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High Court ought not to re-examine findings of fact, unless they are shown to be manifestly unreasonable or perverse: High Court of Delhi

Where a special statute governs the relationship between the parties and provides for an appeal, the High Court ought not to re-examine findings of fact in its supervisory jurisdiction, unless they are shown to be manifestly unreasonable or perverse. The power under Article 227 is exercisable where it is found by the High Court that due to a certain grave error an injustice has been caused to a party and the same was upheld by High Court of Delhi through the learned bench led by Justice Prateek Jalan in the case of PARAMJEET SINGH vs. MAHAVIR PRASAD [CM(M) 191/2022] on 28.02.2022.

The facts of the case are that the landlord filed the eviction proceedings against the tenant u/s 14(1)(a) and 14(1)(b) of the Delhi Rent Control Act, 1958. The case of the landlord was that the suit property was owned by his deceased father who had inducted the tenant into the property at a monthly rent. The landlord claimed that the suit property was bequeathed to him by way of a will. Contending that the tenant was in arrears of rent which had not been tendered despite service of demand notices, and that the tenant had inducted a sub-tenant into the premises, therefore, the landlord sought eviction of the tenant.

The plaintiff’s counsel submitted that the tenant was in arrears of rent which had not been tendered despite service of demand notices, and that the tenant had inducted a sub-tenant into the premises, therefore, eviction of the tenant is being sought.

The respondent’s counsel submitted that the rent was being collected on behalf of a trust of Dharamshala Shree Chander Dev Bhagwan and that the Trust was in fact the owner of the suit property. It was further submitted that the Rent Controller dismissed the eviction petition on the finding that the landlord had failed to prove that he is the owner or the landlord of the suit property, and that the tenant therefore had no liability to pay rent to him.

The Court while applying the narrow grounds of Article 227 to the present case, found no reason to interfere in the present case. The Court observed that, “where a special statute governs the relationship between the landlord and tenant and provides for an appeal, the High Court ought not to re-examine findings of fact in its supervisory jurisdiction, unless they are shown to be manifestly unreasonable or perverse. The power under Article 227 is exercisable where it is found by the High Court that due to a certain grave error an injustice has been caused to a party. High standard is required to justify interference under Article 227 of the Constitution i.e. material fact which would suggest that these findings of fact are perverse, in the sense that no reasonable person could have read the evidence in this manner.”

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Judgment reviewed by – Shristi Suman

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