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J.MURUGAN versus ESTATE OFFICER

High Court of Madras

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J.Murugan v. Estate Officer - CRP. NPD No.807 of 2007 [2007] RD-TN 1895 (12 June 2007)

IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT MADRAS



DATED : 12.06.2007

CORAM

THE HONOURABLE MR.JUSTICE M.CHOCKALINGAM

CRP. NPD. Nos.807 & 808 of 2007 and 1532 & 1533 of 2006 AND

M.P. Nos.1 of 2007 and 1 of 2006

CRP. NPD. Nos.807 & 808 of 2007:

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

J.Murugan ..Petitioner Vs.

Estate Officer / Eviction Authority

Neyveli Lignite Corporation Ltd.

Neyveli Township

Panruti Taluk

Cuddalore District ..Respondent CRP. NPD. Nos.1532 & 1533 of 2006:

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

D.Premkumar ..Petitioner Vs

1. J.Murugan

2. Estate Officer / Eviction Authority

Neyveli Lignite Corporation Ltd.

Neyveli Township

Panruti Taluk

Cuddalore District. ..Respondents These civil revision petitions have been preferred under Article 227 of the Constitution of India against the order of the learned Principal District Judge, Cuddalore passed in C.M.A.Nos.85 of 2005 and 8 of 2006, dated 15.6.2006 respectively, confirming the orders of eviction authority, dated 21.12.2005 and 3.11.2005 and against the judgment of the learned Principal District Judge, Cuddalore made in I.A.Nos.65 and 66 of 2006 in C.M.A.Nos.85 of 2005 and 8 of 2006 respectively, dated 15.6.2006. For Petitioners : Mr.R.Mohammed Nasrullah in CRP. NPD. Nos.807 and 808 of 2007 Mr.R.Gunaraj in CRP. NPD. Nos.1532 and 1533 of 2006 For Respondents : Mr.N.A.K.Sarma, Caveator in CRP. NPD. Nos.807 and 808 of 2007 R1 given up in CRP.NPD.Nos.1532 and 1533 of 2006

COMMON ORDER



This order shall govern all these four civil revision petitions.

2.In these revision petitions, a challenge is made to the orders of the learned Principal District Judge, Cuddalore made in two CMAs, namely in C.M.A.Nos.85 of 2005 and 8 of 2006 and in two interlocutory applications, namely I.A.Nos.65 and 66 of 2006 respectively.

3.Heard the learned counsel for the revision petitioners and also the learned counsel for the respondent. CMA No.85 of 2005 was filed by Murugan, the appellant therein, challenging the order of eviction, directing him to vacate the quarters, while the other C.M.A.No.8 of 2006 was filed by the same person, challenging the order to vacate him from the shop premises. Both the orders were passed by the Estate Officer. Pending CMAs., two interlocutory applications, as referred to above, were filed by one Premkumar to add him as a party to those proceedings. On enquiry, all the four were dismissed. Hence, these four civil revision petitions have arisen before this court.

4.Admittedly, the said Murugan was given license to occupy the shop premises bearing Stall No.16, Amaravathy Shopping Complex, Block-16, Neyveli with effect from 12.7.1993 and he was running the trade Gas stove spares and service. He was also allotted the residential quarters and he was also occupying the same. The N.L.C., the licenser, found that there was a breach of condition by way of sub lease and also change in trade and therefore, eviction proceedings were initiated. An enquiry was actually taken and there was an order passed by the Estate Officer for handing over of possession of the premises. He challenged both the orders by way of C.M.As. While CMAs were pending, two interlocutory applications were filed by one Premkumar, stating that he was a necessary party; that he was in occupation and pursuant to the guidelines also, he has been occupying the same and under such circumstances, he should be heard. Pending all the proceedings, a writ petition was filed in W.P.No.3971 of 2006 along with miscellaneous petition and an order came to be passed by this court on 13.2.2006, whereby permission was given to the revision petitioner to raise the contentions before the appellate forum and there was also a direction in respect of the guidelines published in the Government of India Notification. All the CMAs and the interlocutory applications were taken up for enquiry. The learned District Judge, after doing so, dismissed all the four, which are the subject matter of challenge before this court.

5.Advancing his arguments on behalf of the revision petitioners in all the CRPs, two filed by the said Murugan, the appellant before the lower court and the other two filed by Premkumar, who filed two interlocutory petitions to add him as party, the learned counsel would submit that in the instant case, originally, it is true that the shop premises and quarters were leased out to the said Murugan; that it would be quite clear that it was not a license, but a lease; that subsequently, as per the Guidelines, application was made on 1.10.2005 itself to recognise Premkumar as licensee thereon; that the purpose of making application is to recognise the persons, who are on sub-lease; that though application was given on 1.10.2005, subsequently, it was altered to be as if it was filed on 11.11.2005 in order to reject the application; that the application, accordingly, found to be out of time; that in the meanwhile, possession was taken in respect of the shop on 20.12.2005 by Premkumar and he was actually in possession of the premises as on today; that so far as quarters is concerned, it continued to be in possession of Premkumar even today; that he has filed the application, which is also pending in the hands of the authority, but not yet considered; that the guidelines were not strictly adhered to; that when shop premises was leased out to Murugan, the quarters was also allotted; and that there is no impediment in giving the quarters also to Premkumar, who was actually in possession.

