ICRA LIMITED Vs. ASSOCIATED JOURNALS LIMITED
LAWS(DLH)-2007-8-109
HIGH COURT OF DELHI
Decided on August 24,2007

ICRA LIMITED Appellant
VERSUS
ASSOCIATED JOURNALS LIMITED Respondents

JUDGEMENT

SANJAY KISHAN KAUL, J. - (1.) The plaintiff herein, which is a public limited company incorporated under the Companies Act, 1956, entered into a Lease Agreement dated 24-04-1996 (Ex D-1) (hereinafter referred to as the "Lease Agreement") with the defendants in respect of an office space at 4th floor, Herald House, 5-A, Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg, New Delhi-110002 (hereinafter referred to as the "Demised Premises") for a period of eight years w.e.f 01.05.1996 subject to earlier determination and to an escalation on the last rent payable at 15% of the rent and service charges paid during the immediately preceding month. According to the provisions of the said Lease Agreement, the plaintiff was required to pay a sum of Rs. 66,75,000/- as security deposit which was equivalent to twelve months rent. This security was an interest free security which was refundable within seven days from the termination/determination of the lease failing which the defendants were liable to pay interest @ 20% from the date of such deposit of security till the date of actual refund. The plaintiff also had to pay an advance rent and service charges for three months amounting to Rs. 16,68,750/- to be adjusted against the monthly rent and service charges of the following twelve months. In accordance with the same, the plaintiff deposited the required security of Rs. 66,75,000/- with the defendants along with Rs. 16,68,750/- as service charges for three months in advance.
(2.) It appears that after enjoying the tenancy for a few months, the plaintiff desired to vacate the same. It is the case of the plaintiff that there were perennial defaults and breaches on the part of the defendants. It is averred that the defendants failed to take any steps or make necessary repairs in relation to the water leakage and non-effectiveness of the air conditioner in spite of several reminders being given by the plaintiff. The plaintiff also states that the defendants have also breached the provisions of clause 13 of the lease agreement that required the defendants to make payments to concerned authorities in respect of property tax in relation to the demised premises. Consequently, the plaintiff by its letter dated 18-11-1997(Ex D-2) sent a notice of termination of the lease w.e.f. 19.11.1997 in accordance with clause 21 of the Lease Agreement calling upon the defendants to take possession of the demised premises and to refund the security deposit after deducting the rent of the previous three months along with the stipulated interest. It is also stated that thereafter, several reminders were sent to the defendants regarding the same vide letters dated 17-02-1998, 16-04-1998, 30-04-1998, 20-07-1998 and 05- 09-1998.
(3.) It is averred that on 16-04-1998, the plaintiff communicated to the defendants that it had shifted to a new building and was no longer in possession of the demised premises. In reply, the defendants vide letter dated 18-04-1998 addressed to the plaintiff stated that the delivery of vacant possession of the demised premises was a condition precedent to the refund of the security deposit. It is the case of the plaintiff that constructive possession was handed over to the defendant with the determination of the lease and that actual possession was subject to the reciprocal arrangement on the part of the defendants to refund the amount of security deposit along with the stipulated interest. The defendants failed to refund the aforesaid amount, and thus the plaintiff has filed the present suit for recovery of Rs. 46,72,500/- with pendentilite and future interest @ 20% p.a. from the date of institution of the suit till payment or realization, the details of which are given in para- 10 of the plaint and read as under: JUDGEMENT_1195_ILRDLH16_2007Html1.htm;


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