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The Tenant is protected by virtue of section 14 of the Uttar Pradesh Urban Buildings Act,1972: Supreme Court

The appellant who was the writ petitioner approached the supreme court regarding the judgment and order passed on the 9th October 2009 by a Single Judge in the High Court at Allahabad. In the Supreme Court of India, this judgement was given by Honorable Mr Justice Abhay S. Oka, on the 20th of September 2021 in the case of Geetha Gupta Versus Ramesh Chandra Dwivedi & Ors., [Civil Appeal NO. 4750 OF 2011.]

The following are the brief facts of the case, the appellant is claiming to be the owner of premises No. 74/13 Collectorganj, Kanpur Nagar, Uttar Pradesh. She acquired the same by a sale deed back in 1994 and claimed that the physical possession was handed over to her by her vendors, which was earlier given by the appellant’s vendor to one Dhruv Narayan Tripathi by way of tenancy (possession of land or property as a tenant).

The second Respondent made an application regarding the disputed premises by invoking Section 16 of the Uttar Pradesh Urban Buildings (Regulation of Letting, Rent and Eviction) Act, 1972. It was held that the disputed premises was vacant in accordance with subsection 4 of section 20 of the said ACT and rule 8(2) of the Uttar Pradesh Urban Buildings rules 1972. An inspection report on the 20th of may 1995 was submitted to the district magistrate.  Which stated that the first respondent Ramesh Chandra Dwivedi was carrying a business in this disputed premises and he was inducted as a tenant by Dhruv Narayan Tripathi and paid him a monthly rent of Rs. 500.

District Magistrate held that with respect to the agreement on the 15th November 1975 the first respondent was inducted as a tenant by Mr Dhruv Narayan Tripathi who was acting as an owner and the original owners never objected to this action. Finally, the magistrate held that the disputed premises were not vacant within the meaning of sub-section (4) of Section 12 of the said Act.

The petitioner filed a writ petition against the judgment by the additional city magistrate which was rejected on the 15th of November. The counsel representing the appellant held that Mr Dhruv Narayan Tripathi had no right to induct the respondent as a tenant on behalf of the petitioner because Mr Dhruv himself was a tenant, the counsel further held that this premises has been vacant since 1976 and since the day she purchased this land she has not received any income from the premises and concluded that she has not received any benefits from the premises for the last 27 years. The counsel further relied upon the following cases which are in accordance with the current situation, Achal Misra v. Rama Shanker Singh & Ors [1(2005) 5 SCC 531], Ram Murti Devi v. Pushpa Devi & Ors [(2017) 15 SCC 230], Harish Tandon v. Addl. District Magistrate, Allahabad, U.P. & Ors [(1995) 1 SCC 537].

The counsel representing the respondent held that according to the discoveries recorded by the Additional City Magistrate the respondent has been in possession of the disputed premises and is even paying the rent. He showed his deposit of rent in the Court of Civil Judge, (Junior Division) Kanpur Nagar by taking recourse to sub-section (1) of Section 30 of the said Act. The respondent has done his duty in depositing the rent and if some part is still pending, he shall fulfil the same. The counsel for the appellant held that it is not justified that the appellant has to file a suit for eviction 27 years after she purchased the disputed premises.

The Honourable Supreme Court held that the finding of fact was recorded by the Addl. City Magistrate is that the original owners never denied that the said Dhruv Narayan Tripathi was their attorney or manager and that the original owners neither served any notice nor filed a suit for eviction. At first, the respondent was a tenant with the consent of the original owners therefore he shall be deemed By virtue of Section 14, the first respondent gets the protection as a tenant under the said Act to be a tenant by virtue of section 14 of the said Act. Therefore there is no reason to find fault with the order of the additional city magistrate though there is no merit in the appeal, it will be necessary to ensure that the first respondent regularly pays rent in respect of the disputed premises.

The Honourable Supreme Court concluded that “We direct the first respondent to deposit all the arrears of rent, if any, up to 31st August 2021 within a period of six weeks from today and thereafter, continue to regularly deposit the rent in the aforesaid proceedings. He can also pay the amount to the petitioner. The petitioner can always apply for withdrawal of the rent amount in accordance with subsection (3) of section 30 of the said Act. If eviction proceedings are filed by the petitioner, considering the case of the petitioner that she is deprived of the benefit of the disputed premises right from the year 1994, the concerned authority or the Court, as the case may be, shall give priority to the disposal of the eviction proceedings.”

Click here to read the judgment

Judgment reviewed by – A. Beryl Sugirtham 

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