Thursday, 31 December 2015

Whether there is conflict between Hindu succession Act and Maharashtra rent control Act?

Therefore,   there   appears   to   be   no   conflict   in   the   two
provisions.     The   HS   Act   amends   and   codifies   the   law   relating   to
succession amongst Hindus and therefore the overriding effect given to

it   by   section   4(1)(b)   over   other   law   in   force   immediately   before
commencement of the HS Act relating to intestate succession amongst
Hindus, that law ceased to apply insofar as it is inconsistent with any
other provisions contained in the HS Act.  The reliance placed on this
clause by Mr. Thakkar is entirely misplaced.  Once we understand the
controversy in the above manner, then, we do not see how we can apply
the mandate of Article 254 of the Constitution of India.  That Article has
no application.
We have already held that nothing in clause (d) of section
7(15) of the MRC Act interferes with the rule of succession enacted by
the HS Act.   That definition of the term 'tenant' has been inserted to
mean any person by whom or on whose account rent is payable for any
premises and includes firstly such person who is a tenant or who is a
deemed tenant or who is a sub ­tenant as permitted under a contract or
by the permission or consent of the landlord or who has derived title
under a tenant or to whom interest in premises has been assigned or
transferred as permitted by virtue of or under the provisions of any of
the repealed Acts.  Secondly, it includes a person who is deemed to be a
tenant under section 25 of the MRC Act or a person to whom interest in
premises has been assigned or transferred as permitted under section 26
of the MRC Act and finally, in relation to any premises when the tenant

dies, whether the death occurred before or after the commencement of
this Act, any member of the tenant's family, who, when the premises are
let for residence, is residing or when the premises are let for education,
business, trade or storage, is using the premises for any such purpose
with the tenant at the time of his death or in the absence of such
member, any heir of the deceased tenant, as may be decided, in the
absence of agreement, by the Court, will step in.   If there was any
intention to interfere with the law of succession and the rule laid down
thereunder, the words “any heir of the deceased tenant” would not have
been appearing in the definition at all.  We also find that the definition
read in its entirety reveals as to how the tenant means any person by
whom   or   on   whose   account   rent   is   payable   for   any   premises   and
includes, after the death of the tenant, a member of the tenant's family.
It is not as if only a right is created by this provision in the member of
the family residing with the tenant or carrying on business with him but
there is a duty and obligation while permitting the member of the
family to step in after the tenant's demise and that is to pay rent and
other charges for the premises in terms of the MRC Act and also to
abide by it so far as the matters covered by it.  Therefore, we do not
find   that   there   is   any   substance   in   the   contentions   of   the   learned
Counsel appearing for the Petitioner.
IN  THE  HIGH  COURT  OF  JUDICATURE  AT  BOMBAY
ORDINARY ORIGINAL CIVIL JURISDICTION
WRIT PETITION NO. 1853 OF 2014
Urmi Deepak Kadia 
Versus
State of Maharashtra 
CORAM :­ S. C. DHARMADHIKARI &
G. S. KULKARNI, JJ.

PRONOUNCED ON :­ AUGUST 11, 2015
Citation;2015 (6) MHLJ 462 Bom

By this Writ Petition under Article 226 of the Constitution
of India, the Petitioner seeks a declaration that section 7(15)(d) of the
Maharashtra   Rent   Control   Act,   1999   (for   short   “the   MRC   Act”)   is
inconsistent with the Hindu Succession Act, 1956 (for short “the HS
Act) as amended from time to time.  The argument is that to the extent
section 7(15)(d) of the   MRC Act provides protection to the family
member, who was residing with the deceased tenant, at the time of his

death, even though such family member is not a heir of the deceased
tenant, deprives the heir of the deceased tenant of his right and status
under the Hindu Succession Act, 1956.
2) This  argument  is  premised  on  the   fact  that  the  rule  of
intestate succession set out by the HS Act has been given an overriding
effect.  Section 4 of the HS Act is giving such overriding effect.  Section
4 of the HS Act is given such overriding effect over any other law in
force immediately before the commencement of the HS Act and it shall
cease to apply to Hindus insofar as it is inconsistent with any of the
provisions contained in the HS Act.  This overriding effect of the HS Act
is taken away by section 7(15)(d) of the MRC Act.  Hence, by virtue of
the constitutional mandate enshrined by Article 254(1), it would be
void because, the HS Act is traceable to Entry 5, List III (concurrent list)
of Schedule VII of the Constitution of India.  When such is the list and
the entry therein, by virtue of Article 254(2) of the Constitution of
India, the condition to be fulfilled is that with respect to one of the
matters enumerated in the concurrent list, if the law is made by the
legislature or State, then, such or any provision therein is repugnant to
the provisions of earlier law made by the Parliament or existing law
with respect to such matter, then, the law made by such legislature of
State, if it has been reserved by the President of India for assent and has

