JAIN DIGAMBER CHAITYALAYA ALIAS JAIN DIGAMBAR SANGH Vs. SHYAMSUNDAR MANEKLAL
HIGH COURT OF GUJARAT
JAIN DIGAMBAR CHAITYLAYA AND JAIN DIGAMBAR SANGH
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(1.) The main question which arises for determination in these two appeals is whether the provisions of the Bombay Rents Hotel and Lodging House Rates Control Act 1947 (hereinafter referred to as the Act) apply to the suit property which is let out to the appellants of First Appeal No. 813 of 1937 ? If the provisions of the Act apply to the suit property it is not disputed that the respondents-plaintiffs suit must fail.
(2.) The suit property is a two-storeyed building bearing Survey No. 8 and Municipal Census Nos. 1465 and 1465/1 situate in Nava Madhu pura outside Delhi Gate in the city of Ahmedabad. The suit property was owned by one Jayendrarai Gulabrai Munshi. On the death of Jayendrarai Gulabrai his widow Virmukhbala inherited it. Virmukhbala died in 1958 and on her death the suit property was inherited by her daughter Suvidya and her two sons Vasant and Avinash. The respondents-plaintiffs purchased it from Suvidya Vasant and Avinash under a sale deed Exh. 100 dated May 10 1962 Before the plaintiffs purchased the suit property they gave a public notice dated March 2 1962 staving to the effect that they had entered into an agreement to purchase the suit property and inviting objections against such purchase. In response to this public notice. Advocate Mr. C. M. Pania gave a notice Exh. 101 dated March 8 1962 on behalf of Jain Digambar Mandir (temple) to the plaintiffs stating that the original landlord had let out the suit property for the purpose of the temple and that he had agreed to sell it to the temple. A right of preemption was claimed on behalf of the temple. It was stated that the owners of the suit property had no right to sell it without first offering to sell it to the temple. The notice Exh. 101 further stated that the temple that is Jain Digambar Mandir was in existence in the suit property for the last 30 years and Jain devotees used to go to the temple to worship their deity. The plaintiffs however purchased the suit property under sale deed Exh. 100 as stated above. In this sale-deed it was stated that one Ghasiram Jivanlal Choksi who was tenant was residing in the suit property and that the suit property was in his possession. Constructive possession was therefore given to the plaintiffs. The plaintiffs had purchased the suit property for their own use and occupation and they therefore filed a suit being H. R. P. Suit No. 2158 of 1962 against Ghasiram Jivanlal in the Court of Small Causes at Ahmedabad to recover possession of the suit properly. This suit was dismissed on December 30 1965 on the ground that Ghasiram Jivanlal was not proved to be tenant of the suit property. The plaintiffs there after gave notice Exh. 143 dated January 17 1966 to the Manager of Jain Digambar Chaityalaya or Jain Digambar Mandir terminating the tenancy of the Jain Digambar Mandir and calling upon the Manager of the Mandir to hand over possession of the suit property to them. Jain Digambar Chaityalaya or Jain Digambar Mandir was joined as defendant No. 1 in Civil Suit No. 2181 of 1969 which was later on filed by the plaintiffs in the City Civil Court at Ahmedabad. The Jain Digambar Mandir is appellant No. 1 in First Appeal No. 813 of 1973. Reply Exh. 102 dated February 14 1966 was given to this notice by Advocate Mr. A. K. Trivedi on behalf of Bansilal Surajmal who was joined as defendant No. 2 in the said suit and who is appellant No. 2 in First Appeal No. 813 of 1973. In this reply it was stated that Jain Digambar Mandir was the tenant of the suit property and that this temple was managed by a committee. It was further stated that the Jain Digambar Mandir had taken the suit property on rent at a monthly rent of Rs. 37-50. It was permitted to sublet the ground floor of the suit property and therefore it had sublet the ground floor to defendant No. 7 in the said suit who is appellant in First Appeal No. 128 of 1974. It is not necessary to refer to other statements made in the said reply. The plaintiffs again gave a registered notice Exh. 40 dated September 6 1969 terminating the tenancy and calling upon defendants Nos. 1 to 6 in the said suit who are appellants in First Appeal No. 813 of 1973 to vacate the suit property and deliver possession to them. The plaintiffs thereafter filed the said Civil Suit No. 2182 to 1969 in the City Civil Court at Ahmedabad out of which the present appeals arise to recover possession of the suit property.
(3.) The plaintiffs alleged that as the suit property was let out for the purpose of temple the provisions of the Act do not apply. According to the plaintiffs they having validly terminated the tenancy of the jain Digambar Chaityalaya or Mandir are entitled to possession of the suit property. Defendant No. 7 to whom ground floor of the suit property was sublet was joined as a party to the suit to obviate any objection regarding nonjoinder of necessary party. 1t was contended that since defendant No. 7 was inducted as tenant or sub-tenant by defendant No. 1 Jain Digambar Mandir he was liable to vacate the premises in his occupation on termination of tenancy of Jain Digambar Mandir. The plaintiffs there. fore prayed for a decree for possession of the suit property against all the defendants.;
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