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Delhi High CourtIndian Cases

Renu Vij vs Daljit Singh Bhatia And Anr. on 31 May 2004

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Delhi High Court
Renu Vij vs Daljit Singh Bhatia And Anr. on 31 May, 2004
Equivalent citations: 113(2004)DLT880

S.K. Agarwal, J.

1. These two petitions under Article 227 of the Constitution of India, are directed against the order dated 19th July, 2000 passed by the Court of Additional Rent Control Tribunal, Shahdara, Delhi, allowing appeals of the respondent No. 2, against orders dated 29th April, 1999 of the Court of Additional Rent Controller, Delhi, holding that petitioner is a necessary and proper party in the eviction proceeding filed by respondent No. 2 against respondent No. 1. The controversy involved in these two petitions is the same and, therefore, the same are being disposed of by this common order.

CM. (M) 538/2000:

2. In this case Jai Parkash (respondent No. 2) filed a petition for eviction under Sections 14(1)(a) and 14(1)(b) of Delhi Rent Control Act against Daljeet Singh Bhatia-respondent No. 1 (hereinafter “the tenant”) in respect of a portion of the property No. 355, Gali No. 2, Saraswati Bhandar, Gandhi Nagar, Shahdara, Delhi, consisting of one room on the ground floor with common toilet and bath (hereinafter, referred to as ‘the suit property’). It is pleaded that he had purchased the said property from its earlier owner Amrit Lal, through a registered Sale Deed dated 10.2.1998; thereafter tenant was asked to pay the rent to him and despite service of notice, rent was not paid. It is also pleaded that tenant was not staying in the suit premises and has sublet, assigned and otherwise parted with possession to some other person and that he was residing in Dayanand Vihar, Delhi. Respondent No. 2 also pleaded about earlier litigation pending between him and the petitioner, in respect to the suit property.

3. The tenant filed written statement pleading that he was inducted in the suit premises by Krishan Lal (husband of the petitioner) on the basis of rent agreement dated 11.3.1985. He had been issuing rent receipts to him against payment of rent; he died in October, 1992 and thereafter his widow Smt. Renu Vij (petitioner herein) started collecting rent without objection from any other person. It is pleaded that the suit premises are being used for commercial purposes right from the inception of the tenancy.

4. In the above eviction proceedings, petitioner-Smt. Renu Vij moved applications before the Trial Court under Order 1 Rule 10 read with Section 151, CPC, for impleading her as a necessary party. It was, inter alia, stated that she is the owner and landlady of the entire four storeyed building including the suit premises; her husband Krishan Lal purchased the same from Amrit Lal on the basis of agreement to sell and receipt dated 12.7.1978 and constructed the building in stages. Jai Prakash (respondent No. 2) and one Kallu threatened to dispossess her from the suit property; and she filed a civil suit being S.No. 106/98, against them. Learned Civil Judge vide order dated 26.3.1998 granted injunction in her favor restraining them from dispossessing her from the said property. Jai Prakash (respondent No. 2) filed written statement in the said suit on 14.5.1998 claiming that he had purchased the property vide sale deed dated 10.2.1998 from Amrit Lal; she was shocked to know about it and on her complaint criminal case under Sections 420/506, IPC vide FIR No. 80/2000 at PS Gandhi Nagar against Amrit Lal and Jai Prakash was registered for creating false documents in pursuance of criminal conspiracy to deprive the petitioner of her property. It is pleaded that there are five tenants in the suit property, namely, Sunil Kumar, Daljit Singh Bhatia, Kaushik Bhatt, Vinod Bedi and Hardwari Lal. All tenants were paying rent to the applicant by cheque for the last many years. The police investigated the matter and statement of tenants has been recorded by the police.

CM(M) 539/2000:

5. In this case also, Jai Prakash-respondent No. 2 filed an eviction petition against Kaushik Bhat-respondent No. 1 (hereinafter referred to as ‘the tenant’) in respect of shop in the property No. 355, Gali No. 2, Saraswati Bhandar, Gandhi Nagar, Delhi alleging non-payment of rent and having parted with possession, etc. Shri Kaushik Bhat was not served and did not file any written statement, however, petitioner filed an application under Order 1 Rule 10, CPC stating that Kaushik Bhat was the tenant previously under the petitioner, who has vacated the premises and possession has been restored to her. Petitioner in this eviction petition also prayed that she be permitted to be imp leaded as a party. She also prayed for recording of statement of parties.

6. Learned Additional Rent Controller vide orders dated 29.4.1999 directed the petitioner to be imp leaded as respondent. Aggrieved by this order, Jai Prakash (respondent No. 2) preferred appeals. Learned Rent Control Tribunal vide the impugned order dated 19.7.2000 allowed the appeals observing that joining of the petitioner, would convert the nature of the case and it will become a suit between the two landlords or two owners and would not remain an eviction petition between landlord and tenant. These orders are under challenge.

