(1.)These writ petitions raise certain common questions for determination and have been argued together. Since we have decided to dismiss the writ petitions on a short prelminary, ground, it is not necessary to set out in detail all ths facts which form the background of each of these writ petitions It is sufficient to set out the salient facts necessary to appreciate the point decided and for this purpose, the facts pertaining to CW 1047183 may alone be narrated.
Facts of the case :
The petitioner, Mangat Ram, was granted a lease by the President of India in respect of a plot of land bearing No. A-l /288, Safdar Jang Residential Scheme. In pursuance thereof an indenture of lease was entered into between the President of E. India and the petitioner on 15th February, 1977. This lease deed was executed by an officer of the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) for and on behalf of and by the order and direction of the President of India.
(2.)Under the lease deed a plot of land was granted to the petitioner on certain terms and conditions which are all not relevant for our present purposes. It is sufficient to state that the lessee covenanted with the lessor, inter alia, as follows :-
"(13) The Lessee shall not without the written consent of the Lessor carry on, or permit to be carried on, on the residential ploi or in any building thereon any trade or business whatsoever or use the same or permit the same to be used for any purpose other than that of private dwelling or do or suffer to be done therein any act or thing whatsoever which in the opinion of the Lessor may be a nuisance. annoyance or disturbance to the Lessor and persons living in the neighbourhood.
Provided that, if the Lesee is desirous of using the said Residential plot on the building thereon for a purpose other than that of private dwelling the Lessor may allow such change of user on such terms and conditions, including payment of additional premium and additional rent, as the Lessor may in his absolute discretion determine."
Paragraph III of the lease deed stated, inter alia, that "if there shall have been, in the opinion of the Lessor, whose decision shall be final any breach by the Lessee or by any person claiming through or under him of any of the covenants or conditions contained herein and on his part to be observed or performed, then and in any such case, it shall be lawful for the Lessor, notwithstanding the waiver of any previous causes or right of re-entry upon the Residential plot hereby demised and the buildings thereon, to re-enter upon and take possession of the Residential plot and the buildings and fixtures thereon, and thereupon this Lease and everything herein contained shall cease and determine and the Lessee shall not be entitled to any compensation whatsoever not to the return of any premium paid by him". The proviso to this paragraph, however, empowered the lessor, without prejudice to his right of re-entry aforesaid, and in his absolute discration, to waive or condone breaches, temporarily or otherwise, on receipt of such amount and on such terms and conditions as may be determined by him. Paragraph IV provided that no forfeiture or re-entry should be effected without serving on the lessee a notice in writing specifying the breach complained and if the breach is capable of remedy requiring the lessee to remedy the breach. Further, if the lessee failed within such reasonable time as may be mentioned in the notice to remedy the breach if it is capable of remedy and in the event of forfeiture or re-entry the lessor may, in his discretion, relieve against forfeiture on such terms and conditions as against forefeiture on such terms and conditions as he thought proper. Paragarph VII provided all notices, orders, directions, consents of approvals to be given under this lease should be in writing and signed by such officer as may be authorised by the Lt. Governor. Under paragraph VIII (a) all powers exerciseable by the lessor (President of India) under the lease could be exercised by the Lt. Governor or by any officer or officers authorised by the lessor to exercise such powers. Clause (b) of paragraph VIII authorised the Lt. Governor to exercise all or any of the powers exercisable by him under the lease but through officer or officers to whom such powers were delegated. Paragraph XI clarified that the lease was being granted under the Government Grants Act, 1895 (Act XV of 1895).
(3.)On the above plot of land the petitioner, after obtaining the sanction of the concerned civic authorities, constructed a house property. The said premises was leased out to one S.C. Bhaskar some time in 1981 at a monthly rent of Rs. 3,500. The tenant started running a lodging house in the premises from June, 1981 under the name 'Meera (or Maurya) Inn'. It is this utilisation of the building in question that has raised a number of problems. We are concerned here with a limited question as to the effect of this utilisation vis-a-vis the covenants undertaken by the petitioner in respect thereof under the lease deed.