The Rajasthan High Court has observed that the basic object of the Rajasthan Rent Control Act, 1950 is to save the harassment of tenants from unscrupulous landlords. The court added that the said object may not be misconstrued to deprive the landlords of their bona fide properties for all times to come.
Justice Sudesh Bansal observed,
"It may be noticed that the rent control legislation was entitled to strike a reasonable balance between the landlord and tenant. At one hand where the tenant requires adequate protection against his eviction at the hands of aggressive designed greedy landlord, at the same time rights of landlord also require protection to increase the rent reasonably and to evict tenant on the grounds permissible in law. The basic object of the Rent Control Act, 1950 is to save the harassment of tenant from unscrupulous landlords. The object of the Rent Control Act, 1950 may not be misconstrued to deprive the landlords of their bona fide properties for all times to come."
While observing that the rented premise in the instant case was in tenancy of the tenant since 1948, the court granted three months' time to the appellant-tenant to vacate and hand over the rented premise to respondents, subject to payment of due arrears of rent/mesne profits, if any.
The court opined,
"It has also said that as a whole second appeal under Section 100 CPC it is not permissible for the High Court to re-appreciate evidence on record and interfere with the findings recorded by the courts below and/or the first appellate court. If the first appellate court has exercised its discretion in a judicial manner, its decision cannot be recorded as suffered from an error either of law or of procedural require interference in the second appeal. Ordinarily, the High Court should not interfere with the concurrent findings of fact unless the same suffer from grave perversity or based on the inadmissible evidence or have been passed without evidence."
It was also opined by the court that the re-appreciation of evidence by the High Court while exercising the jurisdiction under Section 100 CPC is not permissible, unless and until some perversity in the fact findings recorded by both courts below either based on misreading/non-reading of evidence or based on some inadmissible evidence or passed ignoring evidence on record have been pointed out. The court noted that both fact finding courts have evaluated the evidence produced by parties and observed that though, the defendants-tenant deposited the rent from January, 1983 in the court under Section 19(A) of the Act of 1950, but such deposition has been held as invalid.
Further, the court said that neither tenant could prove that before deposition of rent in court under Section 19(A) of the Act of 1950, he remitted the due rent from January, 1983 through postal money order to the landlord nor could show that he sent a notice to the landlord asking his bank account details. In such a backdrop of factual matrix, the substantial question of law does not arise at all in the present case and deserves to be answered in negative, added the court.
Thereafter, the court considered the substantial question whether or not the plaintiffs were estopped from filing a suit on ground of default as envisaged under Section 13(1)(a) of the act when there was a practice in between the parties to pay and accept the rent yearly.
In this regard, the court noted that the period of default in the present case is from 01.01.1983 to 30.09.1983. The court also noted that the defendants-tenants never took a defence in their written statement that the rent for the previous years prior to January, 1983 was being paid yearly. The court added that in evidence also, the defendants-tenants never put a suggestive question to the plaintiff-landlord that rent was being paid yearly prior to 1983 and not on a monthly basis. Thus, this substantial question of law is based on the factual matrix, which is not available on record and thereby deserves to be answered in negative, added the court.
The rented premises comprising two shops at Ajmer were in the tenancy of the tenant-Mangal Das since 1948 @ Rs.150/- per month. The respondent-plaintiff landlord instituted a civil suit for eviction on 26.11.1983 invoking Section 13 of the Rajasthan Premise (Control of Rent and Eviction) Act, 1950 on the various grounds of default, nuisance, substantial damages and subletting. The landlord pleaded that the tenant has committed default in payment of rent for more than six months and through registered notice, he had asked the tenant to pay the due rent and to vacate the rented shop, however, since the tenant did not respond to the notice, the present suit was filed.
The tenant admitted his tenancy in the rented shops since 1948, however, denied all the grounds of eviction. In relation to the default, the tenant took a defence that the rent was tendered through money order which was refused by the landlord and thereafter the due rent has been deposited in the court. He contended that the landlord had knowledge about deposition of due rent in the court, however, thereafter he initiated the present eviction suit. Thus, it was contended that the tenant has not committed any default in payment of rent.
Thereafter, the trial court, after thorough examination, refused to extend the benefit of first default to the tenant. Finally, the decree for eviction on the ground of default was passed. In furtherance, the tenant filed the first appeal. The first appellate court re-heard the matter as a whole and after reappreciation of the evidence on record as also considering the proposition of law, concurred with the fact findings on the issue of default recorded by the trial court. Notably, the first appellate court also considered the application under Order 41 Rule 27 CPC to produce additional evidence. The first appeal was also dismissed and hence, this second appeal has been preferred.
Adv. Ajay Singh with Adv. Deepa Choudhary appeared for the appellants while Adv. Aditya Jain with Adv. Bhavya Golecha appeared for the respondents.
Case Title: Mangal Das through LRS v. Amar Singh through LRS
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Raj) 172