This Judgment Lays Down The Grounds For Remedy Not Being Available Under Section 6 SRA.
J. M. Srinivasan
J. A.P. Misra
J. N. Santosh Hegde
Appellant-Shri Mahabir Prasad Jain
Respondent- Shri Ganga Singh
The respondent was a tuck shop owner whose shop was uprooted by the appellant. The respondent claims he is the tenant of the appellant, and sought remedy under the Specific Relief Act for possession of a part of the premises.
- The respondent had filed a suit against the appellant and the Municipal Corporation for a permanent injunction that would stop the defendant from removing the appellant from his tuck shop.
- The appellant had thrown the respondent’s goods from the tuck shop, and the local police had refused to help the respondent. The appellant then began constructing a basement and covered the tuck shop. The respondent filed a suit in the Trial Court.
- The Trial Court granted an ex parte injunction, and appointed a Commissioner to report on the premises. Before this order, the respondent had filed an application under Section 45 of the Delhi Rent Control Act alleging disconnection of electricity by the appellant to the shop.
- While the first suit was pending at the court, the respondent filed another suit under Section 6 of the Specific Relief Act praying for possession of a part of the property in question. The Trial Court granted a decree stating that the plaintiff was entitled to a portion of premises, and ordered the obstruction to be dismantled.
- Aggrieved by this order, the appellant has filed the present appeal.
Section 6 Specific Relief Act, 1963- Suit by a person disposed of their immovable property. It states the time period and circumstance in which a suit can be filed by someone disposed of their immovable property.
Section 45 of the Delhi Rent Control Act, 1958–Landlord cannot cut off or withhold any essential supply or service from the tenant.
- Whether the respondent is a tenant of the appellant?
- Whether the respondent has a remedy under the Specific Relief Act?
- The respondent had contended that they became a tenant of the property, and the appellant is the landlord. The Supreme Court however found these averments inconsistent and senseless. It was stated that a glance at the evidence sufficiently shows that this case made for tenancy is absolutely false. The Trial Court had hence rightly held there was no tenancy.
- The Court however found that the Trial Court had committed grievous errors, which the High Court ignored. In the case, the respondent was never a tenant under the appellant, but was engaged on a daily wage basis. The appellant claimed they took pity on the respondent and engaged in his service, and the respondent in return filed a suit of injunction. The Supreme Court states that the Trial Court in its analysis should have considered if the pleas were false. If the plea was in the favour of the appellant, the current suit by the respondent under Section 6 of the Specific Relief Act should not maintainable.
- Further, the relevant question of whether the respondent was exclusively in possession of the premises was not adequately dealt with. The Trial Court ignored relevant materials.
- The Court also observed that the respondent has been instituting different proceedings in different forums at short intervals, and has made inconsistent allegations against the respondent. This is an abuse of process and the respondent was not allowed relief under the Specific Relief Act.
The court in this case has considered a dispute of tenancy, and has concluded that the respondent is not a tenant and the case made by them does not make sense. The court has also found that the Trial Court and High Court have erred in the management of this case. The Trial Court’s decree was beyond the prayer sought by the plaintiff. Further the respondent’s frequent use of pleas and dispute settlement mechanism is seen as an abuse of process, and the Supreme Court did not provide relief to the respondent through the Specific Relief Act.
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