The Supreme Court, interpreting the provisions of Kerala Buildings (Lease and Rent Control), Act, 1965, observed that sub-letting of any part of the tenanted premises gives the landlord the right to eviction from the whole premises.
The contention taken in this case by the landlord was that even if the sub-tenancy is created in part of the premises, the entitlement of eviction is in respect of the whole of the premises.
To answer this contention, the bench comprising Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and KM Joseph referred to the judgment in M. Meeramytheen & Ors. v. K. Parameswaran Pillai, which, according to it, covers the issue in all fours. It said:
A bare reading of sub-para (i) of sub-section (4) of Section 11 of the said Act leaves no manner of doubt that the cause arises upon the tenant transferring his rights under a lease and sub-lets the entire building "or any portion thereof", if the lease does not confer on him any right to do so. The proviso requires that the landlord should have sent a registered notice to the tenant intimating the contravention of the said condition of the lease and upon the tenant failing to terminate the transfer or the sub-lease, as the case may be, within thirty (30) days of the receipt 10 of the notice, an application for eviction could be made by the landlord. Thus, sub-letting of any part of the tenanted premises gives right to eviction from the whole premises. That is how the statute reads and that is also, in our opinion, a reasonable interpretation of the same, as, if one tenancy is created it would not be appropriate to pass eviction order only in respect of a part thereof, and not the whole. The provision reading clearly, and in view of the aforesaid judicial pronouncements, there is no doubt about this proposition.
The bench observed that it is not expected of a landlord to allege sub-letting of the whole premises if the sub-letting is only in part of the premises. No doubt the appellants have not specifically claimed that by sub-letting a portion, the whole premises is liable to be vacated, but then that is the legal consequence as is emerging from the legal position, it added.
Allowing the appeal, the bench held that the landlords are entitled to a decree of eviction for the entire premises, mentioned as tenanted premises, on the ground of the Tenants having sub-let a part of the premises.
Case name: K. Lubna vs. BeeviCase no.: C.A. Nos. 2442-2443 Of 2011Coram: Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and KM Joseph
Click here to Read/Download Judgment