NARENDRA K KOCHAR Vs. SIND MAHARASHTRA COOP HOUSING SOCIETY LIMITED
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA (FROM: BOMBAY)
SIND MAHARASHTRA COOPORATION HOUSING SOCIETY LIMITED
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B. N. Agrawal, J. -
(1.)This appeal by special leave is against the judgment rendered by Bombay High Court whereby writ application filed by the appellant has been dismissed, upholding order of the Maharashtra State Co-operative Appellate Court, dismissing appeal preferred by the appellant against his order of eviction from the premises in question passed by the Co-operative Court, purporting to act under Section 91 of the Maharahstra Co-operative Societies Act, 1960 (hereinafter referred to as 'the Societies Act').
(2.)The short facts are that Sind Maharashtra Co-operative Housing Society Limited, respondent No. 1, (hereinafter referred to as 'the Society') was a tenant co-partnership housing society and one B. D. Punjabi, respondent No. 2, was its member as tenant co-partner in relation to flat No. 5 allotted to him in Ashiana Building of the Society. Respondent No. 2 who was put in possession of the aforesaid flat, put the appellant in occupation of the same in December, 1970, without previous consent of the Society, as a licensee initially at the monthly rate of Rs. 325/- which was later enhanced to Rs. 450/-. Respondent No. 2 defaulted in payment of dues of the Society from March, 1977 and the appellant who was occupier was causing nuisance to the members of the Society. Stating the aforesaid facts, the Society instituted the present proceeding bearing Arbitration Case No. ABN 634/754 of 1977 for, inter alia, recovery of vacant possession of the aforesaid flat, both from respondent No. 2 as well as the appellant. Further prayer was for directing respondent No. 2 to pay dues of the Society. The Society's dispute was referred by the Registrar, Co-operative Societies to Officer on Special Duty under Section 91 of the Societies Act which, after amendment of the Societies Act, was transferred to the Co-operative Court under Section 91A of the Societies Act.
(3.)The claim of the Society was resisted by respondent No. 2 on grounds, inter alia, that the appellant was a mere licensee who was temporarily allowed to occupy the premises and that licence was also terminated. According to him, he was not a defaulter and the appellant did not cause any nuisance to any person much less any member of the Society. The appellant objected to the claim of the Society on the ground that even though he was a licensee, but as the licence was subsisting on 1st February, 1973, by virtue of the provisions of Sections 14(2), 15(2) and sub-section (1) of Section 15-A of the Bombay Rents, Hotel and Lodging House Rates Control Act, 1947 (hereinafter referred to as 'the Rent Control Act'), he became a tenant, entitled to claim protection as such and could not be evicted from the premises in question without taking recourse to the provisions of the Rent Control Act, as envisaged under Section 22 thereof inasmuch as the proceeding initiated under Section 91 of the Societies Act was not maintainable. His further case was that during the pendency of the present proceeding, he filed a suit against respondent No. 2 in relation to the premises in question for a declaration that he was tenant of respondent No. 2 who contested the same. The said suit was dismissed by the Small Causes Court, but on appeal being preferred the same was decreed which attained finality as writ application filed against the appellate order was withdrawn.
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