Govindan Nambiar Vs. Kariyath Raghavan  INSC 421 (19 August 1998)
Anand, V.N. Khare
O R D
is the landlord. Respondent is the tenant.
sought eviction of the tenant on the ground that the premises were required for
the bonafide need of the son of the landlord to start his business in those
the petition of the landlord was dismissed and even the appellate authority
concurred with the Rent Controller. The main reason for arriving at the
concurrent findings was that the landlord had not stated in his petition the
exact nature of the business which was required to be carried out by his son in
the premises in dispute. The High Court on a revision filed by the landlord,
remanded the case to the appellate authority for deciding the appeal afresh,
keeping in view the bonafide need of the landlord as pleaded by him.
appellate authority, after remand, found that the landlord's need to
accommodate his son, Jayarajan, for the bona fide need for starting grocery
business was established. However, while the matter was pending before the
appellate authority, after remand, it appears, that the landlord got vacant
possession of another premises situate adjacent to the petition schedule building
belonging to him.
this ground, the tenant advanced a plea based on the proviso to Section 11(3)
of the Kerala Buildings (Lease & Rent Control) Act, 1965 before the
appellate authority and urged that since another premises was available to the
landlord, his genuine need could be met by use of those premises and the ground
of bonafide need, to have the tenant evicted, was no longer available to him.
The appellate authority with a view to determine the effect of subsequent
development appointed a Commissioner to conduct spot inspection of both the
premises to find out if the building which had been vacated during the pendency
of the proceedings before the appellate authority, was or was not suitable for
the proposed business of the son of the landlord Jayarajan. The Local
Commissioner submitted his report to which both sides filed objections. The
appellate authority after taking into account the counter filed by the landlord
and the report of the Local Commissioner arrived at the conclusion.
the above in looks that the building they got vacated is not contracted as one
fit for doing grocery trade".
appellate authority also opined "hence the room got vacated cannot be an
alternative to the rooms in the possession of the tenant. The building got vacated
cannot be said to be suitable for the proposed business." The tenant took
the matter to the High Court through a revision petition. The learned Division
Bench of the Kerala High Court by its order dated 8th March, 1995 allowed the revision petition and set aside the judgment of
the appellate authority. The landlord is in appeal by special leave.
is no dispute that during the pendency of the eviction proceedings before the
appellate authority another premises belonging to the landlord fell vacant of
which he took possession. It is also not disputed that the premises which fell
so vacant are adjacent to the premises which are under occupation of the
tenant. The appellate authority on a consideration of the material on the
record, including the report of the Local Commissioner, came to the conclusion
that the building which had fallen vacant during the pendency of the
proceedings, was not fit for doing grocery trade and, therefore, it could not
be said that the said premises were suitable for the proposed business of the
son of the landlord. This finding of fact was negatived by the Division Bench
of the High Court by opining that the draw backs found in the premises which
had been vacated during the pendency of the proceedings before the appellate authority
- "can easily be remedied by the landlord as the cost of providing such a
roof ceiling may not be substantial when he proposes to make a good investment
for starting a new grocery shop".
afraid this reasoning does not appeal to us to non-suit the landlord.
Requirement of law is that the building which has been vacated should be of
such a character which would meet the requirements of the landlord and not that
the building which fell vacant could meet his requirements after reconstruction
renovation etc. The proviso to Section 11(3) which read thus : - "11.
Eviction of tenants (1) xxxx xxxx xxxx (3) A landlord may apply to the Rent
Control Court for an order directing the tenant to put the landlord in
possession of the building if he bona fide needs the building for his own
occupation or for the occupation by any member of his family dependent on him ;
that the Rent Control Court shall not given any such direction if the landlord
has another building of his own in his possession in the same city, town or
village except where the Rent Control Court is satisfied that for special
reasons, in any particular case it will be just and proper to do so." when
read in conjunction with sub-section (3) of Section 11, unambiguously shows
that the Rent Control Court shall not give directions for eviction of the
tenant, if the landlord has another building of his own in his possession in
the same city, town or village except where the Rent Control Court is satisfied
that "for special reasons, in any particular case it will be just and
proper to do so". The very fact that the premises which fell vacant during
the pendency of the proceedings have been found by the appellate authority, the
final fact finding authority, to be such as not to be suitable for the proposed
business of grocery would be a "special reason" within the meaning of
the proviso and the High Court, therefore, fell in error in construing the
proviso otherwise. In our opinion the order of the appellate authority was well
merited and sound and should not have been interfered with. The impugned order
of the High Court under the circumstances cannot be sustained.
accordingly, set it aside and restore that of the appellate authority. The
appeal succeeds and is allowed. No costs.
counsel for the tenant submits that the tenant has been in occupation of the
premises for more than two decades and sufficient time may be granted to him to
vacate and handover the premises so that in the meantime he may look for some
alternative accommodation. Learned counsel for the appellant does not oppose
the grant of some reasonable time to the tenant. We, in the facts and
circumstances of this case, grant time to the tenant to vacate and handover the
vacant possession of the premises on or before 31st January, 1999 on tenant's
filing the usual undertaking in this Court within four weeks.