received his assent, it will prevail in that State.   In the present case,
there is a clear repugnancy.  The HS Act is an earlier law, whereas the
MRC Act is a later law.  The MRC Act is made by the State legislature
and   contains   the   above   noted   provision.     Therefore,   it   should   be
declared void and of no legal effect.  More so, when there is no material
on record to indicate that the assent of the President has been received
in the manner laid down by the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India in the
case of Kaiser I Hind Pvt. Ltd. and Anr. Vs. National Textile Corporation
(Maharashtra North) Ltd. and Ors. reported in (2002) 8 SCC 182.
3) The Petitioner raises these issues in the backdrop of a deed
of settlement dated 9th august, 1948.  The Petitioner states that she is
daughter   of   Late   Ramanlal   Kikabhai   Amarchand.     Late   Kikabhai
Amarchand had executed this deed of settlement dated 9th August, 1948
and Kikabhai Amarchand, Leelavati Kikabhai, Ramanlal Kikabhai and
Pravin Kikabhai were Trustees under the deed of settlement.   After
referring to the terms of the settlement, it is stated that the Trustees
purchased   an   immovable   property   at   Mumbai,   more   particularly
described in para 51 of the Writ Petition.  The immovable property is
referred as Amar Niwas.  Late Kikabhai Amarchand expired at Mumbai
on 29th June, 1958 and Mrs.Leelavati Kikabhai Amarchand also died at
Mumbai on 4th  February, 1983.   Thereafter, new Trustees came to be
appointed and out of the new Trustees, Mr. Pravin Kikabhai Dalal died

at Mumbai on 2nd  May, 2001.   Mr. Ramanlal Kikabhai Dalal was not
keeping good health and reference to the same is made in para 55, of
the Writ Petition.  Ramanlal Dalal executed a Will on 29th March, 2002.
He had 25% share in the property Amar Niwas and he was also a tenant
in respect of a residential flat situated at Amar Niwas, 61­B, Bhulabhai
Desai Road, Sophia College Lane, Breach Candy, Mumbai 400 026.  He
also had tenancy rights in respect of commercial premises.   All his
properties are described in para 56 of the Writ Petition.  In the Will, he
had stated that his family comprises of Urmi Kadia, the Petitioner, who
is presently residing in USA, Kumud R. Dalal, Shrenik R. Dalal and
Paresh R. Dalal.   Upon his death, the Petitioner, in terms of the Will,
became the 1/3rd owner of Amar Niwas and as far as the tenancy rights
are  concerned,  they  were   bequeathed   equally  between   Shrenik  and
Paresh.   If the Trust deed specifically vests the property in the heirs,
then, the Will is contrary to the Trust deed.  All the heirs are entitled to
succeed to the estate because the Settlors wanted to settle the property
amongst all the heirs of their four sons after the death of the sons.  The
Petitioner therefore claims equal rights insofar as the tenancy of the
residential flat and that is how in para 59 she submits that the Will to
the extent contrary to the deed of settlement will not bind her and as
far as the residential flat is concerned, she is entitled to the tenancy
right in the same along with Shrenik and Paresh.

4) She filed a declaratory Suit in the Court of Small Causes at
Mumbai being RAD Suit No. 2231 of 2010 and in which she placed her
version   by   pointing   out   that   she   was   not   residing   with   Ramanlal
Kikabhai Dalal at Mumbai at the time of his death but was residing in
USA with her husband.  She applied to the Court of Small Causes and
requested it to decide the issue and question that the MRC Act does not
override the HS Act.  But, the Court of Small Causes passed a Judgment
and order dated 11th February, 2013 holding that it has no jurisdiction
to decide the said issue being a constitutional issue.   The Petitioner,
being  aggrieved  by this  finding and conclusion, preferred a Review
Application   bearing   No.   15   of   2013.     It   appears   that   the   Review
Application was not pressed and this Writ Petition was filed in this
Court on 10th July, 2014 claiming the above declaration.
5) Though   the   Writ   Petition   refers   to   a   Notification   under
which  the   President   of   India   gave   assent  to   the   MRC   Act,  but   the
argument is entirely based on the alleged inconsistency and repugnancy
in the two legal provisions.
6) Mr.   Thakkar,   the   learned   Counsel   appearing   for   the
Petitioner   submits   that   a   bare   reading   of   section   7(15)(d)   would
indicate   as   to   how   it   is   inconsistent   with   the   rule   of   succession

