The Municipal Committee Kaithal vs Pyare Lal Rikhi Ram
DATE OF ORDER:
2 November 1973
Justice P.C. Pandit
Petitioner: The Municipal Committee Kaithal
Respondent: Pyare Lal Rikhi Ram
The filed suit was contested by all the defendants. Yash Pal and Piarey Lal, the defendants No. 1 and 2, claimed that the latter had built two shops on the plots at a cost of Rs. 3,000/- and then mortgaged them with the former on April 4, 1961. The defence put out by defendants Nos. 3 and 4 was that they were Piarey Lal’s sub-tenants of these plots and had held them for a very long period. The trial court ordered the defendants in the possession of the schemes lawsuit. However, the claim for the recovery of Rs. 114/- was rejected since, according to it, the plaintiffs had already realised the money.
- Section 106 - Duration of certain leases in absence of written contract or local usage - In the absence of a contract or local law or usage to the contrary, a lease of immovable property for agricultural or manufacturing purposes shall be deemed to be a lease from year to year, terminable, on the part of either lessor or lessee, by six months' notice expiring with the end of a year of the tenancy; and a lease of immovable property for any other purpose shall be deemed to be a lease from month to month, terminable, on the part of either lessor or lessee, by fifteen days' notice expiring with the end of a month of the tenancy.
- Section 116 - Effect of holding over - If a lessee or under lessee of property remains in possession thereof after the determination of the lease granted to the lessee, and the lessor or his legal representative accepts rent from the lessee or under lessee, or otherwise assents to his continuing in possession, the lease is, in the absence of an agreement to the contrary, renewed from year to year, or from month to month, according to the purpose for which the property is leased, as specified in section 106.
- Piarey Lal leased two plots of land, Nos. 198/11 and 199/11, from the Municipal Committee of Kaithal on August 30, 1960, for a term lasting from April 1, 1960, to March 31, 1961, at a cost of Rs. 114/- a year. The rent notice said that Piarey Lal would not sublease these plots to anybody else and would leave them empty at the end of the lease term. Raj Kumar and Hardwari Lal appear to have received these plots on a rental basis from Piarey Lal shortly after the rent note was written.
- Another rent note for these exact plots on the same rent was made in favour of the Committee by Yash Pal, serving as Piarey Lal’s attorney, on January 17, 1962, for the time period of April 1, 1961, to March 31, 1962. In April 1963, the Committee sued Yash Pal, Piarey Lal, Raj Kumar, and Hardwari Lal, defendants Nos. 1 to 4, seeking possession of these lands and the recovery of Rs. 114/- in rent. The claim was backed up by two arguments.
- The first was that Raj Kumar and Hardwari Lal had been given these plots by Yash Pal and Piarey Lal without the Committee’s permission, and the second was that the tenants had not made any rent payments between 1 April 1962 and 31 March 1963.
Whether the requirement mentioned by the Federal Court for a finding that Piarey Lal is a tenant holding over have been complied with in this case or not?
ARGUMENTS ADVANCED BY THE APPELLANT
- However, the learned counsel for the appellant argued that issue No. 3, which asked “Did the plaintiff serve upon defendants Nos. 1 and 2 a notice under Section 106, Transfer of Property Act, and if not, what effect?” would address this issue. In his view, the Transfer of Property Act’s Section 106 notice was only necessary if Piarey Lal was a tenant holding over; otherwise, the notification would not be necessary.
ARGUMENTS ADVANCED BY THE RESPONDENT
- The learned attorney for the respondents brought up the fact that the plaintiff had come to court with a specific allegation that defendant No. 1 had taken the plots on an annual rent of Rs. 114/- from 1-4-1961 to 31-3-1962 and written a rent note dated January 17, 1962, and it had been agreed that the plots would be returned to the plaintiff in the same condition in which they had been taken on rent.
- Therefore, they filed this lawsuit in April 1963 seeking eviction as well as the recovery of Rupees 114 as rent for the time period starting on April 4, 1962, through March 31, 1963. The suit should have been dismissed on that ground alone because no other issue arose from the plaintiff’s own pleadings, according to the learned counsel, since the lower Appellate Court's ruling that defendant No. 1 was not the Mukhtar of defendant No. 2 required that the rent deed, the basis for which the suit was brought, be ruled out of consideration.
- The Court observed that it was not the case of the defendants that they were either the owners of this land or trespassers; hence it was not conceivable to accept this claim of the learned counsel for the respondent. In actuality, they acknowledged that they were the tenants and argued that the lawsuit lacked standing since they had not received the notice of termination required by Section 116 of the Transfer of Property Act. Additionally, they had acknowledged adding stores to the plots and hiring defendants No. 3 and 4, despite the fact that there was no landlord-tenant arrangement between the latter and the plaintiff.
- Regardless, it is evident that the parties knew that defendant No. 2 Piarey Lal was the tenant of these plots under the plaintiff and that the entire evidence was led by the parties with that fact in mind. This argument was never brought up in any of the lower courts. In these circumstances, it could not be said that the complaint for the eviction of the defendants should be rejected on the basis that Yash Pal had not been determined to be Piarey Lal’s Mukhtar and that, as a result, the rent deed, Exhibit P-1, executed by him was not binding on the latter.
According to the bench the trial Court’s conclusion that Yash Pal had signed the rent-deed dated January 17, 1962, in his capacity as Piarey Lal’s attorney, was incorrect. It had not been proven in the records that Yash Pal was Piarey Lal’s Mukhtiar-i-am. He further concluded that Yash Pal lacked the legal right to sign the aforementioned rent note in the plaintiff’s favour. The learned Judge also declared that the plaintiff should fail because they failed to notify the defendants prior to bringing the lawsuit as required under Section 106 of the Transfer of Property Act. However, the trial Court found that there was no need to provide any notice because the lease was for a set length of time, and providing such a notice to the defendants after that period had passed served no purpose. As a result, the appeal was upheld, the trial court’s decision was overturned, and the lawsuit was dismissed.
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