Read Order: Lalita Devi v. Vivek 

Monika Rahar

Chandigarh, May 18, 2022: The Punjab and Haryana High Court has recently held that the Court cannot usurp the jurisdiction of the Rent Controller to adjudicate upon the points in dispute, once the tenant-petitioner has paid the assessed provisional rent.

The Bench of Justice Alka Sarin was addressing a challenge against the order of the Rent Controller assessing the provisional rent @ Rs. 2,500/- per month from September 01, 2019 till March 31, 2022 along with interest and costs totalling Rs. 84,700/- and to the order dated of the Appellate Authority whereby the appeal preferred by the tenant-petitioner against order assessing rent was dismissed. 

Essentially, the landlord-respondent filed an ejectment application seeking eviction of the tenant-petitioner from the premises in dispute on the ground of non-payment of rent and personal necessity. Vide impugned the order, the Rent Controller provisionally assessed the arrears of rent (for the above-stated period) @ Rs.2,500/- per month totaling Rs.77,500/-, interest was assessed at Rs.6,200/- and costs were assessed at Rs.1,000/-. 

The matter was adjourned to May 09, 2022 for payment of the provisional rent. The tenant-petitioner filed an appeal against the impugned order of the Rent Controller. However, the same was dismissed. 

The counsel for the tenant-petitioner contended that the landlord committed fraud by preparing a forged and fabricated document as a rent agreement and that the tenant-petitioner disputed the relationship of landlord and tenant between the parties. It was submitted that the tenant-petitioner was running a typing institute in the premises in dispute since 1990 and that the premises in dispute was not mentioned in the transfer deed executed by the landlord-respondent’s grandfather in his favour or that of his brother’s.

It was further contended that the landlord-respondent was not the landlord in the present case inasmuch as he wanted to grab the property of his grandfather. 

After considering the above-stated case, the Court held that in the present case, since the tenant-petitioner, on May 09, 2022, already made compliance and paid the provisional rent assessed, the inquiry by the Rent Controller shall continue for finally adjudicating upon the dispute as to the arrears of rent in the light of the contending pleas raised by the parties. 

Further, the Court added that it cannot usurp the jurisdiction of the Rent Controller to adjudicate upon the points in dispute once the tenant-petitioner has paid the provisional rent assessed. 

Additionally, the Court highlighted that no argument was raised by counsel for the tenant-petitioner about the quantum of the arrears of rent provisionally assessed. It was also noted that a specific issue was framed by the Rent Controller regarding the existence of relationship of landlord and tenant between the parties and therefore, the Court decided against interfering with the orders passed by the authorities below. The present revision petition was accordingly dismissed.

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