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Monday, April 3, 2017

Rent Note Book is a valid document = the respondent-landlord has established a jural relationship. The landlord’s mother, though was not in the habit of issuing rent receipts, had maintained the account book Exhibit P4, which depicts the rent paid by tenants. Based on the number of documents filed by the respondent-landlord and the oral evidence, the High Court as well as the first appellate court have recorded a concurrent finding of the fact that the tenant failed to establish his ownership in the demised premises and that there is no bona fide in the denial of ownership of the respondent-landlord and we find no reason to interfere with the same.; Having regard to the totality of the facts and circumstances, these appeals are liable to be dismissed and are hence dismissed. The appellants/tenants are directed to handover peaceful and vacant possession of the respective properties occupied by them to the landlord/respondent herein on or before 31.12.2017 subject to filing of usual undertaking within four weeks from today before the Registry of this Court.

                                                              Non-Reportable

                        IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
                        CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION


                       CIVIL APPEAL NO. 5654/2008

      AHMAD @ MOHD. AHMAD                    APPELLANT(S)

                                VERSUS

      MOHD. OSMAN                                 RESPONDENT(S)

                                  WITH

                       CIVIL APPEAL NO. 5655/2008

      MEER SATTAR ALI (Dead) by Lrs.              APPELLANT(S)

                                VERSUS

      MOHD. OSMAN                                 RESPONDENT(S)

                               J U D G M E N T


     MOHAN M. SHANTANAGOUDAR, J.


