Deemed refusal of landlord accepting tendered rent does not amount to eviction from premises by tenant : Delhi High Court
The Delhi High Court has passed a judgement on 04-03-2021 in the case of Permanand Vijay Kumar vs Smt. Savitri Devi & Ors. CM(M) 15/2021 & CMs 584/2021, 586/2021. Justice Navin Chawla allowed this petition.
FACTS OF THE CASE
For better understanding of the case and appreciate the dispute between the parties, it would be necessary to take note of certain facts.
The petitioner is a tenant of the respondent with respect to two shops and one godown on the backside of the ground floor of the property bearing No.488, Bartan Market, Sadar Bazar, Delhi-110006 (hereinafter referred to as „subject premises‟).
The respondents, alleging that the rate of rent with respect to the subject premises was Rs.1,020/- per month which had neither been paid nor tendered by the petitioner herein with effect from 01.08.2005, issued a legal notice dated 19.11.2005 demanding the said rent from the petitioner. It is not disputed by the respondents that the petitioner sent a reply dated 26.11.2005 to the above legal notice inter alia claiming that the rent of the property, in fact, had been increased to Rs.2,040/- per month with effect from 01.01.2005. The petitioner further stated in the reply that the rent is being paid quarterly and the receipts have also been issued on a quarterly basis. It was stated in the reply that the rent up to 31.08.2005 already stands paid and the rent for the months of September, October and November, 2005 was liable to be paid on 30.11.2005.
The petitioner claims to have enclosed with the reply to the legal notice, a cheque for three month‟s rent amounting to Rs.6,120/- and another cheque for Rs.2,040/- being rent for December, 2005.
The petitioner obtained the permission under the Slum Areas (Improvement and Clearance) Act, 1956 to file the eviction petition and thereafter filed the eviction petition in question sometime in November, 2009. Inter-alia some averments were made by the respondent in its eviction petition.
The question, therefore, that arises for consideration in the present petition is as to whether, on the tenant failing to deposit the rent under Section 27 of the Act on deemed refusal of the landlord to accept the tendered rent, the tenant becomes liable for eviction under Section 14 (1)(a) of the Act.
Court took reliance of the case Krishan Lal v. K.M. Sharma, 62(1996) DLT 411, this Court has held that the tenant must be allowed to prove that the arrears of rent were duly sent to the landlord but was not accepted by the landlord as otherwise it will be very easy for the landlord to find an excuse to refuse the tender and wait for the requisite period to pass and then claim eviction on the basis of non-tender of arrears of rent. And court observed that it is what seems to have happened in the present case; at least this is what is alleged by the petitioner and needs to be determined on trial. The court also took reference from the case of Sarla goel (supra) and the supreme court in this case said “In view of our discussions made hereinabove and considering the scope and object of the Act and the provisions of the same, we are of the view that the word “may” in the context of the Act, shall be construed as “shall” and therefore, the tenant shall deposit the rent after refusal by the landlord and, accordingly, having not done so, he is liable to be evicted.” And at last the present petition this case was allowed.
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JUDGMENT REVIEWED BY ABHINAV CHATURVEDI
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