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G. Veera Raghavan v. K. Devanathan - CIVIL REVISION PETITION NO.603 OF 2004  RD-TN 42 (20 January 2005)
IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT MADRAS
THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE P.K. MISRA
CIVIL REVISION PETITION NO.603 OF 2004
G. Veera Raghavan .. Petitioner -Vs-
1. K. Devanathan
3. Muthukrishna Pillai (died) .. Respondents Revision filed under Section 25 of the Tamil Nadu Buildings (Lease & Rent) Control Act, 1963 against the judgment an decree dated 29.10.2 003 in RCA.No.23 of 2002, on the file of the Principal District Judge Court, Pondicherry confirming the judgment and decree dated 16.12.19 99 in HRCOP.No.15 of 1998 on the file of Rent Controller, Pondicherry. For Petitioner : Mr.N. Karthikeyan
For Respondents : Mr.M. Thiruvenkatasamy :O R D E R
The present Revision is filed against the order dated 29.10.2003 passed by the Principal District Judge, Pondicherry confirming the order passed by the Rent Controller rejecting the application filed by the present petitioner for eviction of the respondents. Such application for eviction was filed on the ground that the premises were required by the present petitioner for his occupation and the tenant, namely Respondent No.1, had sub-let the premises to Respondents 2 and 3 without the written consent of the landlord.
2. According to the case of the petitioner, Respondent No.1 became a tenant under the petitioner with effect from 1992. Tenancy was for the purpose of running a wet grinding business. Subsequently, without the written consent of the petitioner, Respondent No.1 sub-let the premises to the respondents 2 and 3, who were carrying on business under the name and style M.S.R. Thirumana Seva Centre. It has also been indicated that the petitioner requires the premises for his personal occupation as he intends to start his own business therein.
3. Counter denying the allegations relating to sub-letting as well as the requirement of the landlord had been filed. It was indicated that even before September, 1992, the respondents were occupying the premises as tenants under the uncle of the landlord right from 1964. Respondents 2 and 3 were the close relatives of the first respondent. The allegation that Respondent No.1 had sub-let the premises to respondents 2 and 3 was denied.
4. The House Rent Controller, on consideration of the materials on record, came to the conclusion that the respondents were in occupation even before September, 1992 and as a matter of fact the property fell to the share of the present petitioner in partition and thereafter he became the landlord. It was further found that rent was being paid by different respondents, which was being accepted by the petitioner, which clearly indicated that with the knowledge of the petitioner all the respondents were occupying the premises. Plea of the petitioner regarding his occupation was also not accepted on the ground that in the Original Petition, the petitioner had not specifically indicated about the nature of the business to be started by him and only at the stage of evidence, he had adduced evidence stating that he wanted the premises for the business of consultancy in computers.
5. The appellate authority, on independent assessment of evidence, confirmed the findings of the Rent Controller and rejected the appeal.
6. Learned counsel appearing for the petitioner has submitted that in the letter of attornment, Ex.A-1 dated 12.10.1992, there was no indication that respondents 2 and 3 were also the joint tenants, and therefore, the courts below should have accepted the case of subletting. It is of course true that the aforesaid letter was admittedly written by Respondent No.1, wherein there was no indication that respondents 2 and 3 were joint tenants along with Respondent No.1. However, this by itself does not prove that Respondent No.1 was the tenant and subsequently the premises had been sub-let to respondents 2 and 3. The fact that respondents 1 to 3 are closely related to each other cannot be lost sight of. Moreover, rent was being paid by any of the respondents which was being accepted by the petitioner, which would clearly indicate that respondents 2 & 3 were occupying the premises along with Respondent No.1 to the specific knowledge of the petitioner. If actually Respondent No.1 would have sub-let the premises to respondents 2 and 3, the petitioner, in normal course, would not have accepted the rent directly either from Respondent No.2 or 3 and on the other hand would have raised protest at that stage itself. The courts below have considered the aspect relating to alleged subletting and have concurrently held against the present petitioner. I do not find any reason to upset such concurrent finding rendered by the Courts below.
7. Learned counsel for the petitioner has also submitted that the petitioner had amply proved that he required the premises for his own computer consultancy business and this aspect should not have been ignored by the courts below. The Courts below have pointed out that in the Original Petition, the petitioner had not specifically stated about the nature of the business to be started by him, and therefore, vague pleading has not been accepted by the courts below. After carefully considering the reasons given by the Courts below, I am unable to persuade myself to come to any different conclusion.
8. For the aforesaid reasons, I do not find any merit in this Revision, which is accordingly dismissed. However, there would be no order as to costs.
Index : Yes
1. The Principal District Judge, Pondicherry
2. The Rent Controller, Pondicherry.
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