The Supreme Court in Gulshera Khanam vs. Aftab Ahmad, has held that any woman, married or unmarried, who has a legal right of residence in the building, is also included in the definition of “family” in relation to landlord, and is entitled to seek eviction of the tenant from such building for her bonafide need.
The Bench comprising Justice J. Chelameswar and Justice Abhay Manohar Sapre set aside the Allahabad High Court judgment that had held that Section 3(g)(iii) of the of Uttar Pradesh Urban Buildings (Regulation of Letting, Rent and Eviction) Act, 1972, includes only an “unmarried daughter” and that the landlord cannot seek eviction for the need of her married daughter.
The court interpreted the provisions of Uttar Pradesh Urban Buildings (Regulation of Letting, Rent and Eviction) Act, 1972, which defines “family” in relation to landlord or tenant of a building to include (1) spouse (2) male lineal descendants (3) such parents, grandparents, unmarried or widowed or divorced or judicially separated daughter or daughter of a male lineal descendant as may have been residing with the landlord. The Bench noted that, the definition further says, “family” includes in relation to landlord, any female having a legal right of residence in that building. The Bench observed: “A fortiori, any female, if she is having a legal right of residence in the building, is also included in the definition of “family” in relation to landlord regardless of the fact whether she is married or not. In other words, in order to claim the benefit of expression "family", a female must have a "legal right of residence" in the building. Such female would then be entitled to seek eviction of the tenant from such building for her need.”
On the facts of the case, the court observed: “Dr. Naheed Parveen being the daughter, accordingly, received her share and became co-owner of the building along with other co-sharers. Being a co-owner, she got a legal right of residence in the building as provided under Section 3(g) of the Act. In this way, she fulfilled the definition of “family” under Section 3 (g) of the Act.”
Landlord sole judge to decide the space he needs
With regard to challenge against bonafides of the need urged, the court observed the landlord’s need for additional space for the expansion of clinic activities for her daughter cannot be said to be unjust or unreasonable in any manner. “It is a well settled principle laid down by this court in rent matters that the landlord is the sole judge to decide as to how much space is needed for him/her to start or expand any of his/her activity,” the Bench observed.
Read the Judgment here.