BHALCHANDRA N. VAKIL Vs. CHANDULAL MOHANLAL DARJI
HIGH COURT OF GUJARAT
Bhalchandra N. Vakil
Chandulal Mohanlal Darji
Referred Judgements :-
PANCHAL HASMUKHLAL BABULAL V. VITHALBHAI MAGANDAS PARMAR
DUABHAI V. RAMNIKLAL,AIR 1975
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(1.)Section 12(1) of the Act provides that landlord is not entitled to recover possession of any premises from his tenant so long as the tenant pays, or is ready and willing to pay, the amount of standard rent and permitted increases, if any, and observes and performs other conditions of tenancy in so far as they are consistent with the provisions of the Act. Thus, this provision protects the tenant from eviction so long as he is ready and willing to pay rent and performs other conditions of tenancy.
(2.)It is now well-settled that if a tenant sends the amount of rent due by a money order and if that is refused by the landlord, then though the rent can be said to be due, the tenant cannot be said to be not ready and willing to pay rent. It is also well-settled that if a landlord refuses to accept without any justifiable cause, the amount tendered by his tenant either by sending a money order or in any other recognized mode of payment thereafter the tenant is not bound or under any legal obligation to go on remitting the said amount over and over again.
(3.)The question which arises for consideration is whether a tenant can be said to be ready and willing to pay rent even if he does not offer to pay the arrears after receiving a notice from his landlord calling upon him to pay the same only on the ground that prior to receiving the notice, he had remitted the rent, then due. The facts of the case show that the tenant had sent the last money order on 13-9-1974. That amount covered rent for the period from 16-2-1974 to 15-9-1974. It is an admitted position that rent was due from 16-9-1974. In view of the remittances made by the tenant till September, 1974 it cannot be said that he was not ready and willing to pay rent till that date. Thereafter, the landlord by a notice dated 19-10-1974, called upon the tenant to pay up the arrears within one month from the date of receipt of the notice. Arrears were not tendered by the tenant within time. What is required to be decided is whether by not paying all the arrears of rent within one month from the date of receipt of the notice, the tenant can be said to be not ready and willing to pay rent. Important fact to be borne in mind is that when the notice was given by the landlord, the rent which had become due was for the period from 16-2-1974 to 15-10-1974. Admittedly, no rent for the period from 16-9-1974 to 15-10-1974 was tendered by the tenant at any point of time. Therefore, this is not a case where after receiving a notice, the tenant had offered to pay all the arrears of rent and the landlord had refused to accept the same. Nor is this a case where prior to the date of the notice, full amount of rent due upto-date i.e. up to the date of the notice was tendered by the tenant. In this case, as pointed out earlier, at no point of time the tenant had offered to pay rent for the period from 16-9-1974 to 15-10-1974. What was urged by Mr. Adhyaru was that as the tenant had shown his willingness to pay rent for all the previous months, it should be assumed that he was ready and willing to pay rent even for the subsequent period. He had not tendered the amount due after receiving notice, because on earlier three occasions, the landlord had refused to accept the money orders. This argument though attractive cannot be accepted. A landlord might have refused to accept rent either because of incorrect advice or for any other reason. Even such a landlord can subsequently change his mind and may become willing to accept rent from his tenant. If such a willingness is communicated to the tenant, then the tenant should pay up all the arrears as required by the Act for the purpose of claiming protection thereunder. Past readiness and willingness is no substitute for the obligation arising out of giving of a notice by the landlord. If it is held that after receiving notice from his landlord, the tenant is under no obligation to pay up the arrears, if he had already remitted or tendered a major part of it before receiving the notice, then it will give a licence to him not to pay rent till a decree is passed against him, and thus avoid statutory obligation of paying rent regularly to his landlord.
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