High Court of Punjab and Haryana, Chandigarh
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Ashok Kumar v. Kuljeet Singh - CR-374-2006  RD-P&H 755 (14 February 2006)
Civil Revision No.374 of 2006
Date of Decision: 30.01.2006
CORAM:- HON'BLE MR. JUSTICE JASBIR SINGH
Present: Shri Arun Jain, Advocate for the petitioner Shri H.S.Gill, Sr.Advocate with
Shri R.K.Dhiman, Advocate for the respondent JUDGMENT
an application under Section 13 of the East Punjab Urban Rent Restriction Act, 1949 ( in short the Act), seeking ejectment of the petitioner-tenant from Booth No.57, Sector 16-D, Chandigarh. It was his case that he is owner of the demised premises and the petitioner is a tenant on monthly rent of Rs.600/- per month, excluding electricity charges etc. w.e.f. 1.6.1981.
Respondent further stated that after completing his Master's decree in History, he set up a poultry farm near Zirakpur under the name and style of M/s Sandhu Poultry Farm. He had been selling his poultry products in the wholesale market, profit earned by him was less, as compared to selling those very products in the retail market. His wife was sitting idle. Both of Civil Revision No.374 of 2006 2
his children were grown up, as such, he intended to engage himself and his family members in spreading his business further and for the said purpose, he intended to open a retail outlet of poultry products in the demised premises. When his request to vacate the shop, in dispute, was not acceded to by the petitioner, he filed application for his ejectment.
Upon notice, petitioner put
in appearance and controverted averments made by the respondent. It was his specific stand that ground of personal necessity, for ejectment, is not available to the respondent-landlord. It was further stated that the poultry farm, which the respondent had started, was lying closed for the last about three years. Wife of the respondent-landlord has no business experience, as such, she would not be in a position to run the retail outlet, as alleged. It was further stated that it was a case of greed, as the respondent-landlord only intended to increase rent and when the said unreasonable demand was refused by the petitioner, the ejectment application was filed.
The Rent Controller, on
perusal of pleadings of both the parties, framed the following issues:- "1. Whether the petitioner requires the demised premises for his personal use and occupation? OPP
2. Whether the petition is not maintainable in the present form? OPR"
After contest, issue No.1 was decided in favour of the respondent-landlord and issue No.2 was decided against the petitioner- tenant. The ejectment application was allowed by the Rent Controller.
Appeal filed by the petitioner was dismissed. Hence, this Civil Revision.
Before this Court, it has vehemently been argued that as per evidence on record, poultry farm of the respondent-landlord was closed, Civil Revision No.374 of 2006 3
much before filing of application for ejectment. By referring to that fact, it has been stated that ground of personal necessity was not bona fide, rather a false plea has been taken by the respondent for ejectment of the petitioner, as such, he is not entitled to get any relief. It has further been averred that the respondent-landlord only intended to increase the rent and in fact, at present, he has no poultry farm, products of which, he can sell in the retail outlet, as alleged by him.
This Court feels that the arguments raised are liable to be rejected. Both the Courts below have held that the respondent-landlord has sufficient experience in dealing with the poultry products. As per admitted position by both the parties, at one time, respondent-landlord has started poultry farm under the name and style of M/s Sandhu Poultry Farm near Zirakpur. There existed no evidence on record that when ejectment application was filed, the said poultry farm was lying closed. Even if it is presumed that the poultry farm was lying closed, this fact rather strengthens ground of the respondent-landlord to get the demised premises vacated.
The petitioner-tenant has failed to prove that the respondent-landlord or his family members, have vacated any other commercial premises in Chandigarh or any other shop etc. is available with them to start business, to earn their livelihood. Under these circumstances, this Court feels that ground of personal necessity, to start business, is clearly established and proved on record and rather more pressing for the respondent-landlord.
Contention of counsel for the petitioner that the false ground was raised, by the respondent, to get ejectment, has rightly been discarded by both the Courts below. By referring to evidence brought on record by the petitioner, Courts have held that as to whether the poultry farm, at the time, when application for ejectment was filed, was lying closed, was not Civil Revision No.374 of 2006 4
proved on record. By referring to cross-examination of RW1 and RW2, Courts have observed that the petitioner-tenant has failed to prove that when application was filed, the respondent-landlord, was not running business of the poultry products. The appellate Court below, after looking into evidence on record, has observed thus:-
"12. Following the ratio of above said judgments, I have considered the facts and circumstances of this case and I am of the opinion that the ejectment application has rightly been allowed by the Rent Controller. The evidence produced by the respondent landlord is sufficient enough to indicate that there has been a poultry farm owned by the landlord even the application Ex.R1 submitted by Ashok Kumar tenant to the S.D.M., Derabassi. Ashok Kumar as RW4 had admitted that there existed a poultry farm but the same stood closed regarding which he sought a report from the SDM, Derabassi.
The electricity bills Ex.PW.1/1 to Ex.PW.1/6 show that the electric connection has been retained in the name of wife of the landlord which exists in the poultry farm at Zirakpur. Poultry farm having ceased to function can not be considered to be as a factor to disbelieve the ground of personal necessity because a landlord who admittedly has got experience of poultry products and running a poultry farm, is well versed in the business of poultry products. The Rent Controller or the Appellate Court can not impose its wishes on a person having experience in a particular field to run any other business because it will not be confortable for the tenant. Even if a person has worked in some other poultry farm, that experience is sufficient enough to Civil Revision No.374 of 2006 5
start the business of poultry products. In the present case the resources and experience of the landlord respondent show the factors favouring him to establish his bonafide requirement of starting the business of sale of poultry products by opening a retail out-let in the shop in dispute. Certain guiding principles as laid down in various authorities have been applied to the facts of this case and this court is of the opinion that the bonafide requirement of landlord respondent stands proved and the landlord is entitled to seek eviction of the appellant tenant on the ground of personal necessity:-
(i) The requirement of the landlord on the face of it, appears to be reasonable and bonafide;
(ii) The reasonable requirement is neither fanciful nor can be stated to be a mere desire.
(iii) The reasonable requirement can be derived from the experience of landlord respondent to run the business of poultry products. The need appears to be honest and not tainted with an oblique motive.
13. In view of the law laid down in various judgments of the Hon'ble Supreme Court and the Hon'ble High Courts a Court should not proceed on the assumption that the requirement of the landlord was not bonafide. The tenant can not dictate to the landlord as to how, he could adjust himself without getting the possession of the disputed premises.
14.The statement of PW.1 Kuljit Singh and his wife Sukhbir Kaur is worthy of credence and there is no ground to disbelieve them merely because at present there is no bird in the poultry Civil Revision No.374 of 2006 6
farm though the construction of the poultry farm admittedly exists.
15.There is enough safe guard provided to the tenant to recover the possession in case the building got vacated on the ground of personal necessity bonafide requirement is not occupied by the landlord as per provisions of section 13(4) of the Rent Act.
The family circumstances produced by the landlord i.e. his wife being free and having to her credit the degree of graduation and willingness to help her husband, can not be doubted to assume that the landlord does not requires the tenanted premises for personal need."
This Court feels that the opinion extracted above, as formed by the Courts below, is perfectly justified, in view of facts discussed in earlier parts of this judgment. Petitioner-tenant has failed to prove that the ejectment application was filed only with a view to increase rent. At the time of arguments, an offer was made by the petitioner to the respondent to accept market rent, but the said offer was declined by his counsel on the ground that in fact, the respondent needs the demised premises to start his own business. No substantial question of law has been raised, which may necessitate any interference.
January 30, 2006 ( Jasbir Singh )
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