1. This Civil Revision Petition is filed under Section 22 of the Telangana Buildings (Lease, Rent and Eviction) Control Act, 1960 (for short, ‘the Act’) challenging the order dt.30.12.2019 passed in R.C.A.No.50 of 2019 of the I Additional Chief Judge, City Small Causes Court, Hyderabad (for short ‘the Appellate authority’), confirming the order dt.21.01.2019 passed in R.C.No.188 of 2016 of the I Additional Rent Controller, City Small Causes Court, Hyderabad (for short ‘the Rent Controller’).
The plea of respondents in R.C.No.188 of 2016
2. The respondents herein filed the said R.C.No.188 of 2016 under Section 10(2)(i) and Section 10(3)(b)(iii) of the above Act with the following averments :
3. The 1st respondent is the absolute owner and possessor of portion of the property bearing Municipal No.5-5-212/5/8 consisting of a tinshed, one room and open yard situate at Patelnagar, Nampally, Hyderabad (referred to as ‘A’ Schedule Property) having acquired it under a registered Partition Deed dt.24.09.2006 vide Document No.1959/2006; the 2nd respondent is absolute owner and possessor of another portion of the property bearing Municipal No.5-5-212/5/8 comprising land admeasuring 170.56 Sq.Yds consisting of tin-shed, one room and open yard situate at Patelnagar, Nampally, Hyderabad (referred to as ‘B’ Schedule Property) having also acquired the same under the above referred Partition Deed.
4. The father of respondents by name Sri P. Arjun Rao had purchased the entire property bearing Municipal No.5-5-212/5/8 comprising of land area of 511.70 Sq.Yds. under a registered Sale Deed dt.27.08.1974; that he had executed a registered Will dt.14.02.2020 and bequeathed the property to his three sons including respondent nos.1 and 2, and another eldest son by name Sri P. Jayaprakash; that Sri P. Arjun Rao expired on 04.03.2001 and the respondents and their brother Sri P. Jayaprakash inherited the said proeprty under the said registered Will. It is contended that the respondents and their brother Sri P. Jayaprakash executed a registered Partition Deed dt.29.04.2006 dividing the property into three portions and thus the respondents became owners of the respective portions (A and B schedule properties) without any interference.
5. According to respondents, the elder brother of respondents by name Sri P. Jayaprakash sold away his portion of the property to one Yousufunnisa Begum in the year 2006 who had let out the said property to M/s.Miracle Glass Traders.
6. The respondents contended that petitioner originally obtained the entire property bearing Municipal No.5-5-212/5/8 with the land area of 511.70 Sq.Yds. from the father of respondents, viz., Sri P.Arjun Rao in the year 2004 on oral tenancy for establishing Motor Mechanical works unit on monthly rent; that the tenancy was from month to month commencing from the first day of the month and ending with last day of the same month; that monthly rent was exclusive of electricity consumption charges and was payable on or before 5th of every English Calendar month; after the death of their father, the petitioner was paying monthly rents to respondents and he last paid the said monthly rent for June, 2016 in July, 2016 on 14.07.2016 at the rate of Rs.1800/- per month and thereafter committed default in payment of rents.
7. It is stated that at the request of their elder brother, viz., P. Jayaprakash, the petitioner vacated and handed over the western portion of the property in the year 2006 and was in occupation as a tenant of only ‘A’ and ‘B’ Schedule properties referred to above totalling to 341.12 Sq.Yds. According to them, by the time of filing of the eviction petition in December, 2006, the petitioner was in arrears of rent of Rs.9000/-, and therefore, he was liable to be evicted from ‘A’ & ‘B’ Schedule properties.
8. It was also contended that the respondents were doing the Motor Mechanical Works under the name and style ‘M/s. Sri Sai Baba Motor Works’ under tenancy since November, 2012 in another property having obtained it on lease from one S. Subhash Reddy on a monthly rent of Rs.8,500/- p.m., and that since one year prior to the filing of the eviction petition in December, 2016, the landlord of the respondents was demanding the respondents to vacate the rented premises for his personal use. They contended that they had no option but to shift their business to the A and B Schedule property ( referred to hereafter as ‘RC schedule property’) and they bona fidely require it for doing their business. They also stated that they did not own any other non-residential property in the Twin-Cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad, and that the petitioner is liable to be evicted on the said ground also.
Counter-affidavit of petitioner in the R.C.
