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w w w . L a w y e r S e r v i c e s . i n



S.C. Bansal and Another v/s Dr. Subhash C. Kashyap


Company & Directors' Information:- BANSAL CORPORATION LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74899DL1999PLC102216

Company & Directors' Information:- B. BANSAL AND COMPANY PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U24246UP1996PTC020088

    C.R. 679 & C.M. 2297 of 1989

    Decided On, 10 August 1990

    At, High Court of Delhi

    By, THE HONBLE MR. JUSTICE SUNANDA BHANDARE

    For the Appearing Parties : Mukul Rohtagi, Ravi Gupta, Advocates.



Judgment Text

SUNANDA BHANDARE, J.


This revision petition under Section 25-B(8) of the Delhi Rent Control Act (hereinafter referred to as the Act) is directed against the judgment and order of the Rent Controller, Delhi dated 16.1989 whereby the application for leave to defend filed by the petitioners was dismissed.


2. The respondent let out the first floor premises of property No. D-298 Sarvodya Enclave, New Delhi to petitioner No. 1 for the residence of petitioner No. 2. The respondent who was working as Secretary General, Lok Sabha filed a petition for eviction under Section 14-C read with Section 25-B of the Act for eviction of the petitioners on the ground that he requires the premises for his own residence after his retirement in May, 1989. Summons of this petition were duly served on the petitioners and in response to the same, the petitioners filed two separate applications for leave to defend. The application for leave to defend was supported by two separate affidavits of the two petitioners. The petitioners sought leave to defend on the following two grounds:


3. That the respondent being the Secretary General, Lok Sabha is not an employee of the Central Government and thus is not entitled to invoke Section 14-C of the Act. It was contended that the Lok Sabha Secretariat enjoys an independent and autonomous status under the Constitution of India and is independent of the Central Government both administratively and financially. Article 98(1) of the Constitution provides for a separate Secretariat staff for both Houses of Parliament. The conditions of service of the officers and staff of the Secretariat is governed by Lok Sabha Secretariat (Recruitment and Conditions of Service) Rules, 1955. The appointment to various posts in the Secretariat, the conduct and discipline and control of officers is vested with the Speaker which indicates that independent position has been given to the Secretariat to ensure that the Secretariat of the Lok Sabha performs its duties without fear or favour of the executive government. It was thus submitted that the pre-condition for application of Section 14-C of the Act not being satisfied, the respondent is not entitled to get summary eviction of the petitioners.


4. That the respondent-landlord does not require the suit premises for his own residence inasmuch as the ground floor and basement in the premises itself is available to the respondent for his residence and he owns a dwelling house at Sainik Farms.


5. An affidavit in reply was filed by the respondent before the Rent Controller and it was submitted though there is a special status given to the Lok Sabha Secretariat, it is meant only for giving independence in internal matters but for all practical purposes, the Secretary-General is a Central Government officer having same powers as any other Secretary of a department of a Government of India. The respondent reiterated that he is entitled to get eviction of the petitioners under Section 14-C of the Act like any other Central Government servant. On the second question of availability of other accommodation for his residence, the respondent stated in his affidavit that previously that ground floor of the suit premises was occupied by a professor of Jawaharlal Nehru University but after he left, the respondent decided to keep the premises under self-occupation of the family so that he could use it immediately on retirement. The ground floor and the basement is thus in possession of the son of the respondent who acts as a care-taker and the son will vacate those premises immediately on the retirement of the respondent. The respondent however submitted that he is accustomed to live in a big house and thus the ground floor of the premises in dispute alone will not be enough and he will not be in a position to shift to the ground floor till the first floor is vacated.


6. No one appeared for the respondent at the hearing of the case today though a memo of appearance has been filed on his behalf by a Counsel.


7. The short question which falls for consideration is whether the petitioners are entitled to leave to defend the petition filed by the respondent. In other words, whether the petitioners have raised any triable issue in their application for leave to defend and the affidavit in support thereof filed before the Rent Controller. The Rent Controller has observed that the nature of the job of the respondent is only to serve one of the chief organs of the Union of India and salary is being paid out of Consolidated Fund of India. These two factors are enough to hold that the respondent as Secretary-General of Lok Sabha is an employee of the Central Government because Lok Sabha comes directly under the Central Government. The Rent Controller has further observed that no other accommodation is available to the respondent for his residence because the basement is occupied by his son who is running some commercial activity from the said premises from there.


8. It was contended by the learned Counsel for the petitioners that both the issues raised by the petitioners in their application for leave to defend could not be said to be sham or moon-shine and the Rent Controller ought to have given an opportunity to the petitioners to lead evidence to prove the same. Learned Counsel referred to Article 98 of the Constitution of India and submitted that the appointment of the respondent has been made by the Speaker of the Lok Sabha. The Lok Sabha Secretariat enjoys an independent and autonomous status under the Constitution of India and is independent of the Central Government both administratively and financially. Learned Counsel submitted that if the petitioners were given an opportunity to contest the suit they would have shown at the hearing of the case that the Secretary-General of the Lok Sabha is not an employee of the Central Government. Learned counsel submitted that Section 14-C of the Act provides for speedy remedy only to Central Government employees and employees of the Delhi Administration and the Legislature has deliberately kept other persons who are not .in employment of the Central Government like the respondent, persons holding constitutional posts like Judges of the High Court and Supreme Court employees of Public sector undertakings, etc. outside the purview of Sec. 14-C of the Act. Learned Counsel further submitted that the Rent Controller has completely ignored the fact that the ground floor and basement of the suit premises is immediately available to the respondent for his retirement. Learned Counsel referred to the judgment of the Supreme Court in Narain Khamman v. Parduman Kumar Jain, 1985 (1) SCR 1025, 1985 AIR(SC) 4, 1985 (1) SCC 1, 1985 UJ 422, 1985 (1) RCR 63, 1985 (1) RentLR 166, and submitted that once it is shown that other premises are available to the respondent for his residence he cannot maintain a petition under Section 14-C of the Act. Learned counsel submitted that though the Supreme Court in Narain Khamman's case (supra) has made observations to that effect while dealing with a case under Section 14-A of the Act, the same principle would be applicable when a petition is filed under Section 14-C of the Act because both these provisions provide for summary enjectment of tenants.


9. I find great force in the contention of the learned counsel for the petitioners. Undoubtedly, it cannot be said that the issued by the petitioners were such that they could be disposed of without trial. Not only the petitioners ought to have been given an opportunity to prove by way of evidence that the respondent is not a Central Government employee but more important he should have been given an opportunity to prove that the accommodation which is available with the respondent for his residence in the suit premises disentitles him from getting the eviction of the petitioners by taking recourse to Section 14-C of the Act. Section 14-C of the Act provides for speedy eviction of a tenant if the landlord is a retired employee of the Central Government or the Delhi Administration and the premises let out by him are requir

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ed for his own residence. It is always open to a tenant to show that the premises are not required by the landlord for his own residence because some other premises are presently available to him for his own residence. Since the petitioners have categorically stated in their affidavit in support of their application for leave to defend that the premises are available with the respondent for his residence in the same bungalow, in my view, the petitioners ought to have been given leave to defend the suit. 10. In the circumstances, the petition is allowed. The order of the Rent Controller dated 1.6.1989 is set aside. The petitioners are granted leave to defend the petition filed before the Rent Controller. Parties to appears before the Rent Controller on 24.9.1990 for further proceedings. The petitioners may file their written statement before the Rent Controller before that date. No costs.
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