1.    The judgment and order dated 29.11.2006 passed by the  High  Court  of
Judicature  Andhra  Pradesh,  whereby  the  High  Court  has  dismissed  the
revision petitions, is assailed before this Court in these appeals.
2.    The respondent herein filed  Eviction  Petition  R.C.  No.33  of  1997
before the Principal  Rent  Controller,  Secunderabad  against  Ahmad  alias
Mohd. Ahmad and Eviction Petition R.C. No.125 of 1997  before  XVIII  Junior
Civil Judge-Cum-Additional Rent  Controller  at  Secundarabad  against  Meer
Sattar Ali seeking eviction of  the  tenants/appellants  herein.   Both  the
eviction petitions were dismissed on the ground that the jural  relationship
between the parties as landlord and tenants is not  established.  The  Trial
Court thus, concluded that  there  is  no  question  of  wilful  default  in
payment of rent by  the  tenants.   Incidentally,  it  also  held  that  the
premises in question are not required for bona fide purpose of the  landlord
i.e. for additional accommodation.  The orders passed by the Principal  Rent
Controller, Secunderabad were questioned by the  landlord/respondent  herein
in R.A. No.23 of 2001 and R.A. No.232 of 1999  on  the  file  of  Additional
Chief Judge, City Small Causes Court, Hyderabad, which came to  be  allowed.
The judgments passed by the Rent Appellate Court were affirmed by  the  High
Court of Judicature Andhra Pradesh in Civil Revision  No.2374  of  2004  and
Civil Revision No.2375 of 2004.  Hence, the  aggrieved  tenants  are  before
this Court.
3.    Learned counsel for the  appellants/tenants,  taking  us  through  the
material on record, submit  that  the  tenants  and  the  landlord  are  the
encroachers upon the Government property; and thus,  the  respondent  herein
is not real landlord and consequently, they are not tenants under him.   She
further submits that the denial of title by the tenants is  bona  fide;  one
encroacher cannot evict another encroacher and,  therefore,  the  orders  of
the Rent Controller need to be restored by setting aside  the  judgments  of
the Rent Appellate Tribunal as well as the High Court.
      Learned counsel appearing on behalf of the respondent/landlord  argued
in support of the concurrent judgments of the Courts below.
4.    The entire property bearing Cantonment Municipal No.1-19-1 to 13  (Old
Nos. 105 and 106)  situated  at  Guntroop  Bazar,  Rasoolpura,  Secunderabad
Cantonment measuring about 3000 sq. yards was purchased  by  the  father  of
the respondent-landlord under two registered sale deeds in  the  years  1911
and 1912.  Respondent-landlord has filed the registered sale deeds  Exhibits
P41 and P45 which clearly establish that the entire property  of  which  the
demised premises is also a part, the father of the  respondent-landlord  was
the absolute owner.  As pointed out by the first appellate  court  and  also
the High Court, the above sale deeds and other documents were  produced  and
accepted as documents of title of the landlord in O.S. No. 3292 of  1979  on
the file of XI Assistant Judge, City Civil Court,  Secunderabad  which  suit
was filed by the landlord and other legal heirs of father  of  the  landlord
for evicting one Mumtaz Begum and others who were in illegal  occupation  of
some portions of the said properties.  Upon perusal of the  title  deeds  of
the property, the said suit, O.S. No.3292 of 1979, came  to  be  decreed  in
favour of the respondent-landlord.  The said judgment was also confirmed  in
appeal in A.S. No.197 of 1987 by the  Additional  Chief  Judge,  City  Small
Causes Court, Secunderabad.
5.    The ownership of the  property  including  demised  premises  is  also
established  by  the  assessment  records  maintained  by  the  Secunderabad
Cantonment  Board.   The  Cantonment’s  Board  letter   Exhibit   P2   dated
21.12.1983, addressed to the mother  of  the  respondent-landlord,  mentions
that the house Nos.105 and 106 situated in the locality  known  as  Guntroop
Bazar till 1956 which  is  assigned  the  new  house  No.1-19-1  to  13,  is
situated in the same  locality  now  called  Rasoolpura,  Secunderabad.  The
premises  No.1-19-1 to 13 situated in Secunderabad  stands  mutated  in  the
name of mother of the landlord as per the records of the  Cantonment  Board.
The mother, brother and  sister  of  the  respondent-landlord  executed  the
release deed as per  Exhibit P15 and relinquished their rights, the  portion
of the house bearing old Nos.105 and 106 (New No.1-19-1 to 13) to an  extent
of 997 sq. yards, Secunderabad in favour of the landlord.
6.    Insofar as the stand taken by the tenant that he is in  occupation  of
1-19-6, the appellant-tenant  has  not  produced  any  oral  or  documentary
evidence to prove that  the  said  property  bearing  No.1-19-6  is  in  his
occupation in his own right. According to respondent-landlord,  the  portion
occupied by the tenant forms part and parcel of house No.1-19-1 to  13.  The
courts below have referred to  the  report  of  the  Commissioner  that  the
demised  premises  which  is  in  occupation  of  the  appellant-tenant   is
adjoining to the  premises  in  occupation  of  the  landlord  and  is  just
separated by a wall.
6A.   Insofar as the contention of the appellant that the  property  is  the
government property, PW-5 Balaiah, Mandal Revenue Officer, Secunderabad  has
stated in his evidence that after perusing the title deeds, Exhibit  X2  was
issued and that the land in question along with building Municipal  No.1-19-
1 to 13 Secunderabad is a private property.  There are about twenty  tenants
in the premises No.1-19-1 to 13 and that the  respondent-landlord  had  been
directed to pay the arrears of  tax  by  the  Municipality  is  yet  another
evidence establishing the ownership of the respondent-landlord.
6B.   Apart from the  documentary  evidence,  respondent-landlord  had  also
adduced oral evidence by examining his mother (PW-3), who has  spoken  about
the tenancy and quantum of rent and she  used  to  collect  rents  from  the
tenants.  PW-4 who is in  occupation  of  the  other  portion  of  the  same
building since 1965 till 1995 and who subsequently purchased the  same  from
the legal heirs of  M.A.  Razack  has  also  spoken  about  the  tenancy  of
appellant-tenant.
7.    We find that the Rent Appellate Court as well as the High  Court  have
rightly  and  concurrently  concluded  that  the   respondent-landlord   has
established a jural relationship.  The landlord’s mother, though was not  in
the habit of issuing rent receipts, had maintained the account book  Exhibit
P4, which depicts the  rent  paid  by  tenants.   Based  on  the  number  of
documents filed by the respondent-landlord and the oral evidence,  the  High
Court as well as the  first  appellate  court  have  recorded  a  concurrent
finding of the fact that the tenant failed to  establish  his  ownership  in
the demised premises and that there  is  no  bona  fide  in  the  denial  of
ownership of the respondent-landlord and we  find  no  reason  to  interfere
with the same.

8.    It is also established by the landlord, as is clear from the  definite
findings of the Courts below, that he has proved his bona  fide  requirement
inasmuch as he needs the premises for  his  additional  accommodation.  Even
otherwise there is no serious contest on this point.
9.    Having regard to the totality of the facts  and  circumstances,  these
appeals are liable to be dismissed and are hence dismissed.
10.   The appellants/tenants are directed to handover  peaceful  and  vacant
possession  of  the  respective  properties  occupied   by   them   to   the
landlord/respondent herein on or before  31.12.2017  subject  to  filing  of
usual undertaking within four weeks from today before the Registry  of  this
Court.
11.   Pending applications, if any, shall stand disposed of.
12.   There shall be no orders as to costs.

                                                   .......................J.
                                                              [R. BANUMATHI]



                                          ………………….........................J.
                                                   [MOHAN M. SHANTANAGOUDAR]


NEW DELHI;
Dated:  MARCH 30, 2017.

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