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ACT: Haryana Urban (Control of Rent and Eviction) Act, 1973, s. 13(3)(a)i) and 15(4)--Application for ejectment--Bona fide requirement of building by landlord--Jurisdiction of appellate authority to admit additional evidence. Statutory interpretation--Rent Act-A beneficial legislation-Whether it should be read reasonably and justly. HEADNOTE: On 11th October 1971, the respondent-landlord purchased a house in which the appellant was a tenant since 1962. He had also purchased another house in the same district on 10.7.1971 but sold away the same on 7.8.72 as it was not vacant. On 14th January, 1974, the respondent-landlord filed an eviction petition against the appellant-tenant inter alia on the ground of bona fide personal requirement. The Rent Controller rejected the petition holding that all the ingre- dients of s. 13(3)(a)(i) of the Haryana Urban (Control of Rent and Eviction) Act 1973 had not been proved. Aggrieved by the order of the Rent Controller, the respondent filed an appeal before the Appellate Authority alongwith an application for adducing additional evidence. The Appellate Authority allowed the said application, re- corded the additional evidence and allowed the appeal, holding that: (i) the need of the respondent was bona fide; (ii) that the vacant possession of the house purchased on the 10th July 1971 by the respondent-landlord had not been obtained; and (iii) that the sale of the aforesaid house by the respondent was not a benami transaction. The High Court dismissed the revision petition of the appellant in limine. Dismissing the appeal by the appellant to this Court, HELD: 1.1 Section 15 of the Act deals with the powers of the appellate and revisional authorities under the Act. Sub-s. (4) of the said section specifically provides that, if necessary, after further enquiry as it thinks fit. either personally or through the Controller, the appellate authori- ty shall decide the appeal. Therefore, the appellate author- ity has by express provision jurisdiction to admit addition- al evidence. [520E] 517 State of Kerala v.K.M. Charia Abdullah & Co., [1965] 1 S.C.R. 601, relied upon. 1.2 The document relied upon on behalf of the appellant was a registered document and recited that vacant possession has been given. The document stated 'Kabza Khali makan ka dia hai'. It was asserted that it meant that a vacant pos- session, in fact, had been given. The oral evidence adduced on behalf of the respondent indicated otherwise. The expres- sion indicated above does not mean that actual physical vacant possession has been handed over to the purchaser. In a document of this type it can equally mean that the legal right of the possession not the actual possession has been handed over to the purchaser. Therefore, evidence was per- missible to explain what it meant, and there was ample justification on the evidence on record to come to the conclusion that it was 'not physically vacant'. [524F -- 525A] In the instant case, admission of additional evidence was warranted by the facts and the pleadings. By such admis- sion of evidence, no prejudice has been caused to the appel- lant. Indeed reading of the order of the appellate authority makes it abundantly clear that the appellate authority had adverted to all the facts recorded by the Rent Controller and further considered the additional evidence. It is true that in referring to the findings of the Rent Controller, the appellate authority in its order had not specifically referred to the paragraphs of the order of the Rent Control- ler but that does not mean nor does it indicate that the appellate authority had not considered evidence adduced before the Rent Controller. The criticism that there was no consideration of the evidence adduced by the appellant before the Rent Controller by the appellate authority is, therefore, not justified in the facts and circumstances of the case. [521B -- E] 2. Though the Rent Act is a beneficial legislation, it must be read reasonably and justly. If more limitations are imposed upon the right to hold the property then it would expose itself to the vice of unconstitutionality. Such an approach in interpretation of beneficial statutes is not warranted. It is true that one should iron out the creases and should take a creative approach as to what was intended by a particular provision but there is always, unless rebut- ted, a presumption as to constitutionality and the Act should be so read as to prevent it from being exposed to the vice of