9. Counter-affidavit was filed by the petitioner opposing grant of relief to the respondents in the R.C.
10. The petitioner contended that the respondents did not inform him about the Partititon Deed executed among themselves and their brother in 2006; that he had obtained the R.C. Schedule premises from their father, viz., Sri P. Arjun Rao, on payment of security deposit of Rs.25,000/-; and he had never committed default in payment of rent.
11. He denied that there was any partition of the property or division of the same into separate portions as per the Partition Deed dt.29.04.2006 and contended that it was never acted upon.
12. He contended that in September, 2016, the respondents started illegal interference with his peaceful possession and so the petitioner had filed O.S.No.2440 of 2016 for relief of injunction in a Civil Court and obtained status quo order therein, and the said order is still subsisting.
13. He contended that after filing of the suit, when the respondents failed to receive the rent tendered to them, the petitioner sent the money through Money Orders; but the respondents failed to receive the same. He contended that there was no willful default in payment of rents.
14. He also contended that the respondents and owned and possessed other properties in Hyderabad and Secunderabad, and so their requirement of the R.C. Schedule properties is not bona fide or genuine. 15. Before the Rent Controller, the respondents examined P.W.1 and marked Exs.P.1 to P.4. The counsel for petitioner got marked Exs.R.1 and R.2 by confronting the same during cross-examination of P.W.1. 16.The petitioner examined himself as R.W.1 and marked Exs.R.3 to R.5, but he did not appear and submit himself for cross-examination, and so his evidence was eschewed on 09.11.2018.
17. Thereafter, the petitioner filed I.A.No.148 of 2018 to set aside the order dt.09.11.2018.
18. Though the said I.A. was allowed and several opportunities were given, the petitioner / R.W.1 did not appear before the Court for cross-examination and his evidence was again eschewed on 14.12.2018 and the matter was posted for arguments.
The issues framed by the Rent Controller
19. The Rent Controller framed the following issues :
“1. Whether the respondent has committed willful default in payment of rents from July, 2016 to November, 2016 @ Rs.1800/- per month amounting to Rs.9,000/-?
2. Whether the requirement of the petition schedule premises by the petitioner is bona fide ?
3. To what relief ?”
The order of the Rent Controller
20. The Rent Controller first examined the issue of existence of jural relationship between the parties. He held that there is no dispute with regard to the existence of jural relationship between the parties or with regard to the quantum of rent.
21. He held that since the petitioner did not choose to enter into the witness box whatever pleading he had taken in his counter has to be ignored and an adverse inference has to be drawn. 22. He held that the plea of petitioner that he was not informed about execution of the Partition Deed cannot be accepted and he did not adduce evidence to prove that he did not commit willful default in payment of rents from July, 2016 to November, 2016.
23. He therefore held that he committed willful default in payment of rents to the respondents.
24. The Rent Controller then considered the plea regarding bona fide requirement raised by the respondents and held that the said plea is accepted in view of evidence of P.W.1 and Exs.P.1 to P.4.
25. He therefore allowed the R.C. and directed the petitioner to vacate the ‘A’ and ‘B’ Schedule properties and handover physical vacant possession of the same within two (02) months.
The order of the Appellate Authority
26. This was questioned by the petitioner in R.C.A.No.50 of 2019 before the Additional Chief Judge, City Small Causes Court, Hyderabad in an appeal filed under Section 20(1) of the Act.
27. In the said Appeal, an application under Order 41 Rule 27 of Civil Procedure Code, 1908 was also filed by the petitioner to receive the following documents: (a) Photocopy of registered Rental Agreement dt.06.07.2016 executed between the respondents and one Surender Singh Mann; (b) Photocopy of Andhra Bank Pass Book of the petitioner; and (c) Reply Notice dt.14.11.2019, issued by the respondents stating that the respondents had entered into a Rental Agreement with the said Surender Singh Mann, and that they had suppressed it in the eviction petition filed before the Rent Controller.
28. Counter-affidavit was filed by the respondents to this application under Order 41 Rule 27 C.P.C. filed by the petitioner stating that though they had entered into a Rental Agreement with the said Surender Singh Mann, it was done on the assurance of petitioner to vacate the premises, but since the petitioner did not vacate the premises, the said Rental Agreement was cancelled in 2018, and sought for dismissal of the said petition.
29. The Appellate Authority however took on record these documents and considered the same itself.
30. It observed that the plea of willful default in payment of rents made by the respondents stood established because the petitioner did not file any documents to show that he had given the rents to the respondents or that he had sent the same through Money Orders.
