Sarla Narula Vs. Smt. Raghbir Kaur Rehal & ANR  INSC 274 (6 October
SABYASACHI (J) MUKHARJI, SABYASACHI (J) OZA, G.L. (J)
1988 SCR (1) 368 JT 1987 (4) 126 1987 SCALE (2)744
Rent Control Act, 1958: Section 14(1)(e)-Eviction of tenant on ground of bona
fide necessity of landlady- Abandonment of the premises by original tenant-No
novation of original agreement of tenancy-Locus Standi of party in
occupation-Whether tenancy came to) an end. C
premises in question was taken on lease at a monthly rent of Rs.350 by the
tenant-Company. The rent in respect of the said premises was being deposited in
the bank. Respondent No. 1-The landlady was living abroad and as she and her
husband wanted to come back and settle down in India they required the said
landlady instituted proceedings against the tenant- Company to which the
appellant was not a party. The husband of the appellant was an employee of the
tenant-Company and he retired in 1973. The appellant filed an application for
being impleaded as a party, contending that the rent was deposited on account
of the appellant's husband, and after his death on account of his heirs
individually and not on account of or on behalf of the erstwhile tenant of the
premises and the tenant did not oppose the eviction petition because the tenant
had left the premises, and the appellant's husband had become the tenant in his
application was rejected, and the order of eviction was passed against the
tenant under section 14(1)(e) of the Delhi Rent Control Act, 1958. The appeal
against the above decision was dismissed by the Rent Control Tribunal. The High
Court dismissed the appeal.
the appeal, this Court, ^
After the surrender of the tenancy by the Company, the appellant's husband, or
his heirs, after his death, had no locus standi, and had no right to be joined
as party. [366G ] The tenancy was originally entered into between the landlady or
on her behalf and the Company of which the appellant's husband was an employee.
Admittedly, the tenancy came to an end after the tenant- 364 Company abondoned
the premises. The husband of the appellant or after his death his heirs could
not continue unless there was a fresh agreement of tenancy in their favour or
novation of the original agreement of tenancy. There are no cogent or available
materials to show that there was actually a new contract entered into between
the husband of the appellant and the landlady, or novation of the original
The High Court has found that there was no receipt in possession of the
appellant regarding the payment of rent, and that there was genuine evidence to
show that the landlady needed the premises bona fide. There were concurrent
findings of facts of the two courts below. [366H] The appellant and her family
have been residing in the premises for quite sometime. The landlady herself has
not yet arrived in India. The husband is very much in India awaiting the
vacancy of the house. In the circumstances, the appellant and her family would
be entitled to stay in the premises upto 15.6.1988. [367C]
APPELLATE JURISDICTION: Civil Appeal No. 2608 of 1984.
the judgment and order dated 29.5.1984 of the Delhi High Court in S.A.O. No.
128 of 1984.
Lalit, Vivek Gambhir, Sanjay Sareen and S.K. Gambhir for the Appellant.
Shyamla Pappu, Mrs. Indra Sawhney and N.S. Das Bahl for the Respondents.
Judgment of the Court was delivered by SABYASACHI MUKHARJI, J. This is an
appeal by special leave from the order of the High Court of Delhi dated 29th
May, 1984. By the aforesaid order the appellant was refused the prayer of being
joined as a party in the proceedings in execution and the order of eviction
against the tenant was passed under section 14(1)(e) of Delhi Rent Control Act,
order to appreciate the question it should be noted on 16.1.67 there was a
lease in favour of respondent No. 2 of a monthly rent of 365 Rs.350 p.m. in
respect of the premises in question in Greater Kailash, New Delhi. The tenant
was a company called M/s Bharat Carbons & Ribbons Manufacturing Company.
The husband of the appellant Late T.R. Narula was an employee of the said
Company. He retired in 1973. The rent in respect of the premises had been
deposited. It is, however, not certain as to on whose account the rent was
deposited. On the one hand, the appellant contends that the rent was deposited
on account of the appellant's husband, and after the death of Shri T.R. Narula
on account of heirs of said T.R. Narula, deceased individually and not on
account of or on behalf of the erstwhile tenant of the premises in question. It
appears from the record that respondent No. 1 was in England at the relevant
time. The respondent No. 1 described himself as a permanent settlee in England.