7. On the above noted facts, learned Counsel for petitioner argued that petitioner’s husband purchased property from Amrit Lal in 1978; the tenants have been paying rent to the petitioner or her husband ever since then through cheque; the execution of the sale deed by Amrit Lal in 1998 in favor of respondent No. 2, is in pursuance of criminal conspiracy and case has already been registered against respondent No. 2 and that petitioner is necessary and proper party to avoid multiplicity of proceedings and for effective adjudication of disputes between the parties. In support of above submissions, reliance was placed on Devi Dayal Dixit v. Rashtriya Electrical and Engineering Company, 1983 (1) RLR 1; Anil Kumar v. Gyan Dev & Sons and Anr., ; and Gayatri Devi (Mrs.) v. Mangat Singh and Anr., 90 (2001) DLT 408.

8. Learned Counsel appearing on behalf of respondent No. 2 argued to the contrary submitting that in the eviction proceedings, the Rent Controller cannot decide title to the suit property and presence of the petitioner will delay the proceedings and nothing else, and placed reliance on the observations made in Sunil and Ors. v. Satyanarayan Dubey and Ors., AIR 1985 M.P. 199; Devi Dayal Dixit v. Rashtriya Electrical & Engineering Co., ; and Evangelical Church of India v. North India Outreach Society, 65 (1997) DLT 591=1997 II AD (Delhi) 100.

9. I have considered the rival contentions. The question which needs consideration is whether without the presence of the petitioner, the issues raised in the eviction petition can be completely and effectively adjudicated? In this case, at the risk of repetition, it may be recalled that respondent No. 2 filed the eviction petition, claiming that he has purchased the property from the previous owner Amrit Lal on 10.2.1998 but sale-deed is silent as to who were the tenants in the suit property, at the relevant time. The case of the petitioner is that her husband purchased the property in question from Amrit Lal through agreement to sell and receipt, etc. in the year 1978 i.e. about twenty years prior to the execution of sale deed propounded by respondent No. 2; all five tenants in the building have been paying rents through cheques either to the petitioner or her husband. Power of attorney sales in Delhi was a common mode of sale of immovable properties in Delhi, as held in Kuldip Singh Suri v. Surinder Kumar, 1999 RLR 20. Further in para 19 of the eviction petition, respondent No. 2 has himself pleaded about the pending litigation between the petitioner and respondent No. 2. It reads:

“19. Any other relevant information.
A civil suit is pending against Smt. Renu Vij who is an illegal occupant in one room of the suit premises and Renu Vij has also filed a false and frivolous civil suit against the petitioner which is also pending in the Court of Shri Rajender Kumar, Civil Judge, Delhi.”
10. And respondent No. 1, in his written statement, has specifically pleaded that he is the tenant in the premises for the last 15 years and was paying rent through cheque to the petitioner. The following objections have been taken:

“1. That the present petition of the petitioner is not maintainable since there is no landlord and tenant relationship between the petitioner and the respondent and it is the Renu Vij w/o Late Krishan Lal r/o G&J(U) 57-B, Pitampura, Delhi who at present, is the landlady of the respondent qua the tenanted premises.
2. That the present petition has been filed without any cause of action and the same is liable to be dismissed.
3. That no notice as required under the law for filing the petition under Section 14(i)(a) of D.R.C. Act, has been served upon the respondent and as such the petition of the petitioner is liable to be dismissed.”
11. On the above pleadings in one petition, the Trial Court will have to determine whether any relationship of landlord and tenant exists between respondent No. 2 and respondent No. 1. And in the other petition, the tenant has already vacated and the petitioner herself is in possession of the suit property. Thus, presence of the petitioner would be necessary for adjudication of the real controversy between the parties. In the absence of the petitioner, the issue as to who is the landlord in the eviction petition cannot be finally determined. The material placed on record, prima facie, shows that petitioner has a subsisting and substantive interest in the property. If petitioner is not allowed to be imp leaded as a party, it would lead to multiplicity of proceedings which should be avoided. The observations made by the learned Rent Control Tribunal in the impugned orders that a party claiming to be real tenant may be imp leaded, and that a party claiming to be a real owner cannot be imp leaded is not sustainable. Order 1 Rule 10 of CPC, enables the Court to add any person as a party, at any stage of the suit with a view to effectively and completely adjudicate upon the questions involved in the suit. Each case depends upon its own facts and no strait-jacket formula of universal application can be laid down. In view of the same, detailed discussion on various judgments cited by learned Counsel for the parties in not necessary.

12. For the foregoing reasons, both the petitions are allowed. Impugned orders dated 19.7.2000 passed by the Additional Rent Control Tribunal are set aside and the order dated 29.4.1999 passed by Rent Controller is confirmed. No order as to costs.

Petitions stand disposed of.