S K CHATTERJEE Vs. SUBRATA BISWAS
HIGH COURT OF DELHI
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(1.)The petitioner is the landlord. The respondent is the tenant. The premises in question are C-233 Greater Kailash I, New Delhi. They comprise two bed rooms and one drawing and dining room in the first floor. Monthly rent is Rs. 300.00 per month. The premises were let for residential purposes on 11.6.1968. The landlord brought eviction proceedings under sec. 14(1) of the Delhi Rent Control Act, 1958 (herein the Act) on 24.9.1970, on the grounds of subletting, default in payment of rent, misuser and bonafide requirement. By an order of 14.12.1970 the Rent Controller held that the claim for eviction on the ground of non-payment of rent under cl. (a) of the proviso to sub-scc. (1) of scc. 14 was premature. The petition was dismisled on 4.3.1978 on the ground that the tenancy was not terminated by serving a valid notice. While doing so, the learned Controller also rejected that no subletting on parting with possession was proved within the meaning of cl. (b). Similarly, the allegation of misuser under cl. (e) was also rejected. With regard to bonafide requirement under cl. (e), the learned Controller held that the petitioner was in possession of the entire ground floor which consisted of one drawing-cum-dining room and two bed rooms. His family comprised of himself, his wife, three unmarried sons, one married son, one married daughter and one aunt as well. The daughter and the aunt were not dependent on him for accommodation. The barsati floor fell vacant during the pendency of the proceedings. It comprised of two rooms. The barsati was let out by the petitioners to some other tenants after it was vacated by the previous tenant. It again fell vacant in 1974 and is available with the petitioner for occupation. The accommodation with the petitioner by no stretch of imagination can be said to be unsuitable and insufficient for the needs of the petitioner. The petitioner, therefore, was held to have failed in establishing the grounds of bonafide requirement,
(2.)The landlord, therefore, after giving a fresh notice filed a fresh application for eviction on the ground of personal requirement on 1.8.1978. That application was dismissed on 10.12.1980 against which the present revision has been filed.
(3.)The learned Addl. Controller held that the petition is hit by principles of res judicata. The earlier eviction petition was not dismissed merely on a technical ground and a petition on the ground of bonafide necessity cannot be filed without a new cause of action. A new cause of action means new circumstances necessitating a requirement of more accommodation to the petitioner, such as increase in the members of the family or some other apparent need. The only change that has taken place in the family was the arrival of a granddaughter, but balanced by the departure of the second daughter after marriage. The premises in question were let out in the year 1968 and since then the members of the family has remained the same except that they were now older by ten years. The petitioner remained satisfied with the accommodation on the ground floor. The barsati floor was being let out to various tenants from 1968 onwards. The petitioner never occupied this accommodation and continued letting it out as and when it -fell vacant. The learned Addl. Controller rejected the argument that the barsati floor was not suitable for his residence. The Addl. Controller was further influenced by the fact that the petitioner lived with the entire family in a congested manner for many years when he could have easily occupied the barasati floor. Though landlord has every right to make himself comfortable and the tenant cannot arrogate to himself the right to manage the affairs of the landlord, yet it does not mean that the landlord can act in fandiful fashion. On the one hand, the landlord is crying for additional accommodation, on the other he is found letting out the second floor to new tenants. The Addl. Controller, therefore, refused to come to the rescue of the landlord because 'god helps those who help themselves'. He also concluded that the petition for eviction was made with oblique motive and was malafide.
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