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Sat Pal Sood v/s Raj Kumar Tulsiani

    C.R. 808/86 & C.M. 1652/90

    Decided On, 03 September 1990

    At, High Court of Delhi

    By, THE HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE SUNANDA BHANDARE

    For the Appearing Parties : Manmohan Sarin, Manjula Chawla, S.K. Duggal, Advocates.



Judgment Text

SUNANDA BHANDARE, J.


The premises consisting of barsati room kitchen, toilet and bath room owned by the petitioner at A-32 Lajpat Nagar-II, New Delhi constructed on a plot of 200 sq. yds. were let out to the respondent at a monthly rent of Rs 250 in July, 1977 for residential purpose a petition for eviction was filed by the petitioner on 28.11.1984 under Section 14(1)(e) read with Section 25-B of the Delhi Rent Control Act, 1958 (hereinafter referred to as the Act) on the ground on bona fide personal need of himself and his family members dependant on him. It was a contended in the said petition that the family of the petitioner consisted himself, his wife, three married sons and their wives, grand children and three married daughters. The petitioner is in occupation of the entire ground floor and first floor of the said premises which consist of 3 bed rooms on the ground floor and two bed rooms on the first floor. The first floor is occupie

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d by the second son of the petitioner who resides there with his family and has an independent mess. Thus it was contended that the petitioner has only the ground floor premises available to him for the residence of rest of the family members. The petitioner submitted that the eldest son of the petitioner was desirous of having a separate mess because his daughter-in-law did not get along well with his wife and even otherwise the ground floor accommodation is inadequate to accommodate petitioner, his wife, two married sons and their wives and grand children. The petitioner also submitted that the petitioner has got three married daughters who occasionally visit him and a room is required to accommodate them whenever they come stay with the petitioner. The Additional Rent controller by his order dated 3.7.1986 dismissed the eviction petition. This revision petition is directed against the said order of the additional Rent Controller dated 3.7.1986.


3. The revision petition was admitted on 28.10.1986. The petitioner thereafter filed an application for early hearing being CM 5.93 of 1990 petitioner stated in this application the petitioner is, now suffering from tension and Ischeamic heart disease and is under the treatment of Dr. Ved Prakash and Consultant Dr. Naresh Trehan of the Escorts Heart Institute and Research Centre. The petitioner's wife is also suffering from endogenous discretion and is under the treatment of Dr. K.K. Kothari, Consultant Psychiatrist, Holy Family Hospital. The petitioner has placed on record the certificate issued by the doctors certifying that the petitioner and his wife are under their treatment. It is submitted in the said application that in view of the health of the petitioner and his wife, they are required to avoid mental strain and non-availability of accommodation is disrupting their harmonious life. The respdt. also filed an application (C.M./l652/90) under Section 151 of the Code of Civil Procedure stating therein that certain subsequent events had taken place which reduced the need of the petitioner. The respondent submitted that one of the sons of the petitioner has now permanently shifted to Gauhati and thus the need has reduced. A reply has been filed to the said application. The petitioner has denied that his son is posted at Gauhati. The petitioner has given the employment details of the son and has also placed on record documents like ration card, children's school certificates etc. to show that the son along with his family is very much in Delhi and has only occasionally to visit Assam.