unconstitutionality. [525F -- G] In the instant case, the suit for eviction for the need of the landlord was filed in January, 1972. The respondent could not therefore be said, in view of the above premises having been purchased and sold prior to the institution of the suit, to have occupied another residential building in the urban area. The 518 contention on behalf of the appellant, that the sale has disentitled the respondent to the relief asked for because he had in his choice the residential building for his occu- pation but he sold it, is not maintainable. There was no evidence either before the Rent Controller or before the appellate authority that this sale of property was with the intention or with a purpose to defeat the claim of the appellant or to take out the respondent from the purview of the limitation imposed by clause (1)(a) of sub-s.(3) of s. 13 of the Act. As the respondent had sold the properly 1-1/2 years before his suit for his need was instituted, it cannot be said unless there was definite evidence that it was done with the intention to defeat the appellant's claim. The appellate authority accepted the respondent's need and found him within the purview of the Act. The High Court did not interfere in revision, nor shall this Court under Article 136 of the Constitution. [525D -- F, 526C -- F] Rani Sartaj Kuari and Another v. Rani Deoraj Kuari, 15 Indian Appeals, 51 in-applicable. State Bank of India v. Ghamandi Ram (Dead) Through Shri Gurbax Rai, [1969] 3 SCR 681; Sundarsanam Maistri v. Nara- simbhulu Maistri and Anr., ILR 25 Mad. 149, 154; Commission- er of Wealth Tax, Kanpur & Others v. Chander Sen and Others, [1986] 3 SCC 567; Lachhman Das v. Rent Control and Eviction Officer, Bareilly and another AIR 1953 Allahabad 458 at 459, paragraph 6; K.P. Varghese v. 1. T.O., Ernakulam and Anoth- er[1981] 4 SCC 173 at 179-180 & Kasturi Lal Lakshmi Reddy v. State of Jammu and Kashmir & Another [1980] 3 SCR 1338 at 1357 referred to:

published in http://judis.nic.in/supremecourt/imgst.aspx?filename=8875

PETITIONER:
YUDHISHTER

Vs.

RESPONDENT:
ASHOK KUMAR

DATE OF JUDGMENT11/12/1986

BENCH:
MUKHARJI, SABYASACHI (J)
BENCH:
MUKHARJI, SABYASACHI (J)
SINGH, K.N. (J)

CITATION:
 1987 AIR  558  1987 SCR  (1) 516
 1987 SCC  (1) 204  JT 1986  1021
 1986 SCALE  (2)1044
 CITATOR INFO :
 RF    1991 SC1654 (27)


ACT:
    Haryana Urban (Control of Rent and Eviction) Act,  1973,
s.  13(3)(a)i) and 15(4)--Application for  ejectment--Bona
fide  requirement of building by  landlord--Jurisdiction  of
appellate authority to admit additional evidence.
    Statutory interpretation--Rent Act-A  beneficial
legislation-Whether it should be read reasonably and justly.



HEADNOTE:
    On 11th October 1971, the respondent-landlord  purchased
a  house in which the appellant was a tenant since 1962.  He
had  also  purchased another house in the same district  on
10.7.1971  but sold away the same on 7.8.72 as it  was not
vacant. On 14th January, 1974, the respondent-landlord filed
an eviction petition against the appellant-tenant inter alia
on  the ground of bona fide personal requirement.  The Rent
Controller rejected the petition holding that all the ingre-
dients of s. 13(3)(a)(i) of the Haryana Urban (Control  of
Rent and Eviction) Act 1973 had not been proved.
    Aggrieved  by  the order of the  Rent  Controller, the
respondent  filed an appeal before the Appellate  Authority
alongwith  an application for adducing additional  evidence.
The  Appellate Authority allowed the said  application, re-
corded the  additional evidence and  allowed the  appeal,
holding that: (i) the need of the respondent was bona  fide;
(ii)  that the vacant possession of the house  purchased  on
the  10th July 1971 by the respondent-landlord had not been
obtained; and (iii) that the sale of the aforesaid house  by
the respondent was not a benami transaction. The High  Court
dismissed the revision petition of the appellant in limine.
Dismissing the appeal by the appellant to this Court,
    HELD: 1.1 Section 15 of the Act deals with the powers of
the  appellate and revisional authorities  under  the Act.
Sub-s. (4) of the said section specifically provides  that,
if necessary, after further enquiry as it thinks fit. either
personally or through the Controller, the appellate authori-
ty shall decide the appeal. Therefore, the appellate author-
ity has by express provision jurisdiction to admit addition-
al evidence. [520E]
517
    State  of Kerala v.K.M. Charia Abdullah & Co., [1965]  1
S.C.R. 601, relied upon.
