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The tenant cannot prevail over and cannot occupy the property against the will of the owner : Tripura High Court

The Tripura High Court in the case of Sri Pranab Bhowmik vs Sri. Narayan Debnath (CRP 15 of 2022) upheld that the tenant cannot prevail over and cannot occupy the property against the will of the owner.

Facts of the case : The petitioner that he is the tenant of the respondent, entered into the rented premises as monthly tenant since August, 2000 for 3 years certain upto July 2003. Prior one year of expiry of that Agreement the Landlord respondent entered into a fresh agreement with the tenant petitioner for 5 year certain w.e.f. June 2002 to May 2007 and has been running a small retail medicine shop. The landlord has filed a suit for rent control for evicting the tenant on the ground of bonafide requirement of the property for the purpose of having business for his sons. The court below had given a finding in favor of the landlord and directed the tenant to vacate the premises and to hand over the possession of the premises to the Landlord.

The criteria to be fulfilled for an order of eviction under the provision are : 

  1. that the non-residential accommodation is required bonafide by the landlord for the purpose of continuing or starting his business or that of any of his major sons; and 
  2. that the landlord or such person has no other reasonably suitable non-residential accommodation of his own in his occupation in the city or town concerned.

The counsel for the petitioner tenant contended before the court that the CRP is to be allowed since the landlord had not made out a case of a bonafide requirement. He has sufficient property and his sons are employed in Australia and Hyderabad.

Such requirement must be bonafide which is intended to avoid the mere whim or desire. 

Judgment : The court upheld that landlord’s requirement need not be a dire necessity.  The Rent Control Court should not take an easy approach of discarding the claim of a landlord simply on the ground that the business of the tenant in the tenanted premises is the only source of livelihood of the tenant and hence, the landlord cannot get back the possession of the tenanted premises. If that proposition is accepted, no landlord will be in a position to get back the tenanted premises even in case of his bare necessity. 

After perusing the records, the court was of the view that it becomes necessary to consider the bonafide requirement cannot be said that the sons of the owner need to be unemployed and sitting idle for taking possession of the property from the tenant enabling the sons to start their career in the said property. The tenant cannot expect the sons of the owner to wait till then. Thereafter, it would be sensible to draw a conclusion that once the premises is handed over by the tenant in favor of the owner, then only either the owner or his sons would be in a position to put the property to personal use. The tenant cannot prevail over and cannot occupy the property against the will of the owner. The petition was dismissed.

JUDGMENT REVIEWED BY : SHUBHANGI CHAUDHARY

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