6.The learned counsel would further add that in the public auction also, Premkumar took possession of the same and thus, he was actually in possession by way of public auction also and under these circumstances, the appellate forum has not considered all or any one of the aspects; that the Estate Officer, who has passed the order, was the subordinate Officer of the N.L.C. and hence, no fair order could be expected from him and apart from that guidelines were not strictly adhered to and under these circumstances, the orders passed by the appellate forum have got to be set aside.

7.Contrary to the above, it is contended by the learned counsel for the respondent that it is true, originally, the properties, namely quarters and shop, were leased out to Murugan and there was breach of condition by way of sub lease and under these circumstances, proceedings were initiated; that on enquiry, the Estate Officer has passed an order of eviction, pursuant to which, actually the possession was taken on 20.12.2005; that in the meanwhile, the property was given in sublease to Premkumar; that now, it is a matter of surprise to note that when the matter was pending before the lower court by way of CMAs filed by Murugan, the other person, namely Premkumar wanted to implead him as a party to the proceedings; that it is pertinent to point out that a joint application was filed by both on 11.11.2005; that the lower court has clearly pointed out that the application bore the seal of NLC, dated 11.11.2005; and that the contention that the application was filed on 1.10.2005 was nothing, but a story invented in order to make out a case, if possible, but in vain.

8.The learned counsel would further add that so far as quarters are concerned, originally, it is true, it was given to Murugan and as on today, Premkumar has taken the shop by way of lease in a public auction and the quarters was not allotted to him; that eviction was ordered in respect of shop and the possession has been taken from Murugan on 20.12.2005; that so far as quarters is concerned, Premkumar continued to be in possession; that if to be so, it is illegal and he could not continue; that the application filed by him has to be considered on the merits of it; that the contention that Murugan was allotted and therefore, Premkumar is also to be allowed to continue in the same cannot be sustained and that all the contentions raised were considered by the appellate forum and it has rejected the same and hence, all the civil revision petitions have got to be dismissed.

9.The Court has paid its anxious consideration on the submissions made. The court is of the considered opinion that all the four civil revision petitions require an order of dismissal. Admittedly, one Murugan, who was the revision petitioner in first two CRPs, was actually allotted the shop and also quarters in the year 1993 and he was occupying so, which is not in dispute. At one point of time, it was found that there was breach of condition and there was sublease to one Premkumar, who was the revision petitioner in the other two CRPs. When it was found, by issuing notice, the Estate Officer has passed an order of eviction.

10.The first contention that the Estate Officer is only a subordinate and hence, no fair order could be expected from him has got to be discountenanced, because the order was tested by the appellate forum and it has been considered. The contention that was raised by the revision petitioner is that it was not a license, but it was lease and the said Murugan continued to be in possession and there was no sub lease and this was the stand taken by him. The other person, Premkumar, wanted to make an application to implead him as a party to the proceedings, stating that he was in possession of the property. Further, the surprising fact is that a joint application was made by both the persons to the N.L.C. for recognising his occupation. The contention of the learned counsel for the petitioner that the application was made on 1.10.2005, i.e. on or before the last date, namely 31.10.2005, has got to be discountenanced, since the application bore the seal of N.L.C., dated 11.11.2005. Apart from that, the court is of the considered opinion that even assuming that the application was filed on 1.10.2005 as contended by the revision petitioner, that application did not have any legal force for the simple reason that last date for filing the application was 31.10.2005 and the application was to be made only by a person, who seeks licence to be granted in his favour. In the instant case, the further contention of the revision petitioner, namely Murugan, was that he continued to be in possession of the property and the eviction was actually taken legally on 20.12.2005. If to be so, once a stand was taken that the said Murugan was in possession and on 20.12.2005, the possession has been taken, it has to be taken in law that he was out of possession of the property. Once such a stand was taken, now the contention that application was filed by Premkumar on 1.10.2005, i.e. within time the application was made, is of no legal consequence. 11.The further fact to be taken note of in this case is that when there was public auction made in respect of shop premises, the said Premkumar has participated and has taken possession, pursuant to the auction and as on today, he was in occupation of the same also. Once he was in occupation of the premises, he cannot take two stands that he got the property through public auction and also through the said Murugan and therefore, he continued to be in possession and it must be recognised. As on today, once through the public auction, the said Premkumar has taken the shop premises on lease and he is in possession, there cannot be any legal impediment to recognise the same. So far as the quarters is concerned, it cannot be stated that since Murugan was not in possession of the same, the Premkumar must be continued to be in possession of the same. So long as the license issued in favour of Murugan in respect of quarters has not come to an end, no question of continuation or occupation of the quarters, originally allotted to Murugan, by Premkumar would arise. Under these circumstances, it cannot be stated that the guidelines were not followed. While dismissing all the CRPs, the court is of the considered opinion that once it is brought to the notice of the court that an application has also been filed by Premkumar before the N.L.C. in respect of the quarters, there cannot be any impediment for the N.L.C. to consider the same on merits and in accordance with the guidelines and pass suitable orders within a period of two months from the date of receipt of copy of this order. Till the disposal of the said application, the possession of the Premkumar, as on today, should not be disturbed. With the above observations, these civil revision petitions are dismissed. No costs. Consequently, connected MPs are also dismissed. vvk

To

The Principal District Judge

Cuddalore.

[PRV/10590]


Copyright

Reproduced in accordance with s52(q) of the Copyright Act 1957 (India) from judis.nic.in, indiacode.nic.in and other Indian High Court Websites

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