Decided on December 08,2003

MADHAVAN Respondents


- (1.) Can a subtenant turned landlord defeat the rights of a tenant under the Kerala Rent Act by purchasing the landlord's rights is the interesting question that has come up for consideration in this case.
(2.) Petition Schedule building bearing door No.37/69-2 of Cochin Corporation originally belonged to one Thottakkattu Bhanumathi Amma. She let out the building to one Madhavan who subleased the same to one Shanmughan for conducting a hair cutting saloon by name Indian Hair Cutting Saloon at Cannon Shed Road, Ernakulam. Petitioner before Rent Control Court the tenant sought eviction of the respondent subtenant under S.11(2)(b) and 11(3) of Act 2 of 1965. According to him rent from 1.1.1977 is defaulted and a sum of Rs. 11,400/- is due as arrears of rent and an amount of Rs. 1,200/- is also due by way of interest at the rate of 6%. He also needs the building for starting a stationary business. A notice dated 2.7.84 was issued demanding arrears of rent and also for surrendering the building for own occupation. Subtenant resisted the petition denying title of the petitioner and stated that schedule building belongs to Thottakkattu Bhanumathi Amma. Further it was also stated that the tenant is only a deemed landlord and hence not entitled to seek eviction under the Act. Further it was also stated there is no arrears of rent and the need urged by the petitioner is not genuine. Subtenant also stated that his family is depending on the income obtained from the hair cutting saloon and if he is evicted he would not be able to get suitable building for the conduct of his business.
(3.) Rent Control Petition 114 of 1984 was originally allowed by the Rent Control Court on 31.1.1986 on both the grounds urged. Matter was taken up in appeal as RCA 70 of 1986. The order was confirmed. Subtenant respondent took up the matter before Revisional Authority and the Revisional Court remanded the matter on 16.6.1992 setting aside the finding of the Appellate Authority as well as that of the Rent Control Court. Before remand tenant was examined as PW 1. Exts.A1 and A2 documents were marked. Subtenant was examined as RW 1 and B1 to B5 were produced. After remand no further evidence was adduced by the tenant. RWs. 3 and 4 were examined on the side of the subtenant. Rent Control Court after considering oral and documentary evidence found there is no arrears of rent. Rent Control Court however, ordered eviction under S.11(3) of the Act holding that the need urged by the tenant is bona fide and that the subtenant is not entitled to get the benefit of second proviso to S.11(3), Subtenant was directed to put the tenant in possession. Subsequent then took up the matter in appeal as RCA 50 of 1993. Appellate Authority confirmed the findings of the Rent Control Court and dismissed the appeal, against which this revision has been preferred by the subtenant.;

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