R. C. Lahoti, J. -
(1.)There is a property described as ' Gurdial Complex' situated at SCO1108-1109, Sector 22-B, Chandigatrh. Admittedly, the property is owned by Sqn. Ldr. Gurdial Singh (Retd). Mrs. Jasmer Kaur, Mrs. Jagjit Kaur, Miss Sonia Bal and Vikram Singh Bal, Gurdial Singh holds general power of attorney on behalf of other four co-owners. Collectively they will be referred to as 'Owners' for the sake of brevity.
(2.)Kashmir Lal Goyal, Advocate, defendant No. 1 before the Rent Controller (respondent No. 3 herein) claims to be a tentant, also alleged to be so by owners and will be referred to as 'Goyal'. Out of the persons inducted in possession of the premises by Goyal, only two, namely Raj Kummar Aneja and Rakesh Sharma, Advocate were revision petitioners before the High Court and are respondents Nos. 1 and 2 before us. There is a dispute as to the character of occupation and the status of these two-whether they are sub-tenants or tenants under the owners. They will be collectively referred to as 'occupants'.
(3.)On 6th January, 1988, a registered Deed of Lease was executed between owners and Goyal whereby 750 sq. ft. area on the first floor of Gurdial Complex was taken on lease by Goyal on a monthly rent of Rs.5,000/-. The duration of lease was to expire on 31st December, 1990. However, on 26th April, 1990, there was a fresh Deed of lease executed between owners and Goyal whereby a portion of the first floor of gurdial Complex shown in green lines annexed with the Deed of Lease, was taken on rent at the rate of Rs. 16,000/- p.m. by Goyal. The lease commenced w.e.f. 1st May, 1990. Duration of lease was three years, terminable even in between by three months' notice on either side. The relevant terms of the lease may briefly be noticed. The lease rent of Rs. 16,000/- p.m. was payable in advance by seventh day of the current calendar month and if that was so done, Goyal was entitled to a rebate of Rs. 3,000/-. An amount of Rs. 26,000/- was deposited as interest free security with the owners to be retained during the currency of the lease and till Goyal remained in occupation of the premises as lessee. In specified cases of delay in payment of lease rent, interest @ 18% was leviable for the period of delay, Goyal was to vacate the leased premises on or before 30th April, 1993. However, the lease agreement could be renewed for another period of three years by mutual consent and agreement in writing in which case lease rent was to be revised with an increase in rate of rent by 15%. There could be yet another renewal of three years expiring with 30th April, 1999 subject to another upwards revision in rate of rent at 15%. However, the incentive of Rs. 3,000/- for advance payment of rent before seventh day of current month was to remain the same in spite of first and second renewals. It was expressly stipulated that Goyal would not sublet any portion of the leased premises, partially or in full, to anyone under any condition and circumstances. In the event of subletting, apart from legal consequences flowing from subletting, Goyal was to lose the privilege of earning rebate of Rs. 3,000/- p.m. and also to become liable to pay a penalty @ Rs. 5,000/- p.m. for the entire period till the premises were got vacated from the sub-tenants and possession handed back to owners.