VINAYA KUMAR SHUKAL Vs. LAKHPAT RAM
LAWS(SC)-1990-8-32
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA (FROM: ALLAHABAD)
Decided on August 22,1990

VINAYA KUMAR SHUKAL Appellant
VERSUS
LAKHPAT RAM Respondents




JUDGEMENT

S. C. Agrawal, J. - (1.)This appeal by special leave involves the question as to the interpretation of the provisions of S. 29-A of the U. P. Urban Buildings (Regulation of Letting, Rent and Eviction) Act, 1972 (hereinafter referred to as 'the Act').
(2.)The Act was enacted by the U. P. State legislature to provide, in the interest of the general public, for the regulation of letting and rent of, and the eviction of tenants from certain classes of buildings situated in urban areas, and for matters connected therewith. The Act, as originally enacted, was confined in its application to buildings only. It was amended by U. P. Act XXVIII of 1976 whereby Section 29-A was inserted with a view to give protection against eviction to certain classes of tenants of land on which building exists. The relevant provisions of Section 29-A read as under:
"(2) This Section applies only to land let out, either before or after the commencement of this Section, where the tenant, with the landlord's consent has erected any permanent structure and incurred expenses in execution thereof.

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(4) The tenant of any land to which this Section applies shall be liable to pay to the landlord such rent as may be mutually agreed upon between the parties, and in the absence of agreement, the rent determined in accordance with sub-section (5).

(5) The District Magistrate shall on the application of the landlord or the tenant determine the annual rent payable in respect of such land at the rate of ten per cent per annum of the prevailing market value of the land and such rent shall be payable, except as provided in sub-section (6) from the date of expiration of the term for which the land was let or from the commencement of this Section, whichever is later.

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(7) The provisions of this section shall have effect, notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in any contract or instrument or in any other law for the time being in force."

(3.)The appellant is the owner of a plot of land measuring 30 X 65 sq. ft. situated at Garhmukteshwar Road (Azad Road), Meerut. The said plot of land was let out by the appellant to the respondent No. 1 on March 20,1957 at an annual rent of Rs. 170/-. After the said plot of land had been let out to him, respondent No. 1 with the consent of the appellant constructed a building over the said plot in 1968. After the enactment of Section 29-A the appellant submitted an application on September 29, 1976, before the District Supply Officer/ Delegated Authority, Meerut, for fixation of appropriate rent for the plot of land under sub-section (5) of Section 29-A. The said application of the appellant was dismissed by the District Supply Officer/ Delegated Authority by order dated April 14, 1978 on the view that the provisions of sub-section (5) of Section 29-A for fixation of rent are applicable to those cases only in which there is no agreed rent and that in this case both the parties have accepted that the rent of land is Rs. 170/- per year has been fixed on the basis of mutual agreement And, therefore, the question of refixation of rent does not arise. Feeling aggrieved by the said order of the District Supply Officer the appellant filed a writ petition in the High Court of Judicature at Allahabad under Article 226 of the Constitution of India. The said writ petition was dismissed by a Division Bench of the said High Court by order dated February 19, 1980. The learned Judges have held that under Section 29-A the District Magistrate has jurisdiction to determine the rent only in those cases where there is no agreement relating to rent and if there is an agreement between the landlord and the tenant then the District Magistrate has no jurisdiction to determine the rent. The learned Judges have further found that in the instant case admittedly an agreement existed between the appellant and the tenant that the tenant shall pay at the rate of Rs. 170/- per annum to the appellant and as such there could be no ehancement of the rent under sub-section (5) of Section 29-A. Feeling aggrieved by he said decision of the High Court the appellant has filed this appeal after obtaining special leave to appeal.
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