High Court of Punjab and Haryana, Chandigarh
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Raj Kumar v. Krishna Kumari - CR-4765-2003  RD-P&H 3250 (17 May 2006)
IN THE HIGH COURT FOR THE STATES OF PUNJAB AND HARYANA AT CHANDIGARH
Civil Revision No.4765 of 2003
Date of decision: May 23, 2006.
Present: Shri G.S. Punia, Advocate for the petitioner.
Shri Sumeet Mahajan, Advocate for the respondent.
Surya Kant, J. (Oral)
This revision petition has been preferred by the petitioner- tenant whose application seeking leave to defend has been dismissed by the Rent Controller, Ludhiana vide the impugned order dated 25th September,
2003. The leave to defend was sought by the petitioner in an ejectment petition filed by the respondent-landlord under section 13-B of the East Punjab Urban Rent Restriction Act, 1949 (for short the Act), seeking the petitioner's eviction on the ground that the respondent-landlord, who is a Non-Resident Indian, requires the premises for her personal use and occupation.
Since the newly added provision, namely, Section 13-B of the Act contemplates summary proceedings for eviction of a tenant unless he is granted leave to defend, the petitioner moved the application, which has since been dismissed by the impugned order.
Civil Revision No.4765 of 2003 -: 2 :-
Assailing the aforesaid order, Learned Counsel for the petitioner has made the following contentions:- (i)there is no relationship of tenant and landlord between the petitioner and the respondent;
(ii) the respondent does not have any bona-fide requirement for the demised premises;
(iii) the ejectment petition has not been verified by the respondent in accordance with Order 6 Rule 16 CPC; (iv) the Rent Controller ought not to have accepted the mere bald assertion made by the respondent regarding her status as NRI; and
(v) the respondent has also failed to prove that she is of Indian origin.
On the other hand, it is contended on behalf of the respondent that all the ingredients of section 13-B of the Act have been averred and proved, therefore, the learned Rent Controller has rightly declined leave to defend to the petitioner.
There is no dispute that the demised premises was owned by Smt. Vidyawati who had rented it out to the petitioner. Vidyawati died on 5.11.1980 and on the basis of a will executed by her, the premises was inherited by Barkha Ram husband of Vidyawati. The said Barkha Ram also died on 11.1.1982 leaving behind his two sons, namely, Amrit Lal and Avinash Lal Sharma. In terms of a family settlement, it is averred that the demised premises fell to the share of Amrit Lal, who, too, is stated to have died on 4.4.1986. The respondent (Smt. Krishna Kumari) is widow of Amrit Lal. The petitioner's contention is that in fact it is Navrattan Sharma, Civil Revision No.4765 of 2003 -: 3 :-
son of Amrit Lal (and of the respondent), who has been receiving rent from him and as such after the death of Vidyawatti, he is a tenant under Navrattan Sharma and not the respondent. On the other hand, the respondent has specifically averred in the ejectment petition (Annexure P.2) that the demised premises is owned by her and Navrattan Sharma (her son) used to collect rent from the petitioner on her behalf.
There is no denial to the fact that after the death of Amrit Lal, the estate owned by him has been inherited by his widow, namely, the respondent and their two children,i.e., Navrattan Sharma (son) and Anita (daughter). In this view of the matter, the respondent is undoubtedly a co- landlord and, thus, there exists relationship of landlord and tenant between the parties.
So far as the respondent's status as an NRI is concerned, she has specifically averred in the ejectment petition that she migrated from India to South Africa and from there to the United Kingdom in the year
1971. She served as an Executive Officer in the government service in UK from where she sought pre-mature retirement in the year 1985 due to precarious health condition of her husband. After her retirement, she started doing some small business in the UK only. She has further averred that her two children, namely, Navrattan Sharma and Anita, both are working and well settled in the USA. It is further averred that her real brother, who retired as Assistant Superintendent of Customs and Excise, is a permanent resident of Delhi, whereas the maternal uncle and their families are residing in Ludhiana. It is in this backdrop that she wants to shift from England to India and wants to live in her own house. In support of the aforesaid averments, the respondent has also appended the documents to show that Civil Revision No.4765 of 2003 -: 4 :-
she is getting pensionary benefits from the government of UK. In this view of the matter, there can be no exception but to hold that the respondent has proved beyond any manner of doubt that she falls in the category of NRI.
The petitioner's contention that the respondent has no bona fide requirement of the demised premises, too appears to be misplaced. Firstly, personal requirement of a premises has to be left to the discretion of the landlord, unless found to be lacking in terms of bona fide. In the backdrop of facts and circumstances narrated above, there appears to be no reason to doubt the bona fide of the respondent as at this juncture of life she wants to be in the company of her close relations and family members.
As far as the contention that the ejectment petition filed by the respondent (Annexure P.2) has not been verified by her strictly in terms of Order 6 Rule 16 CPC, firstly, no such plea was taken before the Rent Controller while seeking leave to defend, therefore, it cannot be permitted to be raised before the revisional court. Secondly, a plain reading of the verification does indicate that there is a substantial compliance of Order 6 Rule 16 CPC and the ejectment petition cannot be thrown out merely on this hyper-technical objection now sought to be raised by the petitioner.
No other ground has been urged on behalf of the petitioner.
For the reasons aforementioned, I do not find any merit in this petition, which is accordingly dismissed.
May 23, 2006. [ Surya Kant ]
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