    1.2 The document relied upon on behalf of the  appellant
was a registered document and recited that vacant possession
has  been given. The document stated 'Kabza Khali  makan  ka
dia  hai'. It was asserted that it meant that a vacant pos-
session, in fact, had been given. The oral evidence  adduced
on behalf of the respondent indicated otherwise. The expres-
sion  indicated above does not mean  that  actual  physical
vacant possession has been handed over to the purchaser.  In
a  document of this type it can equally mean that the  legal
right  of the possession not the actual possession has been
handed over to the purchaser. Therefore, evidence was per-
missible  to  explain  what it meant, and  there  was  ample
justification  on  the evidence on record to  come  to the
conclusion  that  it was 'not physically vacant'.  [524F  --
525A]
    In the instant case, admission of additional  evidence
was warranted by the facts and the pleadings. By such admis-
sion of evidence, no prejudice has been caused to the appel-
lant. Indeed reading of the order of the appellate authority
makes  it abundantly clear that the appellate authority had
adverted  to all the facts recorded by the  Rent  Controller
and  further considered the additional evidence. It is true
that  in referring to the findings of the  Rent Controller,
the  appellate authority in its order had  not specifically
referred to the paragraphs of the order of the Rent Control-
ler  but  that does not mean nor does it indicate  that the
appellate  authority  had not  considered  evidence  adduced
before the Rent Controller. The criticism that there was  no
consideration  of  the evidence adduced  by  the  appellant
before the Rent Controller by the appellate  authority is,
therefore,  not justified in the facts and circumstances  of
the case. [521B -- E]
    2. Though the Rent Act is a beneficial legislation,  it
must be read reasonably and justly. If more limitations are
imposed upon the right to hold the property then  it  would
expose itself to the vice of unconstitutionality.  Such  an
approach  in  interpretation of beneficial statutes  is not
warranted.  It is true that one should iron out the  creases
and should take a creative approach as to what was  intended
by a particular provision but there is always, unless rebut-
ted,  a presumption  as to constitutionality  and  the Act
should be so read as to prevent it from being exposed to the
vice of unconstitutionality. [525F -- G]
    In the instant case, the suit for eviction for the need
of  the landlord was filed in January, 1972. The  respondent
could  not therefore be said, in view of the above  premises
having been purchased and sold prior to the institution  of
the  suit, to have occupied another residential building  in
the urban area. The
518
contention  on behalf of the appellant, that the  sale has
disentitled  the respondent to the relief asked for  because
he had in his choice the residential building for his  occu-
pation but  he sold it, is not maintainable. There  was  no
evidence  either  before the Rent Controller or before the
appellate authority that this sale of property was with the
intention  or  with  a purpose to defeat the  claim  of the
appellant or to take out the respondent from the purview  of
the  limitation imposed by clause (1)(a) of sub-s.(3) of  s.
13 of the Act. As the respondent had sold the properly 1-1/2
years before his suit for his need was instituted, it cannot
be said unless there was definite evidence that it was done
with  the  intention to defeat the  appellant's claim. The
appellate authority accepted the respondent's need and found
him  within the purview of the Act. The High Court  did not
interfere  in revision, nor shall this Court  under  Article
136 of the Constitution. [525D -- F, 526C -- F]
    Rani  Sartaj Kuari and Another v. Rani Deoraj Kuari,  15
Indian Appeals, 51 in-applicable.
    State Bank of India v. Ghamandi Ram (Dead) Through Shri
Gurbax Rai, [1969] 3 SCR 681; Sundarsanam Maistri v.  Nara-
simbhulu Maistri and Anr., ILR 25 Mad. 149, 154; Commission-
er of Wealth Tax, Kanpur & Others v. Chander Sen and Others,
[1986] 3 SCC 567; Lachhman Das v. Rent Control and  Eviction
Officer, Bareilly and another AIR 1953 Allahabad 458 at 459,
paragraph 6; K.P. Varghese v. 1. T.O., Ernakulam and  Anoth-
er[1981] 4 SCC 173 at 179-180 & Kasturi Lal Lakshmi Reddy v.
State  of Jammu and Kashmir & Another [1980] 3 SCR  1338  at
1357 referred to:



JUDGMENT:
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION: Civil Appeal No. 459 of 1980.
