PREM NATH Vs. PT MANMOHAN NATH DAR
HIGH COURT OF PUNJAB AND HARYANA
PT MANMOHAN NATH DAR
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(1.) Two questions arise for decision in the present case, namely (1) whether it is within the competence of a sub-tenant to prefer an appeal from an order of eviction passed against the tenant and himself even though the tenant has preferred no appeal therefrom, and (2) whether a landlord can evict a sub-tenant from the premises without serving a notice to quit on the sub-tenant.
(2.) The facts of the case are fairly simple and not seriously in dispute. Pandit Manmohan Nath Dar, who is the owner of two shops situated in the Connaught Circus at Delhi, leased out the premises to Dr. Kidar Nath defendant No.1 who sublet them to Dr. Prem Nath defendant No. 3 and to the other three defendants in the case. On the 12th December, 1950 the landlord brought a suit for ejectment and for recovery of arrears of rent against his tenant Dr. Kidar Nath on the ground that the latter had without the consent of the landlord and in contravention of the terms of the tenancy sublet various portions of the premises to Dr. Prem Nath and the other defendants. The trial Court came to the conclusion that Dr. Kidar Nath had sublet a portion of the premises to Dr. Prem Nath with the consent of the landlord and another portion of the premises to the Super Battery Service defendant No. 5 without the consent of the landlord. In view of the findings the trial Court granted a decree for ejectment and for the recovery of a sum of Rs. 599/11/6 against Dr. Kidar Nath. Dr. Kidar Nath did not choose to appeal from the order passed against him and the decree thereby became final and convulsive as far as he was concerned. The appeal preferred by Dr. Prem Nath was dismissed by the learned District Judge on the ground that as Dr. Kidar Nath, the tenant, had not disputed the findings of the trial Court and as the decree passed against him had become final and conclusive. Dr. Prem Nath who was a sub-tenant of an who had derived his titled from Dr. Kidar Nath had no locus to prefer the appeal. Dr. Prem Nath is dissatisfied with the order and has come to this Court in revision.
(3.) Before I proceed to deal with the specific questions which have been argued before me it would be desirable to set out as briefly as possible the legal consequences which flow from the relationship of landlord and tenant. It is settled principle of law that, in the absence of a contract or statutory prohibition, a tenant is at liberty to sublet the demised premises in whole or in part. As the subletting creates a new estate dependent upon or carved out of the original tenancy the tenant cannot confer a greater right on the sub-tenant than he himself possesses. It follows as a consequence that the sub-tenant can acquire no greater rights in the use and enjoyment of the demised premises than the original tenant. He cannot use the premises in a manner inconsistent with the terms of the original lease between the landlord and the tenant, for stipulations forbidding the use of premises for a specified purpose run with the land. If the tenant fails to pay the rent the landlord has the same rights to dispossess the sub-tenant as he would to have dispossess the tenant. If the original tenancy is determined by efflux of time or by forfeiture or by operation of law the sub-tenancy also ceases to exist. To put in a slightly different language, if the rights of the tenant in the demised premises come to an end the rights of the sub-tenants who claim under him also disappear, and, if the original tenancy is determined for any reason whatsoever, the landlord is entitled to obtain possession of the premises not only from the tenant but also from the sub-tenant. Indeed, some authorities have gone to the length of holding that the sub-tenant need not be made a party to the suit for ejectment as the decree against the original tenant is equally binding upon him (vide Ramkissendas v. Binjrai Chaudhary, I.L.R. 50 Cal. 419, Sheikh Yusuf v. Jyotish Chandra Banerjee, 1932 AIR(Cal) 241 . Indeed a judgment of eviction against the tenant has been held to be operative against a sub-tenant in possession. In section 475 of Freeman on Executions, the following observations appear :-
"The defendant and all the members of his family, together with his servants, employees, and his tenants at will or at sufferance, may be removed from the premises in executing a writ of possession.";
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