Case Study: M/S Nopany Investments (P) Ltd v. Santokh Singh

By Rishabh Kumar 10 Minutes Read

Citation: AIR 2008 SC 673

Date of Judgement: 10th December, 2007

Bench: Tarun Chatterjee (J) and P. Sathasivam (J)

Facts:

On 16th of July, 1980, the appellant entered into a lease with Dr. Santokh Singh (HUF) for a period of 4 years, with respect to the property of the suit premises, at a monthly rent of Rs. 3500. Accordingly, at the expiry of the aforesaid period of 4 years, a notice of eviction was issued which was followed by filing an Eviction petition before the Additional Rent Controller by Jasraj Singh, claiming himself to be the Karta of Dr. Santokh Singh HUF. The Additional Rent Controller passed an order directing the appellant for payment of rent at the rate of Rs. 3500/-. After coming into force of Section 6A of the Delhi Rent Control Act, a notice dated 9th of January, 1992 was sent by Jasraj Singh, in the above capacity, to the appellant for enhancement of rent by 10 percent and also termination of tenancy of the appellant. Thereafter, a notice dated 3rd of September, 1992 was sent by Jasraj Singh asking the appellant to vacate the suit property to which the appellant did not concede and refused to vacate the same. On 6th of February, 1993, Dr. Santokh Singh HUF, through Jasraj Singh, claiming himself to be the Karta of the HUF, instituted a suit seeking eviction of the appellant from the suit premises.

Lower Court Decision:

The trial court decreed the respondent’s suit for possession, against which an appeal was preferred before the Additional District Judge, Delhi. In pursuance of the direction of the High Court, the first appellate court, after fresh consideration of the matter, affirmed the judgment passed by the Trial court thereby dismissing the appeal of the appellant herein. Being aggrieved and dissatisfied with the order of the first appellate court, the appellant preferred a second appeal, before the High Court of Delhi, which, however, was also dismissed.

Judgement:

Supreme Court held that the High Court was fully justified in holding that the suit was maintainable at the instance of Jasraj Singh, claiming himself to be the Karta of the HUF. Under Section 6A of the Delhi Rent Control Act, 1958, landlord can increase the rent agreed upon between him and the tenant by 10 % every three years, by intimating the tenant his intension to make the increase, as provided under Section 8 of the Act. The filing of an eviction suit by the respondent under the general law itself is a notice to quit on the tenant. Therefore, court has no hesitation to hold that no notice to quit was necessary under Section 106 of the Transfer of Property Act in order to enable the respondent to get a decree of eviction against the appellant. The Court granted time to the appellant to vacate the premises in question by 29th of February, 2008. In default, it will be open to the respondent to proceed to execute the decree for eviction of the appellant from the suit premises in accordance with law.

Key Law points discussed:

  1. Whether Jasraj Singh could file the suit for eviction, in the capacity of the Karta of Dr. Santokh Singh HUF, when, admittedly, an elder member of the aforesaid HUF was alive?

Yes

In Tribhovandas Haribhai Tamboli v. Gujarat Revenue Tribunal and others[1] it has been made clear that under given circumstances, a junior member of the joint hindu family can deal with the joint family property as manager or act as the Karta of the same. In the present case, court observed that the eldest brother was living abroad for a long time. Therefore he was not in a position to discharge his duties as Karta of the HUF. The respondent produced the Xerox copy of the power of attorney given by his eldest brother to him. There was no protest by any member of the joint hindu family to the filing of the suit by Jasraj Singh claiming himself to be the Karta of the HUF. Having relied on the aforesaid decisions the Court rejected the argument of the appellant that Jasraj Singh could not have acted as the Karta of the family as his elder brother, being the senior most member of the HUF, was alive. Therefore, the Court was fully justified in holding that the suit was maintainable at the instance of Jasraj Singh, claiming himself to be the Karta of the HUF.

  • Whether the judgment of the first appellate court was liable to be set aside for non- compliance with the mandatory provisions of O.41 of the CPC?

No

Apex Court held that, it does not appear that the findings arrived at by the first appellate court affirming the judgment of the trial court on any issue were either very cryptic or based on non-consideration of the arguments advanced by the parties before it. It is well settled that in the case of reversal, the first appellate court ought to give some reason for reversing the findings of the trial court whereas in the case of affirmation, the first appellate court accepts the reasons and findings of the trial court. In the present case, the first appellate court had affirmed the findings of the trial court, which were based on total consideration of the material evidence, documentary and oral on record. “The task of an appellate court affirming the findings of the trial court is an easier one. The appellate court agreeing with the view of the trial court need not restate the effect of the evidence or reiterate the reasons given by the trial court; expression of general agreement with the reasons given by the court, decision of which is under appeal, would ordinarily suffice.”[2] Therefore, no ground was made out by the appellant to set aside the judgment of the first appellate court affirming the judgment of the trial court.

  • Whether the landlord could seek enhancement of rent simultaneously or post termination of tenancy and whether the contractual tenancy between the landlord and tenant came to an end merely by filing an Eviction Petition?

From Section 6A of the Act, it is evident that by this statutory provision, the standard rent and in cases where no standard rent is fixed under the Act in respect of any premises, the rent agreed upon between the landlord and the tenant, may be increased by 10% every three years. It is, therefore, open to the landlord under Section 6A of the Act to increase the rent agreed upon between him and the tenant by 10 % every three years, irrespective of the fact that an eviction proceeding is pending and an order under Section 15 of the Act has been passed by the Additional Rent Controller except that when a land lord wishes to so increase the rent of any premises, a notice of increase of rent, as provided under Section 8 of the Act, has to be served on the tenant thereby intimating the tenant his intention to make the increase.

In any view of the matter, it is well settled that filing of an eviction suit under the general law itself is a notice to quit on the tenant. Therefore, court without any hesitation hold that no notice to quit was necessary under Section 106 of the Transfer of Property Act in order to enable the respondent to get a decree of eviction against the appellant. This view has also been expressed in the decision of this court in V. Dhanapal Chettiar v. Yesodai Ammal.[3]


[1] (1991) 3 SCC 442.

[2] AIR 2001 SC 965.

[3] AIR (1979) SC 1745.

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