    From  the  Judgment and Order dated  10.1.1980  of the
Punjab and Haryana High Court in C.R. No. 34 of 1980
    P.K.  Banerji, V.C. Mahajan, Mrs. Urmila Kapoor and Ms.
A. Prabhawathy for the Appellant.
    Raja Ram Agarwal, B.P. Maheshwari, S.N. Agarwal and B.S.
Gupta for the Respondent.
The Judgment of the Court was delivered by
    SABYASACHI MUKHARJI, J. This appeal by special leave  is
from  the decision of the Punjab & Haryana High Court  dated
10th January, 1980. The appellant is the tenant. The  appeal
arises out of the summary dismissal of the revision petition
filed by the tenant under section 151 of the Code of Civil
519
Procedure from the decision of the appellate authority under
the  Haryana Urban (Control of Rent and Eviction) Act, 1973
being  Act  No. 11 of 1973 (hereinafter referred to  as the
'Act').
    The appellant took on rent the premises in question from
the  previous landlord in or about July, 1962. On  or  about
11th October, 1971, the respondent purchased the premises in
question being suit No. 292 of Ward No. 13, District Gurgaon
from the previous landlord. The premises hereinafter will be
referred as the 'premises'.
    Few months prior thereto that is to say on 10th  July,
1971, the respondent had purchased another house near  Kabir
Bhavan, Gurgaon. The appellant's case was that the  respond-
ent  got  vacant  possession of the  same.  The respondent,
however,  denied  that assertion. On 7th  August,  1972 the
respondent  sold  the said house near Kabir  Bhavan.  It  is
asserted that the sale was to one Resham Devi who is alleged
to be the sister-in-law of the respondent. On the other hand
this  is disputed and it appears that she is the  sister-in-
law  of the brother of the respondent. The assertion of the
appellant  was that this was a benami transaction.  On 14th
January, 1974, an application for ejectment was filed before
the  Rent  Controller by the respondent on  grounds  of (a)
non-payment  of rent, (b) sub-letting, and  (c)  bona fide
requirement.  So far as the grounds of non-payment  of rent
and sub-letting, are concerned, it has been held by all the
courts in favour of the tenant. Those findings are  not  in
dispute in this appeal. The only ground that survives is the
bona  fide requirement of the landlord. The Rent  Controller
on 7th November, 1978 rejected the petition of the  landlord
on  the ground that the landlord had not been able to  prove
all  the ingredients of section 13(3)(a)(i) of the Act. The
respondent  thereafter filed an appeal before the  Appellate
Authority.  Before the Authority, an, application  was made
for    admission    of additional    evidence   by the
respondent/landlord. Such additional evidence were permitted
to be adduced and were recorded on various dates. The appeal
was  allowed  by the appellate authority  on  7th  December,
1979.  The  appellant herein filed a  revision petition  as
mentioned  hereinbefore before the High Court under  section
151  of the Code of Civil Procedure, and the same  was dis-
missed by the High Court in limine on 10th January, 1980.
    The only question that requires consideration  in this
appeal, is whether on the facts and in the circumstances  of
the case, the landlord came within the provisions of section
13(3)(a)(i)  of the Act. The Act which is an Act to  control
the  increase of rent of certain buildings and rented land
situated within the limits of urban areas, and the  eviction
of  tenants  therefrom, provides by section 13( 1 )  that  a
tenant in possession of a building or a rented land  shall
not  be evicted  therefrom except in  accordance  with the
provisions of the said
520
section.  Sub-section  (3)(a)(i) of section 13 provides  as
follows:
"(3)  A landlord may apply to the Controller for  an  order
directing the tenant to put the landlord in possession--
(a) in the case of a residential building, if---
(i) he requires it for his own occupation, is not  occupying
another residential building in the urban area concerned and
has not vacated such building without sufficient cause after
the commencement of the 1949 Act in the said urban area."
    Before  we deal with the other contentions, it  may  be
mentioned that on behalf of the appellant, Shri P.K. Banerji
learned advocate contended that the appellate authority was
in  error  in firstly admitting additional evidence  at the
appellate stage in the facts and circumstances of the  case,
and secondly, the appellate authority had not considered the
evidence  adduced by the appellant before the Rent  Control-
ler.  We  are unable to accept these  submissions  urged  on
behalf of the appellant. The appellate authority, it must be
mentioned,  has normally  the same  jurisdiction  to  admit
additional  evidence  as the trial court if  the  facts and
circumstances so warrant.
