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Delhi High CourtIndian Cases

Dr. S.K. Mahajan vs Har Piari Kapoor on 19 July 2004

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Delhi High Court
Dr. S.K. Mahajan vs Har Piari Kapoor on 19 July, 2004
Equivalent citations: 113(2004)DLT104, 2004(77)DRJ621
Author: R.S. Sodhi
Bench: R.S. Sodhi

R.S. Sodhi, J.

1. This petition is directed against the judgment and order dated 20.11.2001 of the Additional Rent Controller, Delhi in Suit No. E- 129/2001 whereby the learned Additional Rent Controller has allowed the application of the widow-landlady on grounds of Section 14D of the Delhi Rent Control Act (for short ‘the Act) read with Section 25B as also 14(1)(e) of the Act while rejecting the leave to defend of the tenant.

2. It is contended by counsel for the petitioner herein that the widow landlady can exercise her rights under Section 14D of the Act only once in her life time. In this case, she has already exercised her right under Section 14D qua two rooms in the same building/house. He also submits that the premises were let out for commercial purpose and, therefore, the ground under Section 14(1)(e) was not available to her.

3. On the other hand, counsel for the respondent submits that there is no bar in the exercise of right under Section 14D of the Act qua two premises which were a part of the house and, therefore, this right under Section 14D could be exercised if the premises were required for residence of the widow. He further contends that a petition under Section 14(1)(e) can also be maintained if the premises which is alleged to be used for commercial purposes falls predominantly in a residential area.

4. Counsel for the petitioner refers to a judgment of the Supreme Court in EMC Steel Ltd. Vs. UOI & Anr., 43 (1991) DLT 456, SC.

5. I have heard counsel for the parties and have given my thought to the question in issue. I am of the view that if in a single house there are more than one tenants and the entire house or portion thereof is needed by the widow-landlady for her residence, she can maintain separate petitions under Section 14D of the Act in respect of different tenants in the same house. To say that she has to choose from amongst the tenants would be doing violence to the intent and interpretation of statute. It must be construed harmoniously and rationally. If the premises were two different dwelling units/houses then the widow will have to choose one of them and in that sense will be barred from exercising her right under Section 14D more than once. That being the situation the judgment of the Supreme Court does not help the petitioner. it is also immaterial whether the premises let out was for residential or commercial purpose. In this view of the matter, I find no merit in this case. RC.REV.382/2002 is dismissed.