The High Court of Kerala passed a judgement on 10 February, 2023 which stated that the landlord in possession of a vacant premises in the very same building, of which the tenanted premises is a part, the rent control court came to the conclusion that the need set out by the landlord for eviction is not bona fide It was stated in the case of K.Ramanunni vs Avvaumma (R.C. Rev. No.433 of 2019) which was passed by the division judge bench comprising of JUSTICE P.B.SURESH KUMAR AND JUSTICE C.S. SUDHA
FACTS OF THE CASE:
The tenant in an eviction petition under Section 11(2)(b) and 11(3) of the Kerala Buildings (Lease and Rent Control) Act, 1965 is the petitioner in this revision petition. Though the Rent Control Court ordered eviction under both heads initially, in an appeal by the tenant, the Appellate Authority set aside the order under Section 11(3) and remitted the eviction petition under that head for fresh consideration. Thereupon, after letting the parties to adduce further evidence, the Rent Control Court dismissed the eviction petition, insofar as it relates to the claim under Section 11(3). The landlord challenged the said decision of the Rent Control Court in appeal. Pending disposal of the appeal, although the landlord died, his legal representatives, collectively referred to herein as landlords, came on record and pursued the appeal. The Appellate Authority allowed the said appeal in terms of the judgment impugned in this revision petition and ordered eviction of the tenant under Section 11(3) also. It is aggrieved by the said decision of the Appellate Authority that the tenant has come up in this revision petition.The landlord who held the building of which the tenanted premises is a part, was an ex-service man. The case set out by him in the eviction petition relating to the claim under Section 11(3) of the Act is that he intends to start a stationery-cum- fruit stall business in the premises. The tenant filed objections to the eviction petition mainly contending that the landlord has several other premises and businesses and the claim is therefore not bona fide.
JUDGEMENT OF THE CASE
It is trite that the crucial date for deciding the bona fides of a requirement is the date of application for eviction and if every subsequent development is to be taken into account for judging the bona fides of the requirement, there would be no end to litigation. But that does not mean that subsequent events need not be taken note of at all. The subsequent events to overshadow the genuineness of the need must be of such a nature and of such a dimension that the need propounded by the petitioning party should have been completely eclipsed by such subsequent events .In the case on hand, the need set out is that the landlord intends to start a stationery-cum-fruit stall business in the premises. Such a need being one that could be pursued by his legal representatives on his death, according to us, the death of the landlord in a case of this nature is of no consequence.Needless to say, there is no illegality, irregularity or impropriety in the decision of the Appellate Authority warranting interference of this Court under Section 20 of the Act. In light of the said finding, it is unnecessary for us to delve into the consequence of destruction of the building vis-a-vis the rights of the tenant. The revision petititon is dismissed.
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JUDGEMENT REVIEWED BY ROSHNI SABU, KERALA LAW ACADEMY LAW COLLEGE.