enunciated in the HS Act.  He relies upon sub­clause (d) of clause (15)
of section 7 of the MRC Act to submit that when a tenant dies and the
premises   are   let   for   residence   or   for   education,   business,   trade   or
storage, then, any member of the tenant’s family residing with him or
using the premises at the time of his death becomes the tenant of the
said premises.  It is only in the absence of such member that any heir of
the deceased tenant and as agreed if there are more than one heir or if
there is no agreement but a dispute, then as decided by the Court can
succeed and can be termed as a tenant of the premises.  Thus, a heir
cannot step in straight away.  It is only in the absence of a member of
the family and not fulfilling the above condition that the heir can stake
his/her claim.  Thus, the member of the Tenant’s family and who can
becomes a tenant need not be his or her heir.  To that extent, the law of
succession and the rule therein is displaced.   Mr. Thakkar therefore
submits that there is a clear conflict.  The rights of the heir to succeed to
tenancy are restricted.  If section 4(1)(b) of the HS Act is noticed, then,
nothing can prevent the heirs from succeeding to the estate as per the
rule of succession set out in the HS Act.  The overriding effect of the HS
Act enables them to step in.   In the present case, there is no record
which   would   indicate   that   such   inconsistency   or   the   conflicting
provisions   in   both   enactments   were   brought   to   the   notice   of   the
President and his assent was sought on this specific aspect.  Hence, to

this extent, there is no compliance with the constitutional mandate
enshrined by Article 254(2) of the Constitution of India.   Hence, the
Petition deserves to succeed.
7) Reliance   is   placed   upon   the   Judgment   of   the   Hon’ble
Supreme Court in the case of Kaisar I Hind (supra).  In all fairness, our
attention is also invited to the Judgment of the Hon'ble Supreme Court
in the case of Vasant Pratap Pandit vs. Dr. Anant Trimbak Sabnis reported
in (1994) 3 SCC 481.
8) On   the   other   hand,   Mr.   Singh,   the   learned   Advocate
General appearing on behalf of the State submits that there is no merit
in the Writ Petition.  It has been repeatedly held that the area and field
covered by the two enactments, namely the MRC Act and the HS Act is
not same but entirely different.  The MRC Act is seeking to regulate and
control the relationship created by general law, because the State found
that the landlords are exploiting the situation arising out of scarcity of
accommodation.  The MRC Act, as is clear from its preamble, seeks to
prevent the exploitation of tenants and at the same time, ensures a
reasonable return for the investment in properties by the landlords.  In
that regard, our attention is invited to the preamble to the Bombay
Rents, Hotel and Lodging House Rates control Act, 1947 and the MRC
Act.  It is submitted by Mr. Singh that the arguments of the Petitioner

have   no   merit   because   there   is   no   repugnancy   between   these
enactments much less any provision therein.  Therefore, Article 254(2)
would   have   no  application   to   the   case   of   the   Petitioner.    If   she   is
aggrieved and dissatisfied for having been left out of the estate even to
a  limited   extent,   her   remedies   are   not   to   approach   this   Court   and
challenge   the   validity   of   any   provision   in   the   MRC   Act.     For,   the
provision   like   section   7(15)(d)   therein   is   inserted   to   enable   the
landlords after the death of a tenant to deal with a single member of his
family and not to join issues with the heirs and legal representatives.
Eventually, it is to enable the landlord to recover the rent and other
charges in respect of the premises and equally for the protection of the
tenant's family that such clauses are enacted.   The State legislature
never intends to affect the rights under the general law and particularly
the   right   to   succeed   to   the   estate   of   the   deceased.     In   such
circumstances, and when the aim and object of the HS Act is to amend
and codify the law relating to intestate succession of a Hindu then all
the more the argument of Mr. Thakkar should be rejected.
9) In support of the submissions recorded above, Mr. Singh
has relied upon the following decisions:­
(i) Judgment passed by a Division Bench of Bombay
High Court in the case of Rajaram Brindavan Upadhyaya vs.
Ramraj   Raghunath   Upadhyaya  reported   in   1977   Mh.L.J.
792.

