M. JANAKIRAM NAIDU Vs. T.R. ARUMUGHA MUDALIAR
HIGH COURT OF MADRAS
M. Janakiram Naidu
T.R. Arumugha Mudaliar
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G.RAMANUJAM, J. -
(1.) THIS revision has been filed by the tenant against the order of eviction passed by the Rent Controller, Madras under Section 10(3)(a)(i) of the Madras Buildings (Lease and Rent Control) Act, 1960 and confirmed by the appellate authority, in respect of premises No. 78, Karaneeswarar Koil Street, Mylapore, Madras. Eviction was sought on the ground that the respondent (landlord) required the premises bona fide for his own use and occupation as he had no other premises of his own in the City of Madras and that he had purchased the premises in question only with a view to occupy the same. The petitioner contested the petition on the ground that there was no relationship of landlord and tenant as between himself and the respondent that his tenancy was only with the former owner and that in any event there was no notice terminating the tenancy. The Rent Controller found that there was the relationship of landlord and tenant as between the petitioner and the respondent, that the respondent bona fide required the premises for his own use and occupation and that there has been a valid notice terminating the tenancy as provided under Section 106 of the Transfer of Property Act and hence ordered eviction of the petitioner. On appeal, the appellate authority also held that there was an attornment by the petitioner in favour of the respondent after his purchase and that the respondent required the premises bona fide for his own use and occupation as he had purchased the property only with a view to occupy the same. On the question of notice, the appellate authority held that no notice terminating the tenancy is necessary but that even assuming that such a notice is necessary, he was satisfied that Exhibits P -2 and P -3, copy of the notice and the postal acknowledgment thereof, were sufficient to enable the respondent to seek eviction of the petitioner. In this revision by the tenant the only question that was pressed before me was as to whether the requirement as to notice terminating the tenancy prior to the filing of the eviction petition was satisfied. The learned Counsel for the petitioner did not challenge the findings of fact arrived at by the Courts below that the respondent required the premises bona fide for his own use and occupation and that there was a relationship of landlord and tenant between the petitioner and the respondent.
(2.) AS regards the question of notice, the Rent Controller referred to Exhibit P -2 the office copy of the notice dated 31st January, 1967, sent by the Counsel for the respondent terminating the tenancy of the petitioner ending with 28th February, 1967 and calling upon the petitioner to deliver vacant possession by 1st March, 1967 and Exhibit P -3 the postal acknowledgment showing that one T. Shanmugam had acknowledged the receipt of the notice on nth February, 1967 and expressed that it was probable that, in the absence of the petitioner, some of his inmates might have received the original of Exhibit P -2. On the assumption that Shanmugam who has signed the acknowledgment, Exhibit P -3 was an inmate in the house of the petitioner the Rent Controller held that a notice under Section 106 of the Transfer of Property Act was in fact issued to the petitioner. The appellate authority also refers to Exhibits P -2 and P -3 and takes the acknowledgment signed by Shanmugam as an acknowledgment made on behalf of the petitioner as it is of the view that unless the appellant (petitioner) had authorised somebody to receive letters on his behalf Shanmugam could not have received the letter addressed to the petitioner. On that view it held that the petitioner should be deemed to have received the original of Exhibit P -2 and that there had been a valid notice terminating the tenancy under Section 106 of the Transfer of Property Act.
(3.) THE learned Counsel for the petitioner contends before me that, while the Rent Controller proceeds on the basis that Shanmugam who is said to have acknowledged the original of Exhibit P -2 under Exhibit P -3 was an inmate of the petitioner's house, the appellate authority has proceeded on the basis that T. Shanmugam had the requisite authority from the petitioner to acknowledge the notice, the original of Exhibit P -2. It is pointed out that before the Rent Controller no evidence was adduced on the part of the respondent to show that Shanmugam was an inmate of the petitioner's house or that he had the requisite authority to acknowledge and that in the absence of any evidence it was not open to the Court, to assume that Shanmugam was an inmate of petitioner's house or that Shanmugam had the requisite authority to receive the notice addressed to the petitioner. It is said that the respondent has not examined the postman who delivered the notice to show under what circumstances the letter was handed over to Shanmugam. It is also said that there is none with the name Shanmugam in the petitioners' house and that the acknowledgment by the said Shanmugam should not be treated as a valid service of notice on the petitioner.
Exhibit P -2 is a typed copy of the notice said to have been addressed and sent to the petitioner at No. 78, Karaneeswarar Koil Street and Exhibit P -3 is the acknowledgment signed by one Shanmugham. Exhibit P -3 does not contain either the initial of the petitioner or his address. The recipient is shown as Shanmugam and it does not purport to have been signed on behalf of anyone else. On these facts the learned Counsel for the petitioner contends that the alleged notice not having been served on the petitioner, that notice is not sufficient to terminate the tenancy, and that the present eviction petition has to be dismissed as not maintainable.;
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