Chhattisgarh Rent Control Act | ‘Accommodation’ U/S 2 Includes Superstructures: High Court

In a recent ruling, the Chhattisgarh High Court determined that a superstructure is within the scope of the term “accommodation” as defined in Section 2(1) of the Chhattisgarh Rent Control Act, 2011.

Tenant challenged Rent Control Tribunal’s eviction order on the grounds that the land was government property and not the respondents’, and a division bench consisting of Justices Goutam Bhaduri and N.K. Chandravanshi issued the ruling.

In this case, the landlords (respondents) went to the Rent Control Authority to get the tenant (petitioner) evicted from the superstructure/shop that was built on leased property.

Sushil Dhanorkar v. Sushila Soni and Others is the official case title.

Citation- 2022 LiveLaw (Chh) 81.

Judgment and order:

The landlord claimed that the renter had been given notice to evacuate the property within six months of the new law’s enactment, but that the tenant had ignored the demand while knowing it was legally binding. As a result, the respondents demanded that the renter be evicted and that any past due rent be paid.

Tenant filed a response with the Rent Control Authority, in which he acknowledged that he is the tenant but contended that landlords had not yet demonstrated ownership. Tenant further questioned the validity of the notification and said that the initial complaint was withdrawn without his permission. Following this, the Rent Control Authority issued the eviction order, which included a demand for payment of rent arrears. An appeal was filed with the Rent Control Tribunal due to dissatisfaction with the order, and the Rent Control Tribunal upheld the requirement for eviction and payment of back rent.

This petition was so filed to appeal that Rent Control Tribunal ruling. Attorney Mayak Chandrakar representing the petitioner argued that the land in question is government-owned nazul land, and as such is excluded from the new Act. Furthermore, he argue that a private ejectment suit would be unmaintainable where government ownership is at issue (see Parwati Bai Vs. Radhika, AIR 2003 SCC 3995).

However, landlords’ attorney Shashi Bhusan Tiwari argued that the settlement and the will properly transferred title to the landlords. He further pointed out that the tenant had paid rent to them, arguing that this is further proof that the individual is a tenant. The Court reviewed the petitioner’s arguments and the facts presented in support of his or her position, and then examined Section 3 of the new Act, the basis upon which the petitioner disputed the applicability of the said Act. The map that accompanied the Third Civil Judge’s order was presented by the parties. It was determined by the Division Bench to be beyond reasonable doubt that the respondents are the new owners of the portion of nazul land over which the partition was performed. In addition, the petitioner’s affidavit was recorded, and the landlords’ rent invoices confirmed his status as a renter. The Bench emphasized that this tenancy did not concern a public area but rather a store.

Any structure or portion thereof, whether residential or commercial, leased by a landlord to a tenant, including open space, as defined in Section 2(1) of the new Act. Landlord is defined in Section 2(5) as “any person who is, at the moment, receiving or entitled to receive the rent of any lodging.”

Therefore, it was determined that the superstructure alone would meet the requirements of Section 2 as an accommodation The Court further determined that the Supreme Court ruling did not apply because the respondent was found to be the landlord according to the rent receipts and the tenant’s admission.As the landlord, the respondents here “own the accommodation” that they are renting out to their renter. This resulted in the dismissal of the petition.

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Judgement reviewed by Deepa Bajaj.

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