(2.)An eviction petition filed by the landlord-respondent urging the ground for eviction under Section 13(3)(a)(ii) of the East Punjab Urban Rent Restriction Act, 1949 (hereinafter the Act, for short), was dismissed by the Rent Controller but allowed by the Appellate Authority. The decree has been maintained in civil revision preferred by the tenant in the High Court of Punjab and Haryana. The tenant has filed this appeal by special leave.
2-A. The finding of fact arrived at, and immune from challenge before this Court, is that the suit premises situated on the ground floor of the building owned by the landlord-respondent is in occupation of the tenant-appellant for non-residential purpose. The same is required by the landlord-respondent for the office of his son who is a chartered accountant residing with the landlord-respondent. On 31-8-2001 Shri S.P. Upadhyay, the learned counsel for the appellant placed forceful reliance on a Division Bench decision of the High Court in Ravinder Kumar Pujara v. Gian Chand, AIR 1987 Punjab and Haryana 31 and successfully persuaded this Court to issue notice limited to the question whether the requirement of chartered accountant son of the landlord is relevant to direct eviction of the tenant under Section 13(3)(a)(ii) abovesaid. The provision reads as under:-
13. Eviction of tenants.- (1) xxx xxx
(2) xxx xxx xxxx
(3)(a) A landlord may apply to the Controller for an order directing the tenant to put the landlord in possession-
xxx xxx xxx
(ii) in the case of a non-residential building or rented land, if -
(a) he requires it for his own use;
(3.)Incidentally, it may be mentioned that the East Punjab Urban Rent Restriction (Amendment) Act, 1956, by Section 2 thereof deleted the words "a non-residential building or" from the abovesaid provision. However, this amendment was held ultra vires the Constitution in Harbilas Rai Bansal v. State of Punjab and Anr. - (1996) 1 SCC 1, and this Court directed that as a consequence of the amendment having been declared constitutionally invalid the original provision of the Act as was operating before the Amendment stands restored and a landlord - under the Act - can seek eviction of a tenant from a non-residential building on the ground that he requires it for his own use. Presently, the question to be determined is - what construction should be placed on the phrase 'his own use' Should it be assigned a narrow meaning that it is the individual requirement of the landlord or in other words the requirement of the landlord and the landlord alone which is germane to the provision or should we assign a wide and liberal meaning to the expression treating it a vibrant one so as to respect the context in which it has been used feeling the pulse of the object behind the provision.