SRI K.M. MANJUNATH versus SRI ERAPPA. G DEAD THROUGH LRS
C.T. RAVIKUMAR; SUDHANSHU DHULIA, JJ.
Section 106 of the TP Act - The primary contention in the matter was the applicability of section 106 of the ToP Act, which provides that where there is no written contract for the lease of immovable property, not being leased for agricultural or manufacturing purposes, the period of the lease shall be deemed to be from month to month and terminable by 15 (fifteen) days’ notice. The contention of the petitioner-lessee before the Small Causes Court was that no valid notice was served by the respondent-lessor as per this provision. Based on the aforesaid, the Small Causes Court ruled in favour of the petitioner-lessee. However, based on the aforementioned evidence evaluation, the High Court determined that the lease in this case stood determined by virtue of section 111(a) of the ToP Act, which provides that a lease may come to an end by efflux of time limited therein.
The Supreme Court, in the Special Leave Petition, took note of the contention of the petitioner-lessee that after the expiry of the period of the last lease agreement, the petitioner-lessee was continuing as a tenant in sufferance and had paid the rent till the date of the filing of the suit for ejectment.
The tenant observed that there was no legal termination of the lease as against the landlord’s eviction claim under section 106 of the TP Act 1882. The contention being dismissed by the trail court, the plaintiff-revision petition filed under Section 18 of the Karnataka Small Cause Courts Act, the Karnataka High Court held that, under Section 111(a) of the Act, the lease would be determined by the passage of time and that, in such circumstances, notice of termination under Section 106 of the Act was not required. Further a petition was filed in the SC. The SC held that the order that was passed by the High Court in exercise of its power of revision under Section 18 of the Karnataka Small Cause Courts Act was impugned. The Supreme Court stated that it needs no reiteration that another view is possible based on the evidence on record can be no ground for the High Court to interfere with an order of court(s) below in exercise of its revisional jurisdiction.
Any grey area in law can become a complicated situation eventually specially in unspecified contracts. The facts of the case clearly show that the absence of such agreed timelines can further trigger disputes between the parties. The non-waiver of termination by the supreme court captures the duration of lease must be very clear in the agreements.