SHAKEELULR RAHMAN Vs. SYED MEHDI ISPAHANI
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
SYED MEHDI ISPAHANI
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Arijit Pasayat, J. -
(2.)A suit for eviction by the appellant-tenant filed by the respondent-landlord on the ground available under Section 14(l)(b) of the Tamil Nadu Buildings (Lease and Rent Control) Act, 1960 (hereinafter referred to as 'the Act') was dismissed by the Rent Controller and the Appellate Authority. However, the High Court exercising revisional jurisdiction allowed the prayer for eviction. Feeling aggrieved thereby, the tenant has filed this appeal by special leave.
(3.)In a nutshell, the factual position about which there is no much controversy, is as follows :-
The suit premises consist of a ground floor and first floor measuring about 1 ground and 277 sq. feet. Landlord-respondent, as set out in the application R.C.O.P. No. 2424 of 1988 on the file of Court of Small Causes at Madras claimed that the eviction was required for demolition and reconstruction of the building bearing Door No. 5, Clemens Road, Chennai. It was specifically pleaded that the property is situated in a residential-cum-commercial locality wherein multi-storied buildings have been erected and in order to utilize the property and earn better Income he has decided to demolish the said building completely and desired to construct a multi-storied in the property. The appellant-tenant disputed the stand of the respondent landlord and pleaded that the building is in a sound condition and does not require demolition at all. The Rent Controller rejected the respondent-land-lord's prayer, accepting appellant-tenant's stand. Reliance was placed on this Court's decision in P. Orr and Sons (P) Ltd. vs. Associated Publishers (Madras) Limited, (1991) 1 SCC 301). to hold that it was mandatory to verify whether the building in question requires immediate demolition and reconstruction. Though he accepted the respondent-landlord's case (supra) that the new building shall fetch more income and he has sufficient means to put up the construction, but these facts were held to be not much of consequence. Appellate Authority concurred with the views of Rent Controller. On be-ing approached for revision, learned single Judge held that not-withstanding absence of pleadings regarding age and condition of the building, material on record clearly established that the building was old and required demolition. Additionally it was held that the importance of the area where the building is situated has undergone a sea change and there was all around development. Reference was made to the evidence of witnesses and documents on record which established that an agreement (P-11) had been executed for demolition of the building in question and two others owned by landlord's mother and brother, and for putting up multi-storied structures. The total extent of the property for the three buildings was 12 1/2 Grounds, while the building in question was on an area of Ground and 277 sq. ft. It was also observed that law does not require that unless the landlord established beyond doubt that the building was in such a bad and dilapidated condition that it would lead to immediate crumbling down, or later, he would not be entitled to an order of eviction. Reference was made to the evidence of RW-1 (the tenant, and RW-2 (the engineer examined by tenant) to state about age and condition of the building. With reference to latter's evidence it was observed that since last forty to fifty years, no construction was put up with Madras terrace. Further, brick and lime mortar was used for construction and plastering was by lime mortar. These material facts which were brought to notice of the Court by the tenant clearly established that the building was at least 5O years old and was not in good condition. In view of the aforesaid conclusions, it was held that respondent-landlord had bona fide requirements for seeking tenant's eviction.
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