P JOHN CHANDY AND COMPANY PRIVATE LIMITED Vs. JOHN P THOMAS
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA (FROM: KERALA)
P.JOHN CHANDY AND COMPANY PRIVATE
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Brijesh Kumar, J. -
(2.)The Appellant in this appeal has impugned the judgment and order dated 26-6-2001 passed by the Kerala High Court, allowing in the civil revision preferred by the respondent-landlord, setting aside the appellate order and holding that the Rent Controller was justified in passing an order of eviction of the tenant-appellant under Section 11(4)(i) of the Kerala Buildings (Lease and Rent Control) Act 1965.
(3.)The facts which do not admit of dispute are that the accommodation in question originally belonged to the grand-father of the present respondent, who died in the year 1953. It came down to the father of the respondent who also died some time 1976. The property ultimately came to the respondent. In the year 1949 Shri P. George, grandfather of the respondent rented out the premises to the appellant-company which was sub-let to different sub-tenants from time to time. The respondent gave notice to the appellant on 17-11-1981 to terminate the sub-lease arrangements but the tenant failed to comply with the notice. Ultimately John P. Thomas-respondent filed RCP No. 16 of 1982 in the Court of Rent Controller, Kottayam. The eviction was sought on the ground that the appellant-tenant had transferred his rights creating sub-leases in favour of several persons without the consent of the landlord. One of the sub-tenants had even been running a printing press in the premises whereas according to the case of the landlord the premises were let out to the appellant for its use as an office and godown. The petition was contested but the fact of sub-letting was not denied. On the other hand, it was pleaded that one sub-lease was created initially in 1949 itself when the premises were taken by the appellant on rent which fact was within the knowledge of the grandfather and the father of the respondent as well as that of the present respondent. Admittedly, a few more sub-leases were created in 1970s. Nobody ever objected to the same. It could thus well be presumed that the landlord had consented to the sub-letting which was within their knowledge. There does not seem to be any document of lease. The appellant also produced one CPW2 in evidence who had been one of the Directors of the appellant Co. from 1946 to 1960. According to him negotiations of rental arrangement took place in his presence and the arrangement of letting included sub-letting as well.
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