MANGILAL RATHI Vs. KISHEN RAO
HIGH COURT OF ANDHRA PRADESH
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(1.) This revision petition under Section 22 of the Andhra Pradesh Buildings (Lease, Rent and Eviction) Control Act 1960 is by the landlord against the reversing judgment of the Chief Judge, City Small Causes Court, Hyderabad (Appellate authorityi by and under which he dismissed a petition for eviction based, among other grounds, on the ground that the landlord bona fide required the premises to commence a business of his own.
(2.) The premises in question are non-residential premises. The first petitioner is the husband and the second petitioner is his wife. They became owners of the premises in question under a gift deed dt. 24-11-1967 executed by one Smt. Jani Bai, the mother of the second petitioner herein. The respondent is a tenant of the said premises paying a monthly rent of Rs. 50/-under an oral agreement dt. 24-11-1967. The petitioners seek to start a Kiran business in the said premises. The first petitioner was a private employee and it is his case that his salary is utterly insufficient to make both ends meet. In order to supplement his income, he wants to carry on a business in the premises in question. The respondent pleaded that he is a very old tenant and that the claim of the first petitioner that he needs the premises for starting a business of his own, is not true and that the petition is not filed bona fide. He further stated that the previous owner Smt. Jani Bai became hostile to him as he did not agree to pay enhanced rent for the mulgie.
(3.) The first petitioner examined himself while on behalf of the tpnant three witnesses, including himself, were examinined. The Rent Controller accepted the evidence of the petitioner and held that there was no ground to hold that the requirement of the suit premises by the petitioners was not bona fide and accordingly allowed the petition. On appeal however, the learned Chief Judge, Small Causes Court dismissed the eviction petition on the ground that "no material was placed before the Rent Controller by the landlord to satisfy the Court with the requirement of the suit premises for the purpose of bis own business". Section 10 (3) (a) (iii) lays down that a landlord may subject to the provisions of Clause (d), apply to the Controller for an order directing the tenant to put the landlord in possession of the building, in case it is any other non- residential building if the landlord is not occupying a non-residential building in the City, town or village concerned which is his own or to the possession of which he is entitled whether under this Act or otherwise for the purpose of a business which he is carrying on on the date of the application, or for the purpose of a business which in the opinion of the Controller the landlord bona fide proposes to commence provided that a person who becomes a landlord after the commencement of the tenancy by an instrument inter vivos shall not be entitled to apply under this clause before the expiry of three months from the date on which the instrument was registered. So far as the present petitioners are concerned, it is not in dispute that they are not occupying any other non- residential building in the city in question nor are they carrying on any business on the date of the application. They no doubt, became landlords of the premises after the commencement of the tenancy under an instrument inter vivos. But they satisfy the requirement laid down by the proviso namely that three months should have expired from the date of such instrument before they apply for eviction of the tenant. So, the only other statutory requirement which they would have to satisfy is that they should bona fide propose to commence a business. While the Rent Controller has come to the conclusion that the requirement of the landlord is bona fide and his claim that he proposes to commence a business is bona fide, the appellate authority proceeded to consider whether any material was placed before the Rent Controller by the landlord "to satisfy the court with the requirement of the suit premises for the purpose of his business". The appellate authority observed that in the absence of any material it is not possible for arriving at the conclusion that the landlord required the premises bona fide. In coming to this conclusion, it purported to follow the judgment of the Madras High Court in Re Vani Musicals.;
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