    Furthermore,  in the instant case section 15 of the Act
deals  with the powers of the appellate and  revisional au-
thorities under the Act. Sub-section (4) of the said section
specifically  provides that  if  necessary,  after  further
enquiry as it thinks fit either personally or through the
Controller, the appellate authority shall decide the appeal.
Therefore, the appellate authority has by express  provision
jurisdiction  to admit additional evidence. Indeed  in this
case  from the written statement, it appears that  the only
contention that was sought to be raised was about the extent
of the accommodation available to the landlord in the ances-
tral house of the landlord.
    The allegation about the alleged sale of  the  premises
near Kabir Bhavan was not clearly spelled out. Therefore, if
the interest of justice so demanded, the appellate authority
was  justified in admitting the  additional  evidence. The
parties in  this  case had ample opportunity  to  test the
veracity  and  to examine and submit on the  value  of such
additional evidence. No prejudice could be said to have been
caused by admission of such additional evidence. In State of
Kerala v.K.M. Charia Abdullah & Co., [1965] 1 SCR 601 this
Court  was dealing with similar power under  Madras  General
Sales  Tax Act, 1939 and observed at page 610 of the  report
that  by  sub-section (4) of section 250 of the Income Tax
Act,  1961 which is similar to section 33(4) of the  Indian
Incometax  Act, 1922, the Commissioner was  authorised for
disposing of the appeal to
521
make such further enquiry or to direct the Income-tax  Offi-
cer  to make further enquiry as he thought fit and  report
upon them. This Court held that it could not denied that the
said  sub-section conferred upon the appellate or  revising
authority  power to make such enquiry as it thought fit for
fair  disposal of appeal. We are, therefore, clearly  of-the
opinion that in the facts and circumstances of a  particular
case, the appellate authority has jurisdiction under the Act
in question to admit additional evidence. We are further  of
the  opinion that in this case admission of such  additional
evidence  was  warranted by the facts and the  pleadings  in
this  case. We are satisfied that by such admission of evi-
dence, no prejudice has been caused to the appellant. Indeed
reading of  the order of the appellate authority  makes  it
abundantly  clear that the appellate authority had  adverted
to all the facts recorded by the Rent Controller and further
considered  the additional  evidence. It is  true  that  in
referring to the findings of the Rent Controller, the appel-
late authority in its order had not specifically referred to
the paragraphs of the order of the Rent Controller but that
does  not mean nor does it indicate that the  appellate au-
thority had not considered evidence adduced before the Rent
Controller. We are, therefore, unable to sustain the  objec-
tions  urged on behalf of the appellant by Shri Banerji,  on
admission and consideration of the additional evidence.
    The appellate  authority noted that the party  had led
evidence  before the Rent Controller and after hearing the
party, the Rent Controller held in the manner he  did. The
appellate authority therefore was conscious of the  evidence
adduced by  the appellant before the Rent  Controller. The
criticism  that there was no consideration of  the  evidence
adduced by the appellant before the Rent Controller by the
appellate  authority  is, therefore, not  justified  in the
facts and circumstances of the case. The Rent Controller  as
noted  hereinbefore held that the appellant had proved the
bona fide requirement. The appellate authority had noted the
evidence  adduced  by the respondent  before  the  appellate
authority.  It is clear that the residential house  of the
family of the petitioner was having two rooms only and there
was  large  number of persons occupying the two rooms. The
family of the petitioner consisted of really seven  brothers
and  one sister. Admittedly two brothers and their  families
were  occupying the said premises. The premises in  question
belonged  to the grand father of the respondent.  The  grand
father was an advocate. He died. After his death his chamber
was let out to Laxmi Commercial Bank. It was contended that
the  respondent was a co-parcener in the said  joint  family
house. It was submitted that if the said chamber which was a
big  room  was available, then, it could not  be  said that
there  was  dearth  of the accommodation  in  the  ancestral
house. It is true that the appellate authority had proceeded
on  the basis that the two rooms for occupation were  avail-
able  in  the  said house for the father and  the  two sons
including the respondent and
522
his family in the ancestral house. But assuming that even if
we  take  into consideration the chamber of the late  grand
father which had been let out to Laxmi Commercial Bank, that
will also be wholly insufficient to meet the reasonable and
bona  fide  requirement of the respondent.  The  appellate
authority further held that the appellant was a licensee  in
respect of the ancestral house and he was staying there with
the permission or the licence given by his father and he had
no  right  and as such his interest in the  ancestral  house
could not be considered to be "occupying another residential
house" in terms of Clause (1) of sub-section 3(a) of section
13  of the  Act. It was submitted before us  that  this  is
incorrect because a co-parcener in respect of the  ancestral
house was a co-owner and an owner could not be considered to
be a licensee of the father in respect of a house  belonging
to  Mitakshara joint family. There is no dispute  that the
family in question is governed by the Mitakshara School  of
Hindu Law.
