RIYASAT ALI KHAN Vs. MIRZA WAHID BEG AND ANOTHER
HIGH COURT OF ALLAHABAD
RIYASAT ALI KHAN
MIRZA WAHID BEG
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(1.)THIS is a tenants second appeal from the concurrent decisions of the courts below decreeing the plaintiff respondents
suit for his ejectment and recovery of arrears of rent from him.
(2.)THE appellant Riyasat Ali Khan was a tenant of a house in Moradabad of which the plaintiff respondent Mirza Wahid Beg is the owner and landlord. The latter filed a suit for his ejectment on the around that he had illegally sub-let a portion of the house and also failed to pay arrears of rent within one month of receiving a notice of demand. Both the courts below rejected the allegation of sub-letting, but have held that the appellant had not paid rent for more than three months in spite of demand. The appellant has come to this court in second appeal.
Learned counsel for the appellant, Mr. N. Kumar urged two points in support of this appeal. First, he argued that the notice was invalid because it asked the tenant to vacate the accommodation .on the last day of the 7th of February 1954 whereas the month of tenancy ended on the 6th of February. I am not much impressed by this objection. The tenant cannot take advantage of a clerical error of a trivial nature. The landlord intended to give one months notice and if he wrote 7th February instead of 6th February, this cannot invalidate the notice. Moreover, the words "7th February" did not have the effect of extending the tenancy beyond the 6th of February because the landlord did not ask for rent for the 7th February. If the landlord while terminating the tenancy is considerate enough to allow the tenant an extra day for removing himself without demanding rent for that day, the latter cannot take advantage of an act of kindness and attack the notice as invalid.
(3.)SECONDLY , Mr. Kumar asked this Court to give the appellant relief under S. 114 of the Transfer of Property Act and save him from forfeiture of tenancy. I think this argument is based on a misapprehension of the scope of S. 114. As this request for relief is frequently made before me on behalf of tenants, I think it is desirable to explain the scope of this section. There are different ways of terminating a tenancy. One of them is by notice, another by forfeiture. A monthly tenancy is determinable by one months notice by either party. In such a case, there is no question of forfeiture. But a tenancy may be prematurely terminated by the landlord if there is a forfeiture clause entitling him to do so. The right of forfeiture is ordinarily limited to cases where the tenant is guilty of some kind of misconduct as for example, non-payment of rent. S. 114 enables the Court to grant a tenant relief against forfeiture for non-payment of rent. It applies to those cases where the landlord invokes his rights under what is known as a forfeiture clause and determines the lease by forfeiture and sues to eject the tenant. For example, suppose there is a lease for 30 years containing a clause that the landlord may determine it if the tenant does not pay rent for a whole year. But for this clause, the lease must run for 30 years and the landlord has no right to eject the tenant before the expiry of this period. But if the tenant fails to pay rent for a year, the forfeiture clause enables the landlord to determine the lease before its full period has expired. In such a case, he flies a suit for ejectment the Court may grant the tenant relief against forfeiture on conditions specified in the Section. But in a tenancy which runs from month to month, no question of forfeiture arises if the landlord determines it by a valid notice of termination. The confusion about the scope of S. 114 has been caused by S. 3(1)(a) of the U.P. Control of Rent and Eviction Act which enjoins in effect that no suit for the ejectment of the tenant can be filed without the permission or me District Magistrate unless he has failed to pay three months rent in spite of demand. This provision has created the impression that the landlord relying on S. 3(1)(a) invokes his right to forfeit the tenancy. That is not so, he files the suit for ejectment in the exercise of his right, under the ordinary law of landlord and tenant, to terminate a tenancy which was determinable by either side by notice of one month or whatever the period. Sec. 3(1)(a) merely imposes a bar on this right. When the tenant fails to pay three months" rent in spite of a notice of demand this bar is removed. Thereupon the landlord determines the tenancy by a notice under S. 106 of the Transfer of Property Act. He does not invoke any forfeiture clause because there is none to invoke.
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