At, High Court of Madhya Pradesh
By, THE HONOURABLE MR. RAJENDRA KUMAR (VERMA)
For the Applicant: Jaideep Sirpurkar, Advocate. For the Respondent: J.L. Soni, Advocate.
This civil revision under Section 23-E of the M.P.
1. Accommodation Control Act, 1961 (for short the 'Act') has been preferred by the tenant/applicant being aggrieved by the order dated 03.07.2020 passed by the Sub Divisional Officer (Revenue)/Rent Controlling Authority, Betul in Case No.0056/B-121/2020-21 whereby under Section 23-A of the Act, an order of eviction has been passed against the applicant with a direction to vacate the suit house and also to pay the arrears of rent to the non-applicant/landlord.
2. It is not in dispute that non-applicant/landlord is the owner of a house situated at Nazul Sheet 8, Plot No.63/1. The applicant is the tenant of the non- applicant in the said suit house. A tenancy agreement was executed and rent of the accommodation was fixed at Rs.2,000/- per month.
3. It is alleged by the non-applicant/landlord that there are arrears of rent Signature Not Verified SAN against the applicant and despite repeated requests to vacate the suit house, the C.R.No.189/2020 applicant did not vacate the suit house and threatened him to take over possession of the suit house. Hence, the non-applicant/landlord filed an application under Section 23-A of the Act. The applicant has raised an objection that the non-applicant/landlord is not covered under the category of "special landlord" under Section 23-J of the Act. After taking the evidence of the applicant and non-applicant/landlord, the impugned order has been passed.
4. Learned counsel for the applicant submits that the impugned order is illegal and contrary to law and has been passed without jurisdiction as the Sub Divisional Officer (Revenue) / Rent Controlling Authority has only jurisdiction to deal with the cases of bonafides requirement and not arrears of rent. The non-applicant/landlord does not qualify to be a 'special landlord' as envisaged under Section 23-J of the Act to maintain the present proceedings. Objection with regard to status of the non-applicant/landlord as 'special landlord' has not been decided by the Sub Divisional Officer (Revenue)/Rent Controlling Authority and he cannot deal with a case of arrears of rent.
5. Heard learned counsel for the parties at length and perused the record.
6. First of all, for the ready reference Section 23-J of the Act is reproduced below:
"23J. Definition of landlord for the purposes of Chapter III-A. - For the purpose of this Chapter 'landlord' means a landlord who is-
(i) a retired servant of any Government including a retired member of Defence Services; or
(ii) a retired servant of a company owned or controlled either by the Central or State Government; or
(iii) a widow or a divorced wife; or
(iv) physically handicapped person; or
(v) a servant of any Government including a member of defence services who, according to his service conditions, is not entitled to Government accommodation on his posting to a place where he owns a house or is entitled to such accommodation only on payment of a penal rent on his posting to such a place."
There is nothing in the impugned order to show that the non- applicant/landlord is covered by definition of 'special landlord' for the purpose of Chapter III-A of the Act.
7. For the ready reference Section 23-A of the Act is reproduced below:
"23A. Special provision for eviction of tenant on ground of bonafide requirement.- Notwithstanding anything contained in any other law for the time being in force or contract to the contrary, a landlord may submit an application, signed and verified in a manner provided in Rules 14 and 15 of Order VI of the First Schedule to the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (V of 1908) as if it were a plaint to the Rent Controlling Authority on one or more of the following grounds for an order directing the tenant to put the landlord in possession of the accommodation, namely :-
(a) that the accommodation let for residential purposes is required "bonafide" by the landlord for occupation as residence for himself or for any member of his family, or for any person for whose benefit, the accommodation is held and that the landlord or such person has no other reasonably suitable residential accommodation of his own in his occupation in the city or town concerned.
Explanation.- For the purposes of this clause, "accommodation let for residential purposes" includes-
(i) any accommodation which having been let for use as a residence is without the express consent of the landlord, used wholly or partly for any non-residential purpose;
(ii) any accommodation which has not been let under an express provision of contract for non-residential purpose;
(b) that the accommodation let for non-residential purposes is required "bonafide" by the landlord for the purpose of continuing or starting his business or that of any of Signature Not Verified SAN his major sons or unmarried daughters, if he is the owner thereof or for any person C.R.No.189/2020 for whose benefit the accommodation is held and that the landlord or such person has no other reasonably suitable non-residential accommodation of his own in his occupation in the city or town concerned:
Provided that where a person who is a landlord has acquired any accommodation or any interest therein by transfer, no application for eviction of tenant of such accommodation shall be maintainable at the instance of such person unless a period of one year has elapsed from the date of such acquisition."
8. From a bare perusal of the aforesaid, it is clear that a decree for eviction cannot be passed by the Rent Controlling Authority on the ground of arrears of rent and the same can be passed under Section 12(1)(a) of the Act only by a Civil
Please Login To View The Full Judgment!
Court. In the case in hand, the eviction is sought only on the basis of arrears of rent and not for bonafide requirement and, therefore, the case of non- applicant/landlord is neither covered under Section 23-A of the Act nor he comes under the definition of 'special landlord' as envisaged in Section 23-J of the Act. 9. In view of the above discussion, in the considered opinion of this Court, the Sub Divisional Officer (Revenue)/Rent Controlling Authority has committed an error of law while passing the impugned order. Consequently, the impugned order is hereby set aside. 10. The Civil Revision stands allowed and disposed of.