Read Order: SHAHEEN BEGUM Vs. SAIRO BANO 

LE Correspondent

New Delhi, June 10, 2022: The Delhi High Court has reaffirmed that it is the landlord himself/herself, who is the best person to explain as to what is their bona fide necessity, and leave to defend cannot be granted to the tenant only on the basis of bald averments and assertions without any supporting material.

While observing that the petitioner/tenant failed to provide any supporting documents that could reflect that the respondent had access to alternate accommodation or that her need for the tenanted premises was not bona fide, the Bench of Justice Subramonium Prasad has dismissed the present revision petition preferred  under Section 25- B (8) Section 25 – B (8) of the Delhi Control Act.

The facts in brief for the adjudication of the present appeal were that that a rent note was entered into between the petitioner /tenant and Hameeda Begum for a sum of Rs.50,000, and one room on the second floor of the tenanted premises was let out to the Petitioner herein/Tenant. The said rent agreement was to be valid till July 31, 2003.  Thereafter, on  July 18, 2003 , after the demise of the landlord a rent agreement was entered into between the husband of the respondent/landlady and the petitioner/tenant at a monthly rent of Rs. 700 and since then the petitioner/ tenant was occupying the tenanted premises. 

The cause of dispute arose after the demise of the respondent’s husband as after his demise the respondent and her two daughters along with Mohd. Shahid and Mohd. Zahid( brothers of the deceased husband),  got the ownership rights of the tenanted premises.  However, they relinquished their rights in the property and the respondent was made the sole owner of the tenanted premises. 

It was the case of the respondent that the room in the possession of the respondent on the second floor was hardly used by her as the petitioner/tenant used to lock the main entrance to the second floor and the same caused great hardship and difficulty to the respondent. It was further contended by the respondent that she did not have any alternative accommodation apart from the said tenanted premises where she could live with her daughters. In pursuance of the same, the eviction petition was filed. The ARC refused to grant leave to defend to the petitioner/tenant stating that no triable issue had been raised by the petitioner/ tenant. It was this order that was assailed by the petitioner/ tenant before the present Court by way of petition. 

Referring to the judgment of the Apex Court in Nathi Devi v. Radha Devi Gupta and held that as the premises was let out by the deceased husband of the Respondent/Landlady herein, the Respondent/Landlady had the right to institute an eviction petition under Section 14D of the Act. Coming back to the facts of the present case, the Court further observed that the petitioner/tenant failed to provide any supporting documents that could reflect that the respondent had access to alternate accommodation or that her need for the tenanted premises was not bona fide. 

Also, this Court did not deem it prudent, in consonance with the settled law, to displace the needs of the Landlord with its own judgment of how the landlord should utilize the premises. “As per Section 14D of the Act, if the landlord is a widow and the premises have been let out by her or husband are needed by her for bona fide purposes, i.e. for her residence, then the widow may apply for immediate possession of such premises” , the Court remarked.  In light of the aforesaid observations, the instant revision petition was dismissed. 

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