Read Order: Vijay Singla v. Lajwanti (since deceased through her LRs) and Others

Monika Rahar

Chandigarh, May 11, 2022: The Punjab and Haryana High Court has held that the first date fixed by the Rent Controller after the assessment of rent by him is the cut off date when the petitioner-tenant has to tender the rent and on his failure to do so, the Rent Controller has no jurisdiction to extend the period and eviction will follow. 

The Bench of Justice Alka Sarin held, in the present case, “Keeping in view the fact that the rent was assessed on 07.10.2016 and the date for tendering the same was 14.10.2016, it was incumbent upon the petitioner-tenant to have deposited the rent on or before the said date i.e. 14.10.2016. On his failure to do so nothing remained to be done and an order of eviction was to follow.”

The present revision petition was filed impugning the order of the Rent Controller, Kaithal and the order of the Appellate Authority, Kaithal whereby the eviction of the petitioner-tenant was ordered on account of non-payment of rent. 

The brief facts are that the respondent-landlord filed a petition for ejectment under Section 13 of the Haryana Urban (Control of Rent and Eviction) Act, 1973 (‘Haryana Rent Act’) seeking eviction of the petitioner-tenant from a shop falling within the municipal limits of Municipal Council, Kaithal on the ground of bona fide personal requirement and non-payment of rent.

The Rent Controller assessed the provisional rent in the case and adjourned the matter to October 14, 2016, for tendering the rent. On this date, since the Rent Controller was on leave, the file was put up before the Duty Judge who adjourned the same to October 24, 2016, on which date, the petitioner-tenant filed an application for permission to tender the rent before the Rent Controller. The landlord, however, stated not to accept the rent and contested this application. 

Thereafter, the petitioner-tenant filed an application for treating the rent tendered on October 24, 2016, to be valid. This was also contested by the landlord. Another application was filed for appropriate orders. Eventually, the Rent Controller ordered the eviction of the petitioner-tenant on the ground of non-payment of rent.

Aggrieved by the said order, the petitioner-tenant filed an appeal under Section 15 of the Haryana Rent Act before the Appellate Authority, Kaithal and vide impugned order the appeal of the petitioner-tenant was dismissed. Aggrieved by the orders passed by the authorities below, the present revision petition was filed. 

The Court at the very outset expressed its disagreement with the submission of the petitioner’s counsel that the ratio of the Supreme Court in Rakesh Wadhawan vs. M/s Jagdamba Industrial Corporation & Ors., passed while deciding the case under the Punjab Act on rent, mandating the tenant to deposit the provisional rent determined by the Rent Controller to avoid ejectment from the premises in dispute, was not applicable to the proviso to Section 13(2)(i) of the Haryana Rent Act, the High Court opined that the interpretation by the Supreme Court in Rakesh Wadhawan’s case (Supra) case applies to interpret Section 13(2)(i) proviso of the Haryana Rent Act. 

From the above decision, the Court held that the first date after the assessment of rent is the cut off date when the petitioner-tenant has to tender the rent and on his failure to do so, the Rent Controller has no jurisdiction to extend the period and the consequences as laid down in Rakesh Wadhawan’s case (supra) would have to follow, i.e. ejectment. 

Further, the Court also opined the order passed by the Rent Controller assessing the provisional rent is held to be an appealable order that the petitioner-tenant never challenged in appeal the order passed by the Rent Controller assessing the rent and fixing the matter a week later on October 14, 2016, for payment. 

Keeping in view the fact that the rent was assessed on October 07, 2016, and the date for tendering the same was October 14, 2016, it was incumbent upon the petitioner-tenant to have deposited the rent on or before the said date i.e. October 14, 2016, and on his failure to do so nothing remained to be done and an order of eviction was to follow. Thus, the revision was dismissed.

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