RAMA IYER Vs. LAKSHMI AMMAL
HIGH COURT OF KERALA
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(1.) The short question that falls to be decided in this revision is whether an order under S.11(12) of the Buildings (Lease and Rent Control) Act (the Act) is appealable under S.18.
(2.) The relevant facts are the following.The respondent who is the landlord obtained an order for evicting the petitioner-tenant from a residential building under S.11(3) on the ground that she bona fide needed it for her own occupation. This order was confirmed on appeal and revision and by the revisional court the petitioner was given 2 months' time from June 9, 1975 to vacate and put the respondent in possession of the building. On August 11, 1975 the petitioner handed the keys of the building to the respondent's advocate. On October 11, 1975 he filed the application out of which the revision arises, under S.11(12) for restoration of possession of the building alleging that the respondent occupied it only on October 11, 1975, which was not within one month after she obtained possession and that she had thereby violated the sub-section. S.11(12) so far as material reads:
"Where a landlord who has obtained possession of a building in pursuance of an order under sub-section (3), does not occupy it without reasonable cause within one month of the date of obtaining possession, ......... the tenant who has been evicted may apply to the Rent Control Court for an order directing that he shall be restored to possession of the building, and the Court shall make an order accordingly notwithstanding anything contained in S.4."
(S.4 mentioned in S.11(2) is concerned with notice of vacancy and has no relevancy to the present discussion). The respondent resisted the application contending that in June 1975 she left for Ranchi -- the building is at Palghat -- in connection with the confinement of her daughter inlaw instructing her nephew Venkita Subramonia Iyer to take steps on her behalf to obtain possession and that he occupied the building as soon as the petitioner handed the keys to the Advocate. She had to stay at Ranchi longer than she had originally planned as the child was not well and that as soon as she returned she began to reside in the building. The obvious legal basis of her objection was that the omission to occupy the building was not 'without reasonable cause' and that there was no ground for action under S.11(12). The Rent Control Court accepted her defence and dismissed the application.
(3.) From this order the petitioner preferred an appeal to the Subordinate Judge under S.18 but the appeal was returned for presentation to the proper court in the view that the order was in execution proceedings and was not therefore subject to appeal. The petitioner did not challenge this order but filed an appeal in the District Court from the order of the Rent Control Court. Upholding the respondent's preliminary objection the District Judge dismissed the appeal as not maintainable by the order which is the subject of the revision.;
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