LABHKUWAR BHAGWANI SHAHA Vs. JANARDHAN MAHADEO KALAN
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
LABHKUWAR BHAGWANI SHAHA
JANARDHAN MAHADEO KALAN
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A. Varadarajan, J. -
(1.) The short question involved in this appeal is whether the High Court was justified in interfering with the findings of fact recorded by the two courts below in exercise of its jurisdiction under Art. 227 of the Constitution
(2.) The appellants-landlords filed an ejectment suit against defendant No. 1 (the tenant) and defendant No. 2 (allegedly unlawful sub-tenant) seeking possession of the suit godown on two grounds (i) that the suit godown was required bona fide for their own occupation and (ii) that the defendant No. 1 had unlawfully sublet the premises to defendant No. 2. The defendants resisted the suit contending that the landlord's need was not bona fide and that defendant No. 2 had been let in possession of the suit godown as a sub-tenant in March 1959 and as such was protected under Ordinance No. III of 1959. The trial Court decreed the suit upholding both the grounds put forward by the landlords. The matter was carried in appeal by defendant No. 2 alone and in appeal the finding with regard to bona fide requirement was reversed but the finding of unlawful subletting was confirmed and the decree for eviction was upheld. The appellate Court, agreeing with the trial Court, held that the subletting was 21st May, 1959, being the relevant date under the Ordinance No. III of 1959. Defendant No. 2 preferred a writ petition under Art. 227 of the Constitution to the High Court and the High Court surprisingly on reappreciation of the material on the record reversed the concurrent finding of both the lower courts as regards the actual date of subletting and it came to the conclusion that there was subletting in favour of defendant No. 2 in March 1959 and as such he was protected under Ordinance III of 1959. The landlords have preferred this appeal to this Court.
(3.) Counsel for the appellants contended before us that the question as to what was the actual date of subletting, i.e. to say when was the second defendant let in the suit godown as a sub-tenant was purely a question of fact and both the lower courts had on appreciation of the material placed on record by both the parties come to the conclusion that such subletting was long after 21st May, 1959 and that therefore the second defendant was not protected under the Bombay Rent Act read with the Ordinance. In reversing that finding, counsel contended, the High Court clearly exceeded its jurisdiction under Art. 227 of the Constitution and we find force in this contention advanced by the counsel.;
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