Vs. The Tamil Nadu Handloom Weaversco-Operative Society Ltd.  Insc 93 (26 February 2002)
Shah & B.N. Agrawal Shah, J.
appellant who was forcibly and illegally dispossessed since May 1986 from the
tenanted premises by his landlord is moving from pillar to post for getting
justice. Unfortunately, after considering all the relevant facts which were
brought on record, the High Court remanded the proceedings under Section 6 of
the Specific Relief Act, 1963 (hereinafter referred to as "the Act")
for reconsideration by the trial court. It is apparent that the whole purpose
of proceedings under Section 6 of the Act is frustrated by such order. The
procedure under Section 6 of the Act is summary and its object is to prevent self
help and to discourage people to adopt any foul means to dispossess a person.
Dispossession of a tenant should be in accordance with law.
the submission of the appellant that as Proprietor of India Watch House, he was
doing business in tenanted premises situated at 843, Anna Salai Madras for more
than 35 years. Subsequently, the respondent the Tamilnadu Handloom Weavers
Co-operative Society Ltd., Madras
purchased the said premises and, therefore, the appellant was paying rent
regularly to it.
respondent filed Civil Suit for getting the premises vacated from the
appellant. During the pendency of the proceedings, appellant gave a power of
attorney to one Muralidhar Balani to run business of India Watch House, hence Balani
was getting the said shop re-modelled. However, on 20th May, 1986 at about 7.30 p.m.,
while the work of re-modelling of shop was going on, one Mr. Anakaputhur Ramalingam
and about 20 Co-Optex Workers with the help of police forcibly trespassed into
the tenanted premises. They took forcible possession despite the fact their
Civil Suit for eviction was pending in the court.
same day, appellant filed a complaint but the police did not take any action on
it. On 21st May, 1986, the complaint was sent to the
Commissioner of Police, Chennai for immediate action against the trespassers.
On 31st May, 1986 telegraphic complaints were sent to
the Director General of Police and the Inspector General of Police.
on 16th June, 1986, appellant filed Writ Petition
No.5382 of 1986 for a direction to the police to take appropriate action on the
complaint filed by the appellant. That writ petition was allowed by the High
Court on 3rd May, 1988 and the Court directed the CB CID
to investigate the complaint of the appellant. On such direction, CB CID
registered the offence punishable under Sections 143, 147, 149, 323, 341 and
441 of IPC. The main accused Anakaputhur Ramalingam was arrested on 19th July, 1988. Thereafter, on 18.6.1991, the
Government of Tamilnadu accorded sanction to prosecute the case against the
accused. Hence, the CB CID police filed the charge sheet against all the
accused for the offence punishable under sections 147, 149, 441, 352, 380 and
341 of IPC in the Court of Addl. Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, Egmore, Chennai.
alleged by the appellant that accused succeeded in pressurizing and influencing
the Government to withdraw the prosecution against all accused and thereafter
public prosecutor filed an application for withdrawal of the prosecution.
Permission to withdraw the prosecution case was granted by the ACMM on 15th October, 1993.
meantime, within a period of six months from the date of dispossession, on
25.9.1986, appellant filed OS No.6998 of 1986 for restoration of possession
under Section 6 of the Act. Respondent filed written statement and pleaded that
appellant had informed them that he has vacated the premises and it was open to
the respondent to take the possession either on 19th or 20th May, 1986.
Therefore, possession was taken in presence of the police constables. The trial
court dismissed the suit. Against the said judgment and order, appellant
preferred C.R.P. No.1818 of 1996 before the High Court of Madras. Considering
the facts stated above, the High Court allowed the petition. However, the High
Court held that in the interest of justice the matter requires to be remanded
to the trial court for fresh consideration of the evidence and proper disposal.
That order is challenged in this appeal.
the facts narrated above, it is apparent that pending suit filed by the
respondent for evicting the appellant, the respondent took forcible possession
of the tenanted premises, for that purpose appellant had lodged criminal
complaint on the same day and as no action was taken, he had informed various
the representation made to the higher authorities as police had not taken any
action, appellant preferred Writ Petition before the High Court and the High
Court directed the CB CID to investigate the case.
the charge sheet was submitted; Government granted sanction; however, for the
reasons best known to it, the Government withdrew the criminal proceedings.
This would clearly establish that appellant was in possession of the premises
and pending suit, he was forcibly dispossessed. Hence, in such circumstances if
matter is remanded for reconsideration after lapse of 15 years, the whole
purpose of summary suit under Section 6 of the Act for taking possession would
be frustrated. The facts were eloquent and no further evidence was necessary
nor anything was required to be re- appreciated. It is to be stated that
admittedly there is no document to indicate that appellant willingly handed
over the possession of the suit premises. If appellant was prepared to hand over
the possession of the suit premises willingly a consent decree would have been
obtained in a pending suit which was filed in 1978. In any case, there was no
necessity of taking possession by use of force in presence of police. If the
appellant had willingly handed over possession, he would not have immediately
lodged the criminal complaint and made representation to the higher authorities
for taking action nor he would have filed a writ petition for appropriate
directions. Hence, this contention does not deserve to be accepted by any
process of reasoning.
view, if such actions by the mighty or powerful are condoned in a democratic
country, nobody would be safe nor the citizens can protect their properties.
Law frowns upon such conduct.
Court accords legitimacy and legality only to possession taken in due course of
law. If such actions are condoned, the fundamental rights guaranteed under the
Constitution of India or the legal rights would be given go bye either by the
authority or by rich and influential persons or by musclemen. Law of jungle
will prevail and 'might would be right' instead of 'right being might'. This
Court in State of U.P. and others vs. Maharaja Dharmander Prasad Singh and
others [(1989) 2 SCC 505] dealt with the provisions of Transfer of Property Act
and observed that a lessor, with the best of title, has no right to resume
possession extra-judicially by use of force, from a lessee, even after the
expiry or earlier termination of the lease by forfeiture or otherwise. Under law,
the possession of a lessee, even after the expiry or its earlier termination is
juridical possession and forcible dispossession is prohibited. The Court also
held that there is no question of Government withdrawing or appropriating to it
an extra judicial right of re-entry and the possession of the property can be
resumed by the Government only in a manner known to or recognized by law.
this view of the matter, this appeal is allowed. Impugned judgment and order
passed by the High Court is set aside. The suit filed by the
plaintiff-appellant for restoration of possession of the suit property is
decreed. The respondent is directed to hand over the possession of the premises
within one month to the appellant.
we strongly deprecate the high handed action taken by the respondent in taking
forcible possession from a tenant and direct the respondent to pay Rs.50,000/-
as costs to the appellant.