MEHBOOB BI Vs. MUHAMMAD ABDULLAH
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
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(1.)A petition for eviction of the tenant under (i) of the Tamil Nadu Buildings (Lease and Rent Control) Act, 1960 (hereinafter referred to as 'the Act', for short) was filed by the landlord-respondent. Initially, the rent in arrears was alleged to be for the period between 1981 and 1985. However, during the course of hearing, the claim was confined as referable to the period between April 1985 and August, 1985 (both months inclusive) @ Rs. 25/- per month. The only plea taken by the tenant in his written statement was that the amount was tendered by money orders but the landlord refused to accept the same. On behalf of the tenant, two money order receipts issued by the post office were tendered in evidence. The rent controller and the appellate authority found that the amount of rent was tendered but was refused by the landlord. On this finding, the prayer for eviction was refused. The landlord preferred a revision under section 25 of the Act before the High Court. The High court found that there was no evidence adduced to prove the plea of the tenant that the amount in arrears was tendered by the tenant and refused by the landlord. The high Court, therefore, allowed the revision petition, set aside the orders of the rent controller and the appellate authority and directed a decree for eviction to be passed. Feeling aggrieved by the judgment of the high Court, the tenant has filed this appeal, by special leave.
(2.)We have heard the learned counsel for the parties. We are satisfied that no fault can be found with the judgment of the High court. We have called for the records of the rent controller and perused the evidence ourselves. On behalf of the tenant, the postal receipts showing the entrustment of money to the post office for being remitted to the landlord have been tendered in evidence but the money order coupons containing the address of the landlord to whom the money orders were addressed along with postal endorsement of refusal, if the tender of money order was refused by the landlord, were not produced and proved in evidence. The landlord in his statement on oath denied any money order having been tendered to him. The High court has rightly formed the opinion that in such facts it was obligatory on the part of the tenant to have examined the postman who took the money orders to the landlord, for payment to him and returned the money orders along with his endorsement to that effect on refusal by the landlord. The postal receipts filed on behalf of the tenant do not mention the address of the landlord on which the money orders were sent so as to find out whether the address was a correct and complete address of the landlord. So also, it appears that during the course of hearing before the High Court, it was argued on behalf of the tenant-appellant that the money orders were sent not on the residential address of the landlord but at the address of some mosque where, according to the tenant, the landlord was serving. In such state of evidence, the High Court was fully justified in forming an opinion that 3 tender of rent to, or refusal of rent by, the landlord was not proved.
(3.)For the foregoing reasons, no fault can be found with the judgment of the High court. The appeal is devoid of any merit and is dismissed. However, the tenant is allowed four months' time for vacating the premises subject to his clearing all the arrears up-to-date and filing the usual undertaking on affidavit, both within a period of four weeks from today.
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