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Occupation Of Rented Premises By Tenant’s Son-In-Law Amounts To Subletting: SC [Read Judgment]

The relationship is not like that of a spouse being allowed to carry out a business in the same house, the Court said.

The Supreme Court in Munshi Lal vs. Smt. Santosh, has observed that if a tenant enters into a partnership agreement with his son-in-law and allows him to occupy the tenanted premises, without obtaining the consent of the landlord, it cannot be said that there is no parting of possession.

The high court in the instant case had upheld the view taken by the appellate authority, which had relied on Smt. Krishnawati Vs. Shri Hans Raj (1974) 1 SCC 289, in which it was held that in an arrangement where the premises was rented by the husband, and the wife was allowed to carry out business in a part of the premises, would not amount to subletting.

 “In this case, the relationship is not like that of a spouse being allowed to carry out a business in the same house. The relationship is of a son-in-law and father-in-law who had entered into a partnership agreement,” a bench comprising Justice SA Bobde and Justice L Nageswara Rao said.

The court, referring to provisions of the Delhi Rent Control Act, also observed that the consent of land lord is required in either case, whether a person has been inducted genuinely as a partner and, therefore, allowed to occupy the premises or whether the partnership is a ruse.

The court said there was a failure to obtain consent in writing from the appellants, which is a clear pre-requisite for allowing any person to occupy the premises, and a tenant cannot be allowed to employ a subterfuge and permit another person to occupy the premises by claiming that he is a partner when the real intention is to sublet, without obtaining the consent in writing of the landlord.

Read the Judgment here.

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