    It is abundantly clear that Ashok, Isher  and  Jagadish
being the brothers of the appellant and the family belonging
to  the joint family of the respondent with  their  children
were staying in the ancestral house. Lalit, another brother,
had  another  house. As mentioned  hereinbefore there were
other  persons but about their stay there was no clear evi-
dence. It is asserted by the respondent that they are  seven
brothers and one sister. But even assuming that Ashok, Isher
and  Jagadish and the children stay in the  ancestral  house
and  assuming  that the big room which had been let  out  to
Laxmi  Commercial  Bank is taken  into consideration, the
accommodation  is still very inadequate for  reasonable and
bona fide requirement of the landlords. The question, there-
fore, whether the respondent was a licensee of his father or
a  co-owner of the property, namely the ancestral  house  is
not really necessary to be decided. But it was contended  on
behalf of the appellant that this approach of the  appellate
authority  had vitiated  the conclusion.  It  is  therefore
necessary  to allay the grievance of the appellant  on this
score.
    Our attention was drawn to a decision of  the  Judicial
Committee  in Rani Sartaj Kuari and Another v. Rani  Deoraj
Kuari, [15] Indian Appeals, 51 (Mother and Guardian of Lal
Narindur Bahadur Pal). That case was in respect of an impat-
ible estate governed by the Mitakshara School of Hindu Law.
There  was a custom that the estate was impartible  and was
descendible to single heir by the rule of primogeniture.  It
was held that in order to render alienations by the rejah in
that case invalid as made without the consent of his son  it
must  be  shown.that  the rajah's power of  alienation was
excluded  by the custom or by the nature of the tenure.  In
such  a raj the son is not a co-sharer with his father. The
Judicial Committee further observed that property in  ances-
tral estate acquired by birth under the Mitakshara law is so
connected with the fight to partition that it does not exist
independently of such fight. At
523
page 64 of the report, the Judicial Committee observed that
the property in the paternal or ancestral estate acquired by
birth  under  the Mitakshara law is, in the opinion  of the
Judicial  Committee, so connected with the fight  to  parti-
tion, that it did not exist where there was no right to it.
We are of the opinion that no much support can be sought for
by the appellant from the said decision; Here in the instant
case, the question is whether the respondent who undoubtedly
was governed by the Mitakshara School of Law, had acquired a
fight to ancestral property by his birth. But this  question
has  to be judged in the light of the Hindu Succession Act,
1956.  Reliance was also placed on State Bank of  India  v.
Ghamandi Ram (Dead) Through Shri Gurbax Rai [1969] 3 SCR 681
at page 686 of the report, this Court observed that  accord-
ing  to the Mitakshara School of Hindu law all the  property
of a Hindu joint family was held in collective ownership  by
all the coparceners in a quasi-corporate capacity. The Court
approved  the observations of Mr. Justice Bhashyam  Ayyanger
in Sundarsanam Maistri v. Narasimhulu Maistri and Anr. [ILR
25  Mad. 149, 154. But the question in the instant  case  is
the  position of the respondent after coming into  operation
of  the Hindu Succession Act, 1956. Shri Banerji  drew our
attention  to Mulla's 'Hindu Law' 15th Edition at  page 924
where  the learned commentator had discussed effect  in re-
spect  of the devolution of interest in Mitakshara  coparce-
nary  property of the coming into operation  of  the  Hindu
Succession Act, 1956.