31. It pointed out that when P.W.1 denied the factum of the petitioner sending rent by way of Money Orders, the petitioner did not file any refused Money Order copies in the Court.
32. It also took note of the fact that the petitioner’s evidence was eschewed by the Trial Court since he did not turn up for the crossexamination. It therefore held that the plea of willful default pleaded by the respondents was proved.
33. Coming to the plea of bona fide requirement of the RC Schedule property, it held that evidence of P.W.1 established the plea of bona fide requirement and that the petitioner did not enter the witness box and did not disprove the plea of the respondents.
34. It also held that the Rental Agreement entered into by the respondents with Surender Singh Mann had been cancelled on 03.10.2018 prior to the disposal of the R.C. and accepted the plea of respondents that they had entered into such Rental Agreement on an assurance given by the petitioner to vacate the premises, but since the petitioner did not vacate it, the said Agreement was not acted upon, and was later cancelled.
The consideration by the Court
35. Assailing the same, the present Civil Revision Petition is filed.
36. Heard Sri T. Bala Mohan Reddy, counsel for petitioner; and Sri Ashok Kumar Agarwal, counsel for the caveater / respondents.
37. The counsel for petitioner contended that the Rent Controller as well as the Appellate Authority erred in directing eviction of the petitioner from the R.C. Schedule premises and that they had not correctly appreciated the evidence on record. He also referred to the evidence adduced by petitioner in O.S.No.2440 of 2016 in support of the plea that though rents were offered after July, 2016 to the respondents they did not receive it, and therefore, they cannot contend that the petitioner had committed willful default in payment of rents.
38. It is not in dispute that the petitioner herein, having filed Chief- Examination affidavit in the R.C.No.188 of 2016, did not submit himself to cross-examination, and therefore, his evidence was eschewed by the Rent Controller.
39. The evidence adduced by the petitioner in the Civil Suit O.S.No.2440 of 2016 in relation to the alleged offer of payment of rent by the petitioner to the respondents cannot be taken into consideration in this Revision because that would be material which had not been placed on record by the petitioner either in the R.C.No.188 of 2016 or in the R.A.No.50 of 2019.
40. If the respondents had refused to receive the rents allegedly sent through Money Orders by the petitioner, he ought to have filed the refused Money Orders in his evidence. The petitioner also had an option to follow the procedure set out in Section 8 of the Act, and obtained permission of the Rent Controller for deposit of rents into the Court, but the petitioner has not availed of the same.
41. In the absence of any evidence adduced by the petitioner about payment of rents from July, 2016 to November, 2016, it has to be construed, as was rightly done by the Rent Controller and the Appellate Authority, that the petitioner had committed willful default in payment of rents.
42. Coming to the question of bona fide requirement of the respondents of the R.C. Schedule premises, though the petitioner had contended that the respondents had entered into a registered Agreement with one Surender Singh Mann for grant of lease of the subject premises to him, according to the respondents, such rental Agreement was entered into on an assurance given by the petitioner that he would vacate the R.C. Schedule premises, but the same was later cancelled on 03.10.2018 by them under a Deed of Cancellation which was also registered as Document No.3227 of 2018.
43. The evidence of P.W.1
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in the R.C. that their landlord Sri S. Subhash Reddy asked them to vacate the rented premises being used by them for their business of Motor mechanical works was examined by the Rent Contoller as well as the Appellate Authority, and it was observed that the cross-examination by the petitioner did not shake the said evidence. Therefore, it cannot be said that the Rent Controller as well as the Appellate Authority had erred in directing eviction of the petitioner from the R.C. Schedule premises on the said ground as well. 44. Accordingly, I do not find any error of fact or law in the orders passed by the Rent Controller as well as the Appellate Authority for directing eviction of the petitioner from the R.C. Schedule premises. Therefore, the Civil Revision Petition is dismissed. 45. The petitioner is granted time till 30.09.2020 to vacate the R.C. Schedule property. He shall also deposit the arrears of rent before the Rent Controller from July, 2016 till date, if not paid, within six (06) weeks and continue to pay the rents till 30.9.2020. The petitioner shall also file an undertaking that he would vacate the R.C. Schedule premises within the above time and also state that he will deposit the rents from July, 2016 till 30.9.2020, to the extent he had not done so, within three (03) weeks from the date of receipt of copy of this order. 46. Accordingly, the Civil Revision Petition is dismissed as above. No order as to costs. 47. As a sequel, miscellaneous petitions pending if any in this Civil Revision Petition, shall stand closed.