U PAPPANNA SASTRI Vs. V NAGA VENKATA SATYAVATI
HIGH COURT OF ANDHRA PRADESH
V.NAGA VENKATA SATYAVATI
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(1.)This petition under Article 227 of the Constitution of India is directed against the order of the Revenue Divisional Officer, Gudivada in A. S. No. 1 of 1968. reversing the order of the Tahsildar, Gudivada in I. A in A. T. P. No. 17/67 and holding that the Tahsildar has no jurisdiction to try a petition for eviction filed against a permanent lessee on the ground of default in payment of rent.
(2.)The petitioner herein filed the petition A. T. P. No. 17/67 for eviction of the respondent-tenant under Section 13 of the Andhra Tenancy Act, hereinafter referred to as "the Act" alleging that he had committed default in payment of rent for four consecutive years. The tenant filed an I. A. before the Tahsildar contending that in as much as he is a permanent lessee, the petitioner could not be deemed to be a "landlord" within the meaning of the Andhra Tenancy Act and therefore the Tahsildar had no jurisdiction to entertain the petition. The Tahsildar, dismissed the petition on the ground that it is not advisable to decide the several issues arising in the case piecemeal. On appeal to the Revenue Divisional Officer by the tenant, he held, basing upon a judgment of a learned single Judge of this Court in Civil Revn. petition. No. 247 of 1965 Etc., (since prorated in G. Veeraswamy Etc., v. Upparadasta Pappanna Satrulu. (1969( 2 Andh WR 359) that a landlord who has granted a permanent lease does not possess a right to determine the tenancy for default in payment of rent as the respondent has been granted a permanent lease. the petitioner has no right to maintain a petition under Section 13 of the Act.
(3.)No doubt in this case the lease in favour of the respondent tenant is described as a permanent lease and evidenced by a registered document. But one of the terms of the said lease is that in case of default in payment of rent for two consecutive years, the landlord shall have the right to evict the tenant. Section 2 (f) of the Andhra Tenancy Act defines "landlord" as follows:--------------
"2(f):------------Landlord means the owner of a holding or part thereof who is entitled to evict the cultivating tenant from such holding or part, and includes the heirs, assignee legal representatives of such owner, or person deriving right through him."
That the petitioner was the owner of the land and he had granted the permanent lease in favour of the respondent-tenant is admitted. In order to satisfy the definition of "landlord" under the Andhra Tenancy Act, the only other requirement to be satisfied is that the petitioner, who is the owner of the holding should be entitled to evict the cultivating tenant from such holding. The lease-deed as already observed. clearly gives such a right to the landlord in the event of the lessee committing default in payment of rent for two consecutive years. A Bench of this Court in K. Sesharatnamma v. Akkineni Satyanarayana, (1963) 2 andh WR 32 dealing with a similar case where the landlord who had granted a permanent lease and sought to evict the permanent lessee would be deemed to be a landlord within the meaning of the Act, held as follows:-------------
"It is seen from the Section 2 (f) that the essential ingredient of the definition landlord is the right to evict the cultivating tenant. In order to avail himself of the right derived from Section 13, the lessor should be entitled to evict the cultivating tenant. We have, therefore, to see whether under the permanent lease the lessor had reserved to himself the right to evict the lessee for non-payment of rent.:"
Having regard to the above principle laid down by the Bench of this court which is binding on me and having regard to the terms of the present permanent lease granted by the petitioner in favour f the respondent. I have no option but to hold that the petitioner is a "landlord" within the meaning of the act and therefore, entitled to file a petition under Section 13 of the act for eviction. Whether in fact there has been default or not is a matter for enquiry by the Tahsildar. But as per the terms of the lease deed he petitioner is clearly entitled to evict the respondent on proof of default in payment of two consecutive years rent.
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