NEW WOODLANDS HOTEL Vs. VARKEY
HIGH COURT OF KERALA
NEW WOODLANDS HOTEL
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(1.) This revision petition is filed by the tenant of a building from which he is sought to be evicted by the landlord". The schedule building was constructed with separate wash basin, closet etc. attached to the rooms in it for the purpose of running a Boarding and Lodging establishment. It was leased out to the petitioners as per a rent deed, Ext. P1 dated 5-4-1957. The period under Ext. P1 expired on 15-4-1962 and notice was issued to the revision petitioners to surrender the building. A reply was sent refusing to surrender. So, the landlord filed an application for eviction on two grounds, firstly that he requires the schedule building for his own occupation for expanding his hotel business known by the name 'Durbar Lodge', and secondly that the revision petitioners have in their possession two buildings which are very big and spacious and reasonably sufficient for their requirements. In this connection it may be mentioned that the revision petitioners are also engaged in hotel business and they are one of the pioneer hoteliers here. The Rent Controller found that the second ground is not established but that the landlord's claim for eviction on the ground that he requires the building for expanding his hotel business has been established and his need is bona fide. The Rent Controller further found that though the landlord has in his possession a building, he must be permitted to recover this building as well for the purpose of expanding his present business. On that ground eviction was ordered. On appeal by the tenant the Rent Controller's order was confirmed. On further revision before the District Judge two grounds were urged by the revision petitioners against the order for eviction. First, it was contended that the petitioners depend for their livelihood mainly on the income derived from the business in this building, and secondly that there are no sustainable special reasons for ordering eviction when the landlord has a building of his own in his possession in the city. The District Judge found against the plea that the petitioner depends for his livelihood on the income derived from this building. The District Judge also found that there are special reasons for ordering eviction of the petitioner though the landlord has a building of his own in his possession in the city. It is against this order that this revision petition is filed under S.115, C.P.C.
(2.) Though the finding that the landlord requires the building bona fide for his occupation was also challenged in this revision, the petitioner's counsel has not succeeded in showing that the said finding is in any way erroneous. The main ground urged by the counsel for the revision petitioner is that the special reason stated for ordering eviction of the petitioner is legally unsustainable. According to the petitioner, though the landlord has established a bona fide need for the building, there are no special reasons for ordering eviction in as much as the landlord has a building of his own in his possession in the city. The District Judge and the subordinate Tribunals, according to the revision petitioners have only stated that the revision petitioners have other buildings to carry on their business and the total income that they may get hereafter will only be reduced to a small extent by ordering surrender of this building and that this is no legal ground at all. To understand that contention it is necessary to read the provision of law under which this question arises for consideration. S.11(3) and the first proviso are in the following terms:-
"11(3). A landlord may apply to the Rent Control Court for an order directing the tenant to put the landlord in possession of the building if he bona fide needs the building for his own occupation or for the occupation by any member of his family dependent on him:
Provided that the Rent Control Court shall not give any such direction if the landlord has another building of his own in his possession in the same city, town or village except where the Rent Control Court is satisfied that for special reasons, in any particular case it will be just and proper to do so:"
Under this provision even if the landlord proves that he bona fide needs the building for his occupation, no order for eviction shall be made unless special reasons are shown for an additional building if the landlord has a building of his own in his possession in the city. Really the existence of another building of his own in his possession in the city is a factor to be taken into account in arriving at a decision whether the landlord bona fide needs the building for his occupation. Normally if a landlord has one building in his possession he shall not require a tenant to vacate saying that he wants the tenanted building for his occupation. But the building that he may possess may be a residential building while he may require the tenanted building for a business of ins own or the existing building where he resides or carries on business may be insufficient for his present use or for expansion of his business. All these are only illustrative and not exhaustive of the cases which come under special reasons for claiming eviction of a tenant. The law requires that the Rent Control Court must be satisfied by such special reasons that the building in his possession is not sufficient for his occupation before ordering eviction of a tenant from the building in the latter's possession. The proviso embodies a wholesome principle. In this case all the lower tribunals came to the conclusion that the landlord requires this building bona fide for expanding his business. That finding presupposes that the landlord has got a building now in his possession for his business and he wants this building also to expand his business. That genuine need for expansion is the special reason which the Rent Controller has stated for ordering eviction and in so holding it is, no doubt, true the Rent Controller has also stated that the revision petitioners have other buildings for their business and their income will be reduced only to a small extent by the surrender of this building. This is only to show that no serious injustice will be caused to the revision petitioners and it will be just and proper if they surrender the building in question to the landlord for expanding his business. The revisional authority also has come to the same conclusion only when it stated that "it has to be remembered that it is for expanding the very same business of the Durbar Lodge that the petitioner now wants the schedule building" and when it further stated at the end of para 7 that "it is only just and proper in this particular case to direct the tenant to put the landlord in possession of the schedule building for his own use for the purpose of expanding his present business." I do not find any illegality or irregularity in the order passed by the subordinate Tribunals. There is no error of jurisdiction also in the orders passed.
(3.) So, I dismiss this revision petition with costs; but in the circumstances of this case, a further period of three months is allowed to the revision petitioners to vacate the building.;
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