With the death of both partners and not having any clause permitting continuation of the partnership by the legal heirs, the non-residential tenanted premises is deemed to be vacant in law as the tenant is deemed to have ceased to occupy the building. The aforesaid has been established by the Supreme Court of India in the case of Davesh Nagalya (D) & Ors. v. Pradeep Kumar (D) Thr. Lrs. And Ors [ CIVIL APPEAL NO. 3477 OF 2010] which was decided upon by the single judge bench comprising Justice Hemant Gupta on 10 August 2021.
Brief facts leading to the present appeal are that an application was filed by Pradeep Kumar in July 1982 before the Court of Rent Control and Eviction Officer, Dehradun, the District Magistrate, in terms of the Act. In such application, Pradeep Kumar, the successor-in-interest of tenant Tika Ram averred that Subhash Chand was a divorcee and had no children and was willing to devote full time in the said proposed business of sale of milk, curd, ghee and butter. The application was however opposed by the landlord. It was inter alia averred that after death of Tika Ram, he had left behind 8 legal heirs who were joint tenants in the disputed property. It was stated that Subhash Chand was a sub-tenant and that he was involved in demolition, changing the structure and making furniture for last two months. Shri Pradeep Kumar has put such person in possession of the property. It is also averred that Subhash Chand has been doing the business of milk products in Dehradun and that the application has been filed in order to only cover the sub-tenancy. It was argued that Pradeep Kumar had put such person in possession of the shop who was not a member of their family and thus property would be deemed to be vacant under Section 12(2) of the Act. However, the District Magistrate permitted Subhash Chand to be inducted as a partner on 15.11.1982. It was thereafter, on 19.11.1982, a written partnership deed was signed between Pradeep Kumar and Subhash Chand, a copy of which is annexed herewith as P-4. Clause 6 of the said Partnership Deed states that all provisions of the Partnership Act would be applicable. It is thereafter, the appellant filed an application for review before the High Court inter alia on the 3 ground that pursuant to the death of the tenant, Pradeep Kumar i.e., one of the partners of the firm, the partnership does not survive in view of Section 42(c) of the Partnership Act.
The court perused the facts and arguments presented. It was of the opinion that “We find that the order of permitting Subhash Chand as partner with Pradeep Kumar has come to an end by efflux of time and operation of law. In terms of Section 42(c) of the Partnership Act, partnership stands dissolved by death of a partner. One of the partners i.e., Pradeep Kumar died on 21.05.2004. The High Court has not taken note of such fact in the review petition and failed to take into consideration the subsequent events which were germane to the controversy. Subhash Chand, the other partner also died during the pendency of appeal on 25.06.2014. It was represented to the District Magistrate by Pradeep Kumar that Subhash Chand is a divorcee and has no children but such assertion was not found to be correct as he had two children, a son and a daughter who were impleaded as his legal heirs. The Civil Appeal is thus allowed and the tenant is deemed to cease 10 to occupy the premises in question. Consequently, the tenanted property has fallen vacant as well. The appellants may take recourse to remedy as may be available to them and may proceed in accordance with law and the provisions of the Act.”