    This  question  has been considered by  this  Court  in
Commissioner of Wealth Tax, Kanpur and Others v. Chander Sen
and  Others,  [1986] 3 SCC 567 where one of  us (Sabyasachi
Mukharji, J) observed that under the Hindu Law, the moment a
son is born, he gets a share in father's property and become
part  of  the coparcenary. His fight accrues to him  not  on
the' death of the father or inheritance from the father but
with the very fact of his birth. Normally, therefore whenev-
er the father gets a property from whatever source, from the
grandfather  or from  any other  source,  be  it  separated
property or not, his son should have a share in that and  it
will  become part of the joint Hindu family of his  son and
grandson and other members who form joint Hindu family with
him. This Court observed that this position has been affect-
ed by section8 of the Hindu Succession Act, 1956 and, there-
fore, after the Act, when the son inherited the property  in
the situation contemplated by section 8, he does not take it
as  Kar of  his own undivided family but takes it  in his
individual capacity. At pages 577 to 578 of the report, this
Court  dealt with the effect of section 6 of the Hindu Suc-
cession Act, 1956 and. the commentary made by Mulla, 15th
Edn.  pages  924-926 as well as Mayne's on  Hindu  Law 12th
Edition pages 918919. Shri Banerji relied on the said obser-
vations of Mayne on 'Hindu Law', 12th Edn. at pages 918-919.
This Court observed in the aforesaid decision that the views
expressed  by  the  Allahabad High Court,  the Madras High
Court, the Madhya Pradesh High Court and the Andhra  Pradesh
High Court appeared to
524
be correct and was unable to accept the views of the Gujarat
High  Court.  To the similar effect is the  observation  of
learned author of Mayne's Hindu Law, 12th Edn. page 919.  In
that view of the matter, it would be difficult to hold that
property  which developed on a Hindu under section 8 of the
Hindu  Succession Act, 1956 would be HUF in his hand  vis-a-
vis his own sons. If that be the position then the  property
which  developed  upon the father of the respondent  in the
instant case on the demise of his grandfather could not  be
said  to be HUF property. If that is so, then the  appellate
authority  was fight in holding that the respondent  was  a
licensee of his father in respect of the ancestral house.
    But as mentioned hereinbefore, even if we proceed on the
assumption that the respondent was a member of the HUF which
owned the ancestral house, having regard to his share in the
property and having regard to the need of other sons of the
father who  were living in the ancestral house along with
their families, the appellate authority was ,still fight  in
holding *hat the need of the respondent was bona fide.
    The second aspect of the matter  which  was  canvassed
before us  was that the respondent  had  purchased  another
house near Kabir Bhavan in 1971 and there were nine rooms in
the  said house. It was the appellant's contention  that  it
was sold to Smt. Resham Devi which was a benami transaction.
It  was further his contention that in respect of  the said
house the respondent had got vacant possession. Thirdly,  it
was  contended that the respondent had within his choice  to
keep  the  said premises but he sold the  said premises  in
question.  Therefore he does not come within the  conditions
stipulated in section 13(3)(a)(i) of the Act. The  appellate
authority on appraisal of evidence before the Rent  Control-
ler as well as before it came to the conclusion that  vacant
possession  had not been obtained. There  was evidence  on
record to come to that conclusion.
    Our attention was drawn to the document on behalf of the
appellant  in support of contention that the document  which
was  registered document recited that vacant possession has
been  given.  The document stated 'Kabza Khan maken  ka dia
hai'.  It was asserted that it meant that vacant  possession
in fact had been given. The oral evidence adduced  indicated
otherwise.  Indeed  the expression aforesaid does  not mean
that actual physical vacant possession had been handed over
to  the purchaser. In document of this type it can  equally
mean  that  the legal right of possession  not the  actual
possession had been handed over to the purchaser. Therefore,
evidence was permissible to explain what it meant.  Reliance
for  this purpose was placed on a decision of  the  Division
Bench  of the Allahabad High Court in Lachhman Das  v. Rent
Control and  Eviction Officer, Bareilly and  another., AIR
[1953] Allahabad 458 at 459, paragarph 6. Therefore in the
instant case  even  if the legal right of  occupation had
passed on which, in our opinion, was sought to be  conveyed
by the expression noted
525
hereinbefore,  then  whether the premises  in  question was
actually vacant to be occupied by the respondent is a  ques-
tion on which the oral evidence could be adduced. There was
ample justification on the evidence on record to come to the
conclusion that it was 'not physically vacant'. The  expres-
sion  noted  above therefore on this aspect  is really non
sequetur and evidence would clinch the issue. There was the
evidence for the appellate authority to come to the  conclu-
sion  that  the house near Kabit Bhavan was not vacant.  It
acted  on the same and in our opinion it did not commit any
error in so doing.