The said respondent was at all relevant times represented by her attorney. The
respondent No. 1 is the landlady of the premises in question is still in
England. Their case is that both the husband and wife are fairly well advanced
in age and wish to come back and settle down in India and want to live their
last days of life in their own house. They bonafide, require the premises in
question. This question of bonafide need has been held in their favour and
appropriate proceedings instituted by the landlady against the tenant-Company
to which the appellant was not a party. lndeed, the tenant did not really
oppose the eviction petition because as, according to their version, the tenant
had left the premises and Shri T.R.
had become the tenant, in his own right. The respondents did not accept that
position. There was an application made by the widow of Late T.R. Narula to be
joined as a party in the suit. This was refused by learned Judge for which
reasons have been given. The learned Judge of the High Court has noted that it
was the admitted position that M/s Bharat Carbons & Ribbons Manufacturing
Company was the tenant and the appellant's husband was an employee of the said
company. He retired in 1973. The rent has been paid since then. However, the
landlady was residing out of India and she closed her account when she came
back to India and in respect of that the rent was being deposited according to
the appellant which appears at page 126 of the Paper Book. The landlady
protested by a letter written to the Bank. The High Court has noted that
admittedly there was no receipt in possession of the appellant regarding
payment of rent. Counsel for the appellant drew our attention to a document which
is described as a receipt for the rent for the month July 1973. Counsel states
that this was filed in the High Court. Counsel further states that there are
subsequent receipts. As against these versions of the appellants herein it is
asserted that these receipts were not genuine documents put in. Subsequent
receipts that had not been, according to the respondents, 366 produced before
the High Court and at least relied before the High Court, were not there. The
learned Judge of the High Court proceeded on the basis that there was no
evidence that there was receipt in possession of the appellant regarding
payment of rent. A strong point was made before us that if money was received
from the appellant or on behalf of the appellant, it must be presumed that there
was surrender of tenancy by M/s Bharat Carbons & Ribbons Manufacturing
Company and there was tenancy agreement between Late T.R. Narula or his wife
and the landlady. No such evidence of the acceptance of rent was advanced
before the High Court or before us to sustain that ground.
tenancy was originally entered into between the landlady or on her behalf and
the company of which T.R.
since deceased, was an employee. There was no evidence adduced and no averment
made that the tenancy was for the then tenant. Admittedly that tenancy, as it
appears from the records and the evidence, came to an end after the
tenant-company abandoned the premises, and that it was so done was not
seriously disputed and T.R. Narula, since deceased or after his death his heirs
could not continue unless there was a fresh agreement of tenancy in their
favour or novation of the original agreement of tenancy.
is no cogent, reliable or dependable evidence of the same.
view of the categorical finding of the High Court it is difficult to accept the
submissions on behalf of the appellant. Apart from that there are no other
cogent or available materials to show that there was actually a new contract
entered into between Late T. R. Narula and the landlady. On the other hand the
contention of the landlady and her representative since she was staying away
has been to deny any connection with the appellant. Furthermore, the alleged
notice of the termination of surrender of tenancy was sent to the landlady in
rather suspicious circumstances.
is not necessary to dilate in detail on those. The evidence on record advanced
in support of the appellant on this aspect cannot and does not inspire any
credence or confidence. If that is the position than after the surrender of tenancy
by the company, late T.R. Narula or his heirs had no locus stand and had no
right to be joined as party. The High Court notes that there was genuine
evidence to show that the landlady needed the premises bona fide. There were
concurrent findings of facts of the two courts below and the appellant did not
raise any contentions at this belated stage.
the aforesaid view of the matter and in the facts and circum- 367 stances of
the case we find no ground under Article 136 of the Constitution to interfere
with the conclusion arrived at by the High Court.
appeal must, therefore, fail and is accordingly dismissed, specially in view of
the fact that the landlady needs the premises for her family and for her own
bona fide need. Parties will pay their own costs There is, however, another
aspect of the matter. The appellant and her family have been residing there for
quite sometime. The landlady herself has not yet arrived in India and is
awaiting her arrival since arrangements have to be made in India. The husband
is very much in India awaiting vacancy of the house. In the circumstances we
direct that the appellant and her family would be entitled to stay in the
premises upto 15.6.88 upon filing the usual undertaking in this court within
three weeks from today. The appeal is dismissed with the aforesaid directions.
Parties will pay their own costs. They will continue to deposit cheques to the
counsel for respondents for the remaining period.