SHABIR AHMAD Vs. SHAM LAL
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA (FROM: PUNJAB & HARYANA)
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SYED SHAH MOHAMMED QUADRI, J. -
(1.)THIS appeal arises from the judgment and order of the High Court of Punjab and Haryana in Civil Revision No. 872 of 1996 dated 28/05/1998. By that order the High Court upheld the judgment of the Appellate Authority in R. A. No. 206 of 20-5-94 dated 3/02/1996 confirming the order of the learned Rent Controller dated 6/04/1994.
(2.)THE appellant is the tenant of a portion of the first floor of 'shop-cum-flat', S.C.F. No. 14, Sector 22, Chandigarh (hereinafter referred to as 'the premises') of which the respondents are the landlords. THE relationship between the appellant and the respondents is governed by the provisions of the East Punjab Urban Rent Restriction Act, 1949 which was extended to Chandigarh by the East Punjab Urban Rent Restriction (Extension to Chandigarh) Act, 1974 and subsequently amended by the East Punjab Urban Rent Restriction (Chandigarh Amendment) Act, 1982 (for short 'the Act').
The respondents filed a petition for eviction of the appellant on two grounds but what survives for consideration is the ground of bona fide requirement of the respondents for residential purposes, under Section 13(3)(a)(i)(a) of the Act. The appellant contested the eviction petition, inter alia,, on the ground that the premises let out to him is a non-residential building and, therefore, his eviction cannot be sought under the said provision. The learned Rent Controller found the ground of bona fide requirement in favour of the respondents and recorded the finding that the premises is a part of a residential building. Accordingly, it ordered eviction of the appellant by its order dated 6/04/1994. The appellant's appeal before the Appellate Authority having been dismissed on 3/02/1996, he filed Civil Revision No. 872 of 1996 in the High Court which was also dismissed by an order dated 28/05/1998 in terms of the judgment in Civil Revision No. 1085 of 1995. That order of the High Court is under challenge in this appeal.
Mr. V. C. Mahajan, the learned senior counsel appearing for the appellant, has contended that the Courts below recorded an erroneous finding that the premises which is a part of 'shop-cum-flat', is a residential building. He argued that the letter of allotment, the conveyance deed and the plan would clearly show that the building was a non-residential building, as such the eviction petition ought to have been dismissed by all the Courts. Mr. Manoj Swarup, the learned counsel appearing for the respondents, relying on the same documents has submitted that the first floor of the 'shop-cum-flat' is a residential building and this is evident from the fact that it is termed as shop-cum-flat; the learned Rent Controller, the Appellate Authority as well as the High Court rightly held the premises to be a residential building.
(3.)THE short question that arises for consideration is whether the respondents are entitled to seek eviction of the appellant under Section 13(3)(a)(i)(a) of the Act.
Inasmuch as the respondents' petition was filed under Section 13(3)(a)(i)(a) of the Act it would be appropriate to quote it here:
"13. Eviction of tenants-
(3)(a). A landlord may apply to the Controller for an order directing the tenant to put the landlord in possession-
(i) in the case of a residential [* * *] building if-
(a) he requires it for his own occupation;
(b) to (d) *** *** ***
Proviso *** *** ***
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