    The next aspect urged was that it was benami transaction
because the father of the respondent has gone to the  Regis-
tration office.  In view of the evidence discussed  by the
appellate  authority, specially the income-tax records and
other  records to which it is not necessary  to  advert  in
detail as  well as the oral testamoney in  this  case, the
appellate  authority rejected the contention that  the sale
was a henami transaction by the respondent. The most  impor-
tant  aspect, however, as was highlighted by the  respondent
was  that the said property was purchased in July, 1971 and
sold  in August, 1972 because it was not in  vacant  posses-
sion.
    In the instant case suit for eviction in  question for
the need of the landlord was filed in January, 1972.  There-
fore,  the respondent could not be said in view of the said
premises having been purchased and sold by him prior to the
institution  of the suit, to have occupied another  residen-
tial  building in the urban area. It was contended  that  by
sale  the respondent has disentitled himself to the  relief
asked  for  because  he had in his  choice  the residential
building for his occupation but he sold it. We are unable to
accept this contention. There is no evidence either  before
the  Rent Controller or before the appellate authority that
this  sale  to Resham Devi was with an intention or  with  a
purpose to defeat the claim of the appellant or to take out
the respondent from the purview of the limitation imposed by
clause (  1 ) (a) of sub-section (3) of section 13  of the
Act. If we read in such manner the Act in question, the Act
would  expose itself to the vice of unconstitutionality.  It
is  well-settled that though the Rent Act. is  a  beneficial
legislation, it must be read reasonably and justly. If more
limitations are imposed upon the right to hold the  property
then it would expose itself to the vice of unconstitutional-
ity. Such an approach in interpretation of beneficial  stat-
utes  is not warranted. It is true that one should iron out
the  creases and should take a creative approach as to what
was intended by a particular provision but there is always,.
unless rebutted a presumption as to  constitutionality and
the  Act should be so read as to prevent it from  being ex-
posed  to  the vice of un-constitutionality. State  is also
presumed to act fairly. See in this connection the  observa-
tions in State of Karnataka and Another v. M/s. Hans  Corpo-
ration; [1980] 4 S.C.C. 697 at 704 & 706 and K.P. Varghesev.
Income Tax Officer, Ernakulam and Another,  [1981]  4S.C.C.
173 at 179-180
526
Paragraphs  5 & 6). See also the observations of this  Court
in Kasturi Lal Lakshmi Reddv v. State of Jammu and Kashmir &
Another, [1980] 3 SCR 1338 at 1357.
    In fact  the  respondent did not have a  house  in his
possession.  He purchase one before, but as it was  not va-
cant,  he  sold away ,,before the institution of  the  suit.
There  was no restriction by the Act on sale and  alienation
of  property. At the relevant time the respondent  fulfilled
all  the  requirements to maintain an action  for  eviction.
Shri Raja Ram Agarwala, counsel for the respondent,  submit-
ted before us that we should take a creative, reasonable and
rational  approach  in interpreting the statute.  We  should
not,  he  submitted,  put such an  interpretation  as  would
prevent sale or mortgage of the property by the owner and in
this  case  he was justified in saying that  the  landlord
respondent  did not have vacant possession. As the facts  of
this  case warrant and in fact the respondent had sold away
the  property 1 1/2 years before his suit for his  need was
instituted,  it cannot be said unless there  was  definite
evidence  that it was done with the intention to defeat the
appellant's  claim so as to be read that the landlord  occu-
pied another residential house at the relevant time i.e.  at
the time of institution of the suit.
    The appellate authority accepted the respondent's need
and found him within the purview of the Act. The High  Court
did  not interfere in revision, nor shall we  under  Article
136 of the Constitution.
    The appeal,  therefore, fails and is  accordingly dis-
missed. Interim orders are vacated. In the facts and circum-
stances of the case, however, the parties will pay and bear
their own costs.
M.L.A.      Appeal
dismissed.
527



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