for
the benefit of tenant in order to destroy a subterfuge which may unjustly
result in the eviction of the tenant. A deposit, therefore, per se does not
decide the rights of the parties. Its significance and legal impost actually
take shape according to the tenor and upshot of other subsequent proceedings in
which such rights any be actually adjudicated.
the purposes of the present case, we need not go into this larger question. In
view of our conclusion regarding the scope of S. 7C and our finding that, here.
there was no enquiry or finding recorded in the proceedings u s. 7C which could
at all operate as res judicata against the landlord in the suit u/s. 3( l)(a).
Learned counsel for the appellant strongly relied on two decisions of this
court in support of his contention.
first was Kaloo and others v. GauriShanker,  3 S.C.C. 31. 51. Learned
counsel relied on certain passages in paragraphs 13, 19 and 23. In our opinion
this decision is not of much help as the court in that case was concerned with
a clear case of refusal of rent by the landlord fully justifying the deposit
under section 7-C. This is cleary from various passages in the judgment
particularly in paragraphs 19 and 20. The other judgment relied upon is that of
this court in Kameshwar Singh Srivastava v. IV Addl. District Judge, Lucknow
and others, AIR 1987 S.C. 138. This was a decision under a later Act of Uttar
Pradesh, namely Act 13 of 1972. Section 3() of the said Act is a provision
similar to section 7-C of the Act presently in question. In this case also it
was found as a fact that there had been a tender of rent to the landlord, who
did not accept the same and this was held to be a complete answer in
proceedings for eviction. There can be no doubt that, by virtue of section
7-C(6) a deposit properly and justifiably made under section 7-C would be
deemed to be a payment of rent to the landlord himself. Once there is a proof
of a valid deposit, then there can be no eviction of the tenant under section
3(1)(a) since the section equates such a deposit to a payment to the landlord,
thus negativing the existence of any arrears of rent or any wilful default.
But, at the same time it is necessary for the courts to ensure that the tenants
do not resort to the provisions of section 7-C merely to harass the landlord.
The decision in Kameshwar Singh's case emphasises this aspect in paragraph 7:
We should not be understood to have laid down that the tenant should deposit
rent in court instead of paying the same to the landlord.
a tenant is under a legal obligation to pay rent to the landlord as and when
due and 428 if he fails to pay the same on demand from the landlord and if he
is in arrears for a period of more than four months he would be liable to
ejectment. Where there is a bona fide dispute regarding the landlord's right to
receive rent on account of there being several claimants or if the landlord
refuses to accept the rent without there being any justification for the same,
the tenant would be entitled to take proceedings under s. 30 of the Act and
deposit the rent in court thereupon he would be deemed to have paid the rent to
the landlord, consequently he would be relieved of his liability of eviction.
It does not however follow that the tenant is entitled to disregard the
landlord or ignore his demand for payment of rent to him. The provisions of the
Act safeguard tenants interest but it must be kept in mind that the landlord's
right to receive rent and in the event of the tenant's being in arrears of rent
for a period of more than four months, his right to evict the tenant is
preserved, if the tenant makes the deposit in court without there being any
justification for the same or it he refuses to pay the rent even on the service
of notice of demand by the landlord, he would be liable to eviction.
the question whether the tenant is justified in depositing the rent in court
and whether deeming provision of s; 30(6) would be available to him to relieve
him from the liability of eviction would depend upon facts of each case.
noted earlier on the special facts of the instant case we have no doubt in our
mind that the appellant had relieved himself from the liability of eviction and
he was not in arrears of rent for a period of more than four months." This
decision also, incidentally, proceeds on the basis that, despite an order u/s.
30, it is open to the Court in the proceedings for eviction, to consider
whether the deposit was a valid one or not. In the light of the above
observations also, were justified, having regard to the facts and circumstances
of the present case, in ordering eviction.
Learned counsel for the appellant submitted that such an interpretation as we
have upheld would completely render section 7-C a dead letter. This is not so.
Section 7- C, as we have pointed out earlier, is only intended as a protection
to the tenant to tide-over a particular genuine difficulty. It enables the
tenant to deposit the rent from time to time in the court so that the arrears
of rent do not accummulate and he is not constrained to pay large sums of money
owing to the landlord on a future date. Secondly, it safeguards the landlord
inasmuch as the 429 rent from month to month is being deposited in the court
and the landlord is not prejudiced by a huge accummulation of rent which he may
find it later on, difficult to recover.
it also protects the tenant in this that, if ultimately he is able to show in
the eviction proceedings that the deposit was made because of the refusal of
the landlord to accept the rent, it provides a complete answer to the plea of
eviction under section 3(1)(a). It cannot, therefore, be said that section 7-C
loses all its meaning and becomes otiose if it is interpreted in the
restrictive manner above discussed.
This leaves only the equities of the matter to be considered. The contention of
the learned counsel for the appellant that though the landlord was aware that
the rent was being deposited in the court ever since August 1967, he waited for
a period of four years before issuing a notice of demand for arrears of rent is
seen to be without substance.
Kacker has pointed out that the appellant had filed a suit (No. 786 of 1968)
claiming that he had paid Rs.275 towards rent by money order and claiming
refund of the same.
suit was pending till April 197 1. On 19.4.197 1, the suit was dismissed. The
Third Additional Munsif, Jhansi found that the sum of Rs.275 had been paid
towards rent for the period ending 30.11.1966 and that the appellant was not
entitled to the refund thereof. Shri Kacker rightly points out that since the
appellant had raised a plea in this suit that the sum of Rs.275 had been paid
by him towards the arrears of rent due after November 1966; the landlord was
disabled from instituting proceedings for eviction until this issue was decided
in the suit. In other words, the delay from August 1967, when the appellant
started depositing the rent in court till 1971, when the proceedings for
ejectment were started, was not due to any laches on the part of the respondent
but was caused on account of the pendency of the litigation instituted by the
tenant. Indeed it is rather unbelievable that, after having alleged in the
application under 'section 7-C that the landlord had refused to accept the
amount tendered and deposited the arrears of rent in court, the tenant would
have sent a sum of Rs.275 by money order on 30.11.67, as alleged. In fact the
findings in that suit, incidentally, also negative the tenant's allegation that
he had sent several money orders which the landlord had refused to receive. But
this aspect need not detain us as all the three courts have concurrently found
that in the present case the appellant had not been able to prove that there
had been a tender of the rent by him and refusal thereof by the landlord.
In the result we have come to the conclusion that both in law and in equity the
appellant has no case and that the ejectment suit was 430 properly decreed by
the courts below. The appeal, therefore, fails and is dismissed. We, however,
make no order as to costs, since the arrears of rent are available to the
landlord for being withdrawn from the court P.S.S. Appeal dismissed.