Tulip Kanth

New Delhi, June 3, 2022: Observing that a “Commercial dispute” u/s 2(c)(vii) of the Commercial Courts Act, 2015 includes a dispute arising out of an agreement relating to immovable property which is used exclusively in trade or commerce, the Delhi High Court has dismissed the writ petition against the order of the Additional District Judge holding that the premises could not be treated to be used exclusively for commercial purpose as it was leased out for the residence of the petitioner as well as for bed and breakfast purposes.

Refusing to entertain this petition under Article 227 of the Constitution and referring to the judgments of the Apex Court in Sadhana Lodh v. National Insurance Co. Ltd., Ibrat Faizan v. Omaxe Buildhome Pvt. Ltd., the Bench of Justice C.Hari Shankar said, “The Court, exercising jurisdiction under Article 227 of the Constitution of India, does not sit either as an appellate or as revisional Court.”

Herein, the respondent alleged that the petitioner had approached the respondent for taking the property forming subject matter of the suit on lease, to run a “bed and breakfast” establishment. This culminated in execution of a Lease Deed. But later, the respondent alleged, in the plaint, that the petitioner had defaulted in paying the monthly rent as per the Lease Deed and had also defaulted in paying the entire amount of security deposit.This led to addressing a notice of termination to the petitioner, followed by attempts to physically take possession of the suit property.

The respondent approached the ADJ but the petitioner filed an application in the respondent’s suit under Order VII Rule 11 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 , alleging that the suit could not be maintained before the Civil Court, as it had to be tried as a commercial suit, in terms of the provisions of the Commercial Courts Act. The said application stood rejected by the impugned order. Being aggrieved, the petitioner-defendant invoked the jurisdiction of this Court under Article 227 of the Constitution.

Stressing upon the definition of the term “Commercial dispute” in section 2(c)(vii) which includes dispute relating to immovable property, used exclusively in trade or commerce, the Bench noted that the use of the word “exclusively” as used in Section 2(c)(vii) cannot, therefore, be overlooked as the words used by the legislature must be regarded as having being employed deliberately and have to be attributed their ordinary meaning. 

According to the Bench,  the Lease Deed leased out the suit property for the residence of the petitioner as well as for bed and breakfast purposes and it was  nobody’s case that the use of the leased premises as residence amounted to commercial use.On this ground,the Bench found no fault with the ADJ’s view.

Justice Shankar affirmed that if the Court below has adopted a view which is plausible and does not call for supervisory correction by this Court, then no occasion would arise for Article 227 to be pressed in the service. Thus, without interfering with the ADJ’s order, the Bench dismissed the petition.

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