PRECISION STEEL AND ENGINIERING WORKS Vs. PREM DEVA NIRANJAN DEVA TAYAL
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA (FROM: DELHI)
PREM DEVA NIRANJAN DEVA TAYAL
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R. C. Lahoti, J. -
(1.)Proceedings for eviction of the appellants-tenants, were initiated by the respondent-landlord on the ground available under Cl. (c) of sub-section (1) of S. 14 of the Delhi Rent Control Act, 1958 (hereinafter the Act, for short). The High Court has, in exercise of its revisional jurisdiction, passed an order for recovery of possession of the tenancy premises. The tenants are in appeal by special leave.
(2.)The tenancy premises are situated at B-44, Greater Kailash, Part I, New Delhi. Out of the building standing over 1000 sq. yards plot the appellants are in occupation of the front portion of the ground floor since 1971. Premises comprise of four bed-rooms, 3 bathrooms, 1 barsati, 1 garage and the servant quarters along with one bathroom for servants. At this stage, it is no more in controversy that the respondent is owner-cum-landlord of the premises and the appellants are the tenants. The terms of tenancy are incorporated in a document dated 13th September, 1971 called licence deed. The Rent Controller and the High Court have both recorded findings of fact that the suit premises are required bona fide by the respondent-landlord for occupation as a residence for himself and the members of his family and for satisfying such requirement the respondent does not possess any other suitable accommodation. The controversy centers around determination of the purpose for which the premises have been let, and, depending on the answer, whether the applicability of S. 14(1)(e) of the Act is attracted. In the opinion of the Rent Controller it is not; in the opinion of the High Court - it is.
(3.)Clauses 6, 7, 12 and 16 of the licence deed, which were referred to by the learned counsel for the parties during the course of hearing, are extracted and reproduced hereunder :-
"6. The licensees shall use the said premises for the residence of their Directors, partners and officers. The licensees will, however, be free to use the said premises in part or in full also for office purpose provided the rules of the local authorities so permit and in such an event the licensees shall pay to the owners any increase in local taxes, etc. occasioned by such change of use of the said premises from residential to office.
7. The licensees shall not permit the said premises or any part thereof being used by any other person for any purpose whatsoever without the previous consent in writing of the owners and in default thereof the licence shall be liable for cancellation. The licensees shall not transfer possession of the premises or part thereof or otherwise carry on the business in the premises with any other person or assign, transfer, change or otherwise alienate their interest in the premises.
12. The licensees shall comply at all times with all the rules and regulations of the local authorities whatsoever in relation to the said premises.
16. The licensees agree and understand that the said premises shall not be used for any illegal or immoral purpose, for gambling or for sale of alcoholic beverages and the owners shall have full right to cancel the licence by giving one months notice in case the said premises are used for any of these purposes and to claim in full the balance of the licence fees for the unexpired part of the licence period and in addition to claim damages/for less of good reputation of the premises and the owners and also expenses sustained in the removal of the licensees establishment from the said premises."
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