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Indian Case Summary

Inder Mohan Lal vs Ramesh Khanna on 4 August, 1987 – Case Summary

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In the case of Inder Mohan Lal vs Ramesh Khanna on 4 August, 1987, the Supreme Court of India was called upon to interpret and apply the provisions of the Delhi Rent Control Act, 1958, specifically Section 21, which deals with the requirements for a landlord to let out premises for a limited period.

Facts of the Case

The appellant, Inder Mohan Lal, made an application before the Rent Controller on July 15, 1976, to let out his premises to the respondent, Ramesh Khanna, for residential purposes for a period of two years under Section 21 of the Delhi Rent Control Act, 1958. The appellant stated that he did not require the premises for that period. The respondent agreed to this statement and undertook to vacate the premises after the expiry of two years from July 15, 1976. Consequently, the Rent Controller made an order allowing the creation of a limited tenancy for a period of two years from July 15, 1976.

However, the respondent refused to vacate the premises after two years, leading the appellant to file an application under Section 21 on behalf of himself and his family members, claiming possession of the premises for their bona fide need and use. The Rent Controller passed an eviction order, and the Appellate Tribunal upheld the same.

Issues Raised

The High Court, allowing the appeal of the tenant-respondent, held that the order under Section 21 of the Act was a mindless order as no reason had been stated as to why the premises in question were not required for a limited period. It was also not stated how the premises in question were dealt with before creating the said tenancy, and there was no writing and no lease registered after the permission was granted.

Court’s Observations

The Supreme Court, allowing the appeal by special leave, held that the permission granted by the Rent Controller under Section 21 of the Delhi Rent Control Act was valid. The order permitting limited tenancy was not a mindless order but one passed by him after taking the relevant facts into consideration.

The Court observed that to attract Section 21 of the Act, it is necessary that the landlord must not require the premises either in whole or part for a particular period; the landlord must obtain the permission of the Controller in the prescribed manner; the letting of the whole or part of the premises must be for residence, and such letting out must be for such period as may be agreed in writing. These alone are the conditions which are required to be fulfilled.

The Court also held that it is not necessary to state under Section 21 the reasons why the landlord did not require the premises in question for any particular period. The landlord or the tenant may be able to show that cogent reasons did exist or were within the knowledge of the parties as to why the landlord did not require the whole or a part of his premises for a specified period.

The Court further observed that there is no presumption that in all cases the tenants are the weaker sections. The presumption is, on the contrary, in favour of sanction. It is he who challenges the statement and the admission of the landlord or the tenant who has to establish facts.

Finally, the Court held that an agreement in writing submitted along with the application under Section 21 of the Act is really a proposed agreement. It comes into effect only after the grant of permission. It does not require registration.

Conclusion

The Supreme Court’s decision in this case provides a detailed interpretation of Section 21 of the Delhi Rent Control Act, 1958. It clarifies the requirements for a landlord to let out premises for a limited period and the conditions that must be met for such a tenancy to be valid. The decision

In the case of Inder Mohan Lal vs Ramesh Khanna on 4 August, 1987, the Supreme Court of India was called upon to interpret and apply the provisions of the Delhi Rent Control Act, 1958, specifically Section 21, which deals with the requirements for a landlord to let out premises for a limited period.