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Issues in evicting a tenant
Source : The Hindu Property Plus Published On : 2008-06-07 City : Chennai

     In regard to tenancy and eviction one has to establish what is bona fide . writes C.H.Gopinatha Rao


     Eviction of tenant is permitted under the Tamilnadu buildings ( Lease and Rent Control Act) if the requirement of the landlord to have the tenanted portion is bona fide. The question that follows is what is bona fide and how to establish it? In the Shive Surup Gupta vs De.MaheshChand Gupta case (AIR 1999 SC2407 (1999) 6 SC 222), the apex court considering the bona fide requirement has held that " the term bona fide refers to a state of mind. The requirement is not a mere d esire. The degree of intensity contemplated by "requires " is much higher than mere desire

Order upheld

     In the case of B.Koshore Proprietor B Kishore Auto spares Chennai vs D.Maragathavalli Chennai ( 2007 MLJ 251 ) a tenant sought 11 months time for finding an alternative site when the landlord filed the eviction petition. On the assurance of the tenant, the landlady withdrew the eviction petition. However; the tenant subsequently filed a counter petition that if he is evicted he will be subject to great hardship. In the counter filed by the landlady it was stated that the tenant owned a three-storeyed building worth about Rs. 30 crores and also three more buildings in the city. The High Court observed that when tenant owns other buildings, he cannot raise the plea of hardship being caused and upheld the eviction order passed by the lower courts.

     In a case Suresh Kumar Kothari vs Dr.T.Ramachandran and others ( 2007 2 MLJ 965) the landlords filed an eviction petition. The bona fide requirement of the petitioners was established when they offered an alternate space for the tenant which the tenant refused to take because he found its Vasthu wise inappropriate. He contended that if he shifted to the suggested space, he may not prosper in his business. The Court, in the judgment, observed that the bona fide of landlord is amply evident and remarked that its genuineness is eloquent from the facts and evidence and passed the judgment evicting the tenant.

Not binding

     If an original tenant dies leaving behind more than one heir, it is not necessary under law to implead all the heirs in a suit for eviction. The case of Shakunthala Vasant Pahdi and others vs Purushotham Vasant Preytahe (3 MLJ 247 (SC)2007) demonstrates this.

     A suit was filed for eviction in 1977 impleading the wife of Vasanth Pahdi who was the original tenant and died in the year 1969.The said suit was decreed against the wife of Vasant Pahdi and the decree was passed by the trial court and execution was pending. In the meantime children of Vasant filed a fresh suit in 1987 challenging the validity of the decree passed on the ground that at the time of death of their father who was the original tenant they were minors and along with their mother were residing in the rented premises. Since they were not made parties, the decree passed in such a suit was not binding upon them.

     When this appeal reached the High Court, the earlier judgments were set aside and decreed the eviction decree passed was not binding on the sons since only the mother was impleaded. On appeal, the Supreme Court observed the following ratio decidendi :

     "If an original tenant dies leaving behind more than one heir, it is not necessary under law to implead all the tenants in a suit for eviction and it can be filed against only one of the heirs who could represent the interest of the deceased tenant , but if such representative due to collusion or for any other mala fide reason neglects to defend the case he cannot be considered to be a representative. "



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