4. It was submitted by the learned Counsel for the petitioner that the respondent was inducted in the premises on the second floor in the year 1977 and the petitioner filed the eviction petition in 1980 only after his need arose. Learned Counsel submitted that since then the family of the petitioner has further grown inasmuch as the petitioner's family now consists of himself, his wife, three married sons with their wives, six grand children, three married daughters who occasionally visit the petitioner and the petitioner's sisters who also occasionally visit the petitioner. The accommodation that is available with the petitioner consists of only five rooms. The first floor is fully occupied by the second son because he has a separate mess and thus the petitioner is not able to accommodate the rest of the family members on the ground floor. The ground floor consists of only three bed rooms and even if the petitioner and his wife occupy one room and his two sons with their wives occupy two rooms, he has no accommodation left for the grand children and the visiting daughters. Learned Counsel submitted that the need of the petitioner is genuine. Learned Counsel submitted that the Additional Rent Controller has disregard the need of the petitioner. Learned Counsel submitted that the petitioner does not have to prove that he is hard-pressed for accommodation or there is scarcity of accommodation with the petitioner but has to show that the need is genuine and bona fide and eviction is not sought for ulterior reasons. Learned Counsel referred to the evidence led by the petitioner in support of his contention that the accommodation on the first floor which is in possession of the second son of the petitioner is not available to the petitioner to accommodate the rest of the family members.


5. On the other hand, learned Counsel for the respondent submitted that while considering the need, the whole of the premises i.e. accommodation available on the ground floor and first floor, should be taken into account to ascertain whether sufficient accommodation is available with the petitioner.


6. To obtain an order of eviction under Section 14(1)(e) of the Act the landlord has to show that the bona fide requires the premises for occupation as a residence for himself or for the members of his family dependant on him. For this purpose, he has also to show that he has no other reasonable suitable residential accommodation. The Additional Rent Controller is, therefore, required to ascertain whether the claim of the landlord is reasonable. If it is found that the landlord has sought eviction for ulterior purpose, the need cannot be said to be reasonable. For ascertaining the reasonableness of the need, the status of the landlord, the number of family members and the accommodation already in his possession has to be considered.


7. In the present case, I find that the approach of the Additional Rent Controller is not correct. The Additional Rent Controller has observed that he is not satisfied that the petitioner is hard-pressed or there is scarcity of accommodation available with the petitioner. In my view, the landlord is not required to prove that he is hard-pressed for accommodation. He is only required to show that the accommodation in his possession is insufficient and he bona fide needs the accommodation in possession of the tenant for his residence or the residence of family members dependant on him. Thus, if circumstances permit and landlord to live in his own house more comfortably it cannot be said that the need of the landlord is not bona fide. On going through the evidence I find that the second son of the petitioner is occupying the whole of the first floor and he has a separate mess. The only accommodation available with the petitioner is the three bed room accommodation, on the ground floor. Now it cannot be said, by any stretch of imagination that three couples with four grand children can be accommodated in a three bed room accommodation comfortably. I do not think on the facts of the present case I need go in the question of the need of the petitioner to accommodate his married daughters on their occasional visits. Even if that need is disregarded, in my view, for the family members who are living with the petitioner, the accommodation is not sufficient. It is not uncommon that when families live jointly in a small accommodation, sometimes there is a rift between the family members. At times, this rift can be avoided if there is availability of larger accommodation. Thus, if the petitioner feels that by getting the barsati room vacated, he can accommodate one of his sons with his family on the barsati floor it cannot be said that the petitioner has made any unjustified claim. With a growing family, the need of accommodation also grows. The petitioner has a large family and if he wants a tenant to vacate to make his family more comfortable it cannot be said that his need is not bona fide. From the accommodation available with the petitioner it cannot be said that he has reasonable accommodation in his occupation to accommodate his family members. I do not find any force in the contention of the respondent that now the need of the petitioner has reduced because one son has shifted to Assam. The documents placed on record clearly show that the family of the son is still in Delhi inasmuch as his children studying in schools in Delhi and the wife is also residing in Delhi.


8. Furthermore, there is no evidence on record to show that the landlord wants the respondent to be evicted from the barsati floor because he wants to re-let it to any other person on higher rent or for some other ulterior reason.


9. In the circumstances, the revision petition is allowed. The order the Additional Rent Controller, Delhi dated 3.7.1986 is set aside. A decree for eviction is passed against the respondent in respect of the premises shown in the site plan filed before the Additional Rent Controller. However, the decree will not be executed for a period of six months. No costs
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