CIVIL APPEAL NO. 2816 OF 2022
Mere Acceptance Of Rent By Landlord After The Expiry Of Lease Would Not Amount To Waiver Of Termination Of Lease
Justices CT Ravikumar and Sudhanshu Dhulia
Petitioner: Shankarlal Nadani
Respondent: Sohanlal Jain
The Supreme Court affirmed that the landlord's simple acceptance of the rent after the term of the lease has ended does not constitute a waiver of the right to terminate the lease.
1. Section 106 in The Transfer of Property Act, 1882 – In absence of a contract, local law, or custom to the contrary, a lease of real estate for industrial, commercial, or agricultural use shall be deemed to be a lease from year to year, terminable by either party with six months' notice. A lease of real estate for any other use shall be deemed to be a lease from month to month, terminable by either party with fifteen days' notice.
2. The Rajasthan Rent Control Act 2001 Section 1(2) -
a. Brief title, scope, and start. The Rajasthan Rent Control Act, 2001 is another name for this legislation.
b. It shall initially apply to those municipal areas in the State that make up the District Headquarters, and later, to those other municipal areas that the State Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, specify from time to time and have a population greater than 50,000 as of the 1991 Census.
3. The Rajasthan Rent Control Act 2001 Section 18 –
Provides for the jurisdictional Rent Tribunal to decide on all landlord-tenant disputes.
4. The Rajasthan Rent Control Act 2001 Section 32 –
If a landlord evicts a tenant from rented property without the tenant's agreement and without following due process, the tenant may petition the Rent Tribunal for the return of possession of the property within 30 days of learning of the eviction.
- Since 1982, the father of the respondent in this case, who is now the appellant, has been the renter of Shop No. 4 at Jain Katla, Bikaner Road, Suratgarh.
- The property was leased out for a monthly price of Rs.583.33 and after the passing of the appellant's father, the appellant continued to rent the shop on a monthly basis.
- When the suit for possession was filed on April 18, 2013, it had not yet been served with a notice of termination of tenancy under Section 106 of the Transfer of Property Act.
- The Rajasthan Rent Control Act's restrictions were extended by the State Government in a notification on July 11, 2014, while the lawsuit was pending.
- Even though the Act started to apply to the area in question as of May 11, 2015, the Civil Court issued the decision for possession against the appellants on May 28.
- A first appeal was made by the appellants against the aforementioned decision and decree before the Additional District Judge of Suratgarh, however it was rejected on October 5, 2021.
- In the second appeal before the High Court, the appellants cited the Rajasthan High Court Division Bench decision K. Ramnarayan Khandelwal v. Shri Pukhraj Banthiya, which found that the civil suit decree could not be issued after the Act had become applicable to the relevant territory.
- The High Court concluded that the judgement in question is not binding because it was stayed by this Court in a Special Leave Petition.
- The High Court dismissed the appeals brought by the appellants after holding that the decree in the civil suit may be given since another co-ordinate Bench of the High Court had decided the same in a different case.
- Whether acceptance of rent by landlord after the expiry of lease would amount to waiver of termination of lease?
Arguments Advanced By The Appellant
- Learned counsel for the appellants argued that the present appeals should be heard concurrently with the Special Leave Petition arising out of the Division Bench decision of the Rajasthan High Court in K. Ramnarayan Khandelwal and other related cases because it is still pending final disposition before this Court.
- They disagree, as though it is best for all cases involving the same or comparable topics to be handled at once, there is no restriction on their ability to handle the issues that come before them.
- He argued that all other matters, which are pending and are in varying stages, will follow suit after the legal question in one matter has been resolved.
- Furthermore he argued that in this instance, the petition(s) before the court are preferred on behalf of the landlord, whilst the appellants are tenants whose interest is in maintaining possession.
- According to Section 1(2) of the Act, the Act was initially applicable to those municipal areas that included the District Headquarters in the State and later to those other municipal areas with a population greater than 50,000 as of the 1991 census that the State Government may from time to time specify by notification in the Official Gazette.
- It was the Rent Tribunal alone that would have jurisdiction to hear and decide the petitions connected to disputes between landlord and tenant after the State Government's announcement issued on July 11th, 2014, became effective on May 11th, 2015.
- As a result, the civil court was unable to issue the decree of possession because the Rent Tribunal is the only entity authorised to do so. In order to grant the disputed Act overriding effect, reliance was relied on the non obstante provision that begins sub-section (1) of Section 18 of the governing Act.
- He stated that only the Rent Tribunal would be able to hear and decide these petitions, therefore the civil court lost its authority to do so. However, the Rent Tribunal does not deal with lawsuits and other legal actions that were already pending when the Act began to apply to the municipal area. Regarding the decrees issued before the Act was applicable to the relevant territory, neither an express nor an inferred provision exists in the Act. The Act allows for the application of the Act with a retroactive impact, hence the notification that was made cannot have that effect.
- Therefore, they believe that the statute's text will determine whether or not an eviction decree can be issued after the Act became operative.
Arguments Advanced By The Respondent
- The decision in Rajender Bansal & Ors. v. Bhuru (Dead) through Legal Representatives &Ors., which was cited by the knowledgeable counsel for the appellants, dealt with the Haryana Rent Act.
- The appellants, who were the landlords, had filed a lawsuit to have their tenants, the respondents, evicted. The civil court received the complaint. On the day the lawsuit was filed, the contested property was not covered by rent laws.
- However, the area in question was brought under the purview of rent legislations by necessary notifications during the course of the lawsuit and before it could be ultimately decided, and in this Court the problem was resolved against the tenants.
- They argued that in The Haryana Rent Act in the aforementioned instance stipulated that no decree could be carried out following the implementation of the Haryana Rent Act; nevertheless, the Act at hand contains no such or akin clause. As a result, this Court decided in the aforementioned ruling that an eviction decree might be carried out even though a lawsuit had been filed when the Act did not apply to the subject premises.
- Further, one of the rules is that the rights of the parties must be settled on the day the lawsuit is filed, which is when the lawsuit officially begins.
- The plaintiff is entitled to a ruling on the day that he started the procedures, so the parties' rights must be evaluated as of that date. In a recent decision known as ECGC Limited v. Mokul Shriram EPC JV, this Bench was debating whether the provisions of the Consumer Protection Act of 1986, as they were at the time the complaint was filed, or the condition of deposit when filing an appeal under the Consumer Protection Act of 2019 would apply.
Analysis By The Court
In reference to the cases of Garikapati Veeraya v. N. Subbiah Choudhry & Ors., Vitthalbhai Naranbhai Patel v. Commissioner of Sales Tax, M.P., Nagpur, and Hardeodas Jagannath v. The State of Assam, the Constitution Bench determined that the provisions of the Consumer Protection Act, 2019 would not apply to complaints filed before the 2019 Act's start date.
Therefore, the Judgement and Decree passed in the suit for possession
does not suffer from any illegality.
Given the foregoing, the Honorable Supreme Court of India did not identify any mistakes in the decision made bythe High Court, and hence dismissed the appeals.
Learn the practical aspects of CrPC HERE, CPC HERE, IPC HERE, Evidence Act HERE, Family Laws HERE, DV Act HERE
Click here to download the original copy of the judgement