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Mahalakshmi V/s Bala Venkatram (d) through LR & Anr.
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Mahalakshmi V/s Bala Venkatram (d) through LR & Anr.
Mahalakshmi V/s Bala Venkatram (d) through LR & Anr.

Facts of the Case

The landlady, in this case, filed an eviction suit on the ground of subletting as well as on arrears of rent yet to be paid by the tenant under the Tamil Nadu lease and Rent Control Act, 1960 in the district magistrate and an order of eviction was passed in favor of the landlady. Thus, after the death of the respondent, the legal heirs filed an appeal for the revision application before the High Court and setting aside the order of the rent control authority the High Court allowed the revision and the previous order was quashed.

Feeling dissatisfied with the order that was passed by Madras High court through which the court had allowed the revision application that was in favor of the respondents and therefore, the original plaintiff has preferred to deal with this present appeal.

The facts of the case are as follows:

Mr. Sanjeev along with his wife Mrs. Porkodi, the previous owners of the suit that is main subject with regards to this case had executed a power of attorney in the name of the appellant. Through the rental agreement the appellant lent the premises for running a super market from June 2007 to July 2009 for the monthly rent of RS.11000/- and advance deposit of Rs.1,00,000/- in the form of security. The rent was subject to payable at 7th day of every month. The landlady filed a suit for eviction on the grounds of sub-letting and also under the arrears of land, in the district court. During the start the rent was paid on time but upon default of payment and noticing the change as well as in the ownership of the shop in the premises of the tenant she started to make enquiries and discovered that not only the name was different but, the party itself had been changed.

Thus, it was a gross breach with regards to the rent agreement that was prepared. So, the landlady issued a legal notice to the original defendant or with whom she had made the rent agreement, and called him and returned the advance deposit after adjusting the arrears of rent upon breach and ordered him to hand over the possession of the property within 15 days and if the party fails to do so a strict legal action shall be taken. Since, there was no reply to the legal notice that was sent across by the landlady or the appellant filed a suit for the decree of eviction on the basis of the following grounds 1. Sub-letting. 2. Arrears of rent.

The suit went in the favor of the defendant by filing a written counter. So far and according to the judgment passed by the HC it has been submitted by the learned advocate on behalf of the respondents that upon considering the facts and evidence given in the above case the appellant has failed to prove that the premises was sub- let by to the second respondent or the tenant. And thus, the HC has set aside the order that was passed by the Rent control appellate authority.

Thus, it was concluded by the learned advocate that both the respondents were running the shop as partner and there was no question of sub-letting the premises, therefore the order set by the high court was appropriate. The advocate on behalf of the landlady mentioned there were no such contentions raised in the written counter that was submitted with regards to the eviction petition. According to the lease deed the appellate is said to be the landlady and thus, the suit filed for the eviction of the tenant at this particular moment would be applicable and maintainable.

Thus, the court has heard both the parties as well as the judgment passed by the high court in this case and also the rental agreement that was prepared. The original deposition of the respondent no.1 was also taken into consideration.

Issue of the Case

  1. With regards to the facts and situation of the case, whether the High court is justified in setting aside the eviction degree on the grounds of sub-letting and arrears of rent?

Judgment

  1. Upon applying various statutes and also with regards to the facts and evidence on record laid down before the court is of the opinion that there is no original partnership between the respondent no. 1& 2 and that the respondent no. 1 in this case has only brought out the angel of partnership to get away with the allegation that has been made against him with respect to Sub-letting of premises of the owners property. It has come to the notice of the court that the possession of this disputed property is still in the hands of the respondent number two. Thus, the said respondent is still running the business in the premises of the disputed property as the owner itself, all other certificates have been made and transferred including the license and bank account in the name of the respondent no. Two. Therefore, this is seen as a clear case of sub-letting, and the court has stated that the high court has made a gross error in setting aside the decree of eviction on the ground of Sub-letting.
  2. Thus, taking into consideration the above facts and reasons that has been stated the present appeal has been allowed by the Supreme Court. Setting aside the impugned order that had been passed by the high court and reinstating the order passed by the Rent control authority. Mentioning that the decree shall be there on the ground of sub-letting. The court have thus ordered the handover of the possession a peaceful manner of the suit premises to landlady within three months from the date of the order as well as filling an undertaking before the court that full payment shall be made of arrears of rent within a time period of four weeks starting from today that is the date on which the order has been passed.
  3. Under this order, the court has further stated that subletting or assigning or performing any such activity with regards to the whole or any part of the tenants premises, without even obtaining prior consent in a written format is not allowed at all and therefore if the act is committed without seeking appropriate permission rights shall be provided to the landlord or the owner on the ground of eviction to obtain a complete possession of the property.

Supreme Court of India

Case Number - 9443/2019

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