S MOHANLAL Vs. R KONDAIAH
HIGH COURT OF ANDHRA PRADESH
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Ramachandra Rao, J. -
(1.)This revision petition raises a short and interesting question as to whether the profession of an advocate comes within the meaning of the expression "business" occurring in Section 10(3) (a) (iii) (a) and (b) of the Andhra Pradesh Buildings (Lease, Rent and Eviction) Control Act, 1960 (hereinafter referred to as the Act). In view of the importance of the question raise, our learned brother Obul Reddi, J., referred the matter to a Bench of two Judges and that is how the revision has come before us. We May also mention that apart form the above question arguments were advanced by the learned Counsel on other points also, inasmuch as the whole case has been referred to a Bench.
(2.)The brief facts relevant for the purpose of the disposal of this revision may now be stated. The petitioner herein is the tenant and the respondent herein is the owner of a building bearing NO. 3119/1 situated at Rashtrapati Road in Secunderabd. In the building one room is facing the main road while the three rooms are in the rear side and the petitioner has been in occupation of these four rooms for over 18 to 20 years prior to the filing of the petition for eviction, and has been carrying on business in art-jewellary. Fro the purpose of the aforesaid business, he had installed certain machinery in the rear rooms, while the front t from which faces the road, is used as a show room Corresponding to the front room of the suit building, there is a room in the upstairs with open space on the rear side and there is a spiral iron staircase on the front side of the building. It would appear that the suit building which is a mulgie with the corresponding upstairs portion had fallen to the share of the respondent in a partition amongst the family members in the year 1957. The respondent also got another mulgie in tobacco bazar in Secunderabad, towards his share in the aforesaid partition. The upstairs portion of the suit building was let out to another tenant who is running a Radio Engineering Institute; therein. The mulgie in tobacco bazar bearing No. 1604 which had fallen to the share of the respondent is in the occupation of another tenant one O. K. Balakotaiah, Prior to the partition between the members of the family of the respondent, his father had filed a petition for eviction in the year 1957 against the petitioner on the ground of wilful default in payment of rent. The petitioner had filed an application for fixation of fair rent. These petitions were however compromised and the rent was enhanced from O. S. Rs. 60- to I. C. Rs. 75/-.
(3.)While so, the respondent who had obtained LL. B. Degree in 1956, enrolled as a Pleader and joined the office of Sri K. Ramgopal, a senior Advocate of Secunderbad. In the year 1960 the respondent enrolled himself as an advocate. It is stated that due to health reasons, Sri K. Ramgopal, confined his practice only to the civil courts and that he had entrusted the cases in other courts like the Munsifs Courts. Rent Controllers Court and Small Causes court to the respondent. The respondent therefore, wanted to set up an office of his own for the purpose of carrying on his practice as an advocate. The respondent states that as the building in the Rashtrapti Road is ideally suited for the purpose of setting up office, he gave a notice to the petitioner on 12-12-1961 (Ex P-2) stating that he requires the aforesaid building in question for his personal occupation and he called upon the petitioner to vacate and deliver possession of the same to the respondent by 31-12-1961. The petitioner sent a reply Ex. P-3 dated 24-12-1961 refusing to vacate the premises on various grounds. Thereupon the respondent filed an application for eviction under Section 10 sub-section (3) (a) (iii) (a) and (b) of the Act on the ground that he required the building in question for his personal occupation for the purpose of carrying on his profession as Advocate and that he was not occupying any other non-residential building in the city which was his own or to the possession of which he was entitled, for the purpose of carrying on his profession. The petitioner contested the application stating that the requirement of the respondent was not bona fide, that he was having another mulgie in tobacco bazar where he could set up practice, that the respondent was carrying on his profession in portion of his family house at Marrenddipally in Secunderabad, that he did not therefore, require the mulgie in question for setting up his office, that the petitioner was carrying on his business of manufacturing jewellary in the mulgie for over a long time, that the upstairs portion of the mulgie had fallen vacant some three of four years back, but the respondent did not occupy it and let out the same to a Radio Engineering Institute, that the respondent owned other buildings where he could carry on his profession, and that it would cause great hardship and loss of business to the petitioner if he were to be evicted form the mulgie in question.
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