Civil Court Has Power To Try Pending Eviction Suits, If The Suit Property Comes Under Notified Area During Pendency: SC [Read Judgment]
The Supreme Court in Rajender Bansal & Ors. Vs. Bhuru (D), has held that a civil court would not cease to have jurisdiction to try a pending suit of eviction if the suit property came under the notified area during pendency of the suit.
The bench comprising Justice AK Sikri and Justice NV Ramana summarised the following principles laid down in several decisions like Mansoor Khan Vs. Moti Ram and Atma Ram Mittal Vs. Ishwar Singh Punia:
- Rights of the parties stand crystallised on the date of the institution of the suit and, therefore, the law applicable on the date of filing of the suit will continue to apply until suit is disposed of or adjudicated.
- If during the pendency of the suit, the Rent Act becomes applicable to the premises in question, that would be of no consequence and it would not take away the jurisdiction of civil court to dispose of a suit validly instituted.
- In order to oust the jurisdiction of civil court, there must be a specific provision in the Act taking away the jurisdiction of the civil court in respect of those cases also which were validly instituted before the date when protection of the Rent Act became available in respect of the said area/premises/tenancy.
- In case the aforesaid position is not accepted and the protection of the Rent Act is extended even in respect of suit validly instituted prior in point of time when there was no such protection under the Act, it will have the consequence of making the decree, that is obtained prior to the Rent Act becoming applicable to the said area/premises, inexecutable after the application of the Rent Act in respect of such premises. This would not be in consonance with the legislative intent.
However, referring to Mani Subrat Jain Vs. Raja Ram Vohra and Lakshmi Narayan Guin and Others Vs. Niranjan Modak, the court observed that the above principles would be subject to one exception that, in case of definition of 'tenant' and provisions pertaining to eviction of tenants contained in the Rent Act covers even those cases where the tenancy has been terminated (or depending upon the provisions of the Rent Act, even when civil court has passed the decree), the protection provided under such provision would come to the rescue of the tenant even in respect of pending cases.
Read the Judgment here.
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