(ii) Engineering Kamgar Union vs. Electro Steels Castings
Ltd. and Anr. (2004) 6 SCC 36
(iii) Mina Srinivasan Krishnan vs. Arun Bhaskar Adarkar
2014(5) Bom. C.R. 53
10) On proper appreciation of the rival contentions, we are
unable to agree with Mr. Thakkar.  Mr. Thakkar's general arguments and
on the issue of repugnancy overlook the fact that there is no material at
all.   A Petition under Article 226 of the Constitution of India to this
Court ought to indicate in clearest terms as to how the constitutional
issue arises and in the backdrop of a particular case.   No general or
academic discussion is permissible and the time of the Highest Court in
the State cannot be wasted in such discussion.  A proper and complete
foundation has to be laid backed by factual details based on which such
a   challenge   is   raised.     It   has   to   be   averred   as   to   how   there   is   a
repugnancy and which right of the Petitioner guaranteed under the
general   law   made   by   Parliament   allegedly   has   been   affected   by   a
contrary provision allegedly in the State law.  In other words, how the
question of applicability of the constitutional provision arises must be
indicated and set out with requisite factual details.  When it is apparent
that beyond quoting the paragraphs from the Judgment in the case of
Kaisar I Hind (supra), the Petition contains no factual averments about
why if the assent of the Hon'ble President of India was necessary, the
attention of the President ought to have been invited specifically to

every   inconsistent   provision   in   the   MRC   Act,   how   the   Petitioner
proceeds to assume that no such care and caution has been taken by the
State before obtaining the assent of the President of India, has not been
clarified at all.   Even if the Petitioner has an adverse order in her
proceedings before the Court of Small Causes at Bombay, it is not as if
she cannot protect her right, title and interest in the property by taking
assistance of the general principles of law and the rule of succession
enacted in the HS Act by approaching a competent civil Court.  If during
the course of trial of the Suit or such proceedings and particularly while
dealing with her assertion to succeed to the tenancy rights in respect of
the flat in question the civil or competent Court expresses a view that a
constitutional   issue   or   question   arises,   then   that   question   can   be
referred for opinion by the competent Court to this Court.  There are
enough   powers   of   that   nature   and   conferred   in   the   Trial   Courts.
However, today on the strength of the order passed by the Court of
Small Causes and which is capable of being challenged in a higher
Court,   we   cannot   presume   that   the   Petitioner   is   without   any   legal
recourse.  The issue raised in these circumstances is therefore academic.
There is no  foundation for the same and laid in the Writ Petition.
11) Apart   therefrom,   we   find   much   substance   in   the
contentions of Mr. Singh that for Article 254(2) to apply, the Court must

conclude that in terms of Article 254(1) there is a repugnancy in any
provision in the law made by the State legislature with any provision
which is made by the Parliamentary law or any provision in the State
law  is  repugnant  to  any  provision  of   an   existing  law  made   by  the
Parliament with respect to the matters in the concurrent list.  We do not
find   that   any   such   repugnancy   is   spelt   out.     Article   254   of   the
Constitution of India reads as under:­
“254. Inconsistency between laws made by Parliament and
laws made by the Legislatures of States – (1)  If any provision
of a law made by the Legislature of a State is repugnant to any
provision  of a law  made  by Parliament  which Parliament is
competent to enact, or to any provision of an existing law with
respect to one of the matters enumerated in the Concurrent List,
then, subject to the provisions of clause (2), the law made by
Parliament, whether passed before or after the law made by the
Legislature of such State, or, as the case may be, the existing
law, shall prevail and the law made by the Legislature of the
State shall, to the extent of the repugnancy, be void.
(2) Where a law made by the Legislature of a State with
respect to one of the matters enumerated in the Concurrent List
contains any provision repugnant to the provisions of an earlier
law made by Parliament or an existing law with respect to that
matter, then, the law so made by the Legislature of such State
shall,   if   it   has   been   reserved   for   the   consideration   of   the
President and has received his assent, prevail in that State:
Provided that nothing in this clause shall prevent Parliament
from enacting at any time any law with respect to the same
matter   including   a   law   adding   to,   amending,   varying   or
repealing the law so made by the Legislature of the State.”
12) Mr.   Singh's   reliance   on   the   Judgment   of   the   Hon'ble
Supreme Court in the case of Engineering Kamgar Union (supra) is thus
well placed.  The Hon'ble Supreme Court has reiterated its earlier views

and  conclusions.     From   a  reading  of  this   Judgment   of   the  Hon'ble
Supreme Court, it is apparent and from para 21 that the Central Act and
the State Act must indisputably cover the same field.   The Hon'ble
Supreme   Court   in   that   case   was   not   concerned   as   much   with   the
interpretation of Article 254 but by reason of the enactment made by
the   Parliament   or   the   State   in   exercise   of   their   legislative   powers
contained in List I and List II of the VIIth Schedule of the Constitution of
India the effect of one Act over the other in the event it is found that
there exists a conflict.  Therefore, it reiterated the principle that as far
as the question of repugnancy is concerned, firstly it must be shown
that   the   two   enactments   contain   inconsistent   and   irreconcilable
provisions so that they cannot stand together or operate in the same
field.   The inconsistency must be appearing on the face of the two
statutes.  The tests as laid down in the case of M. Karunanidhi vs. Union
of India reported in (1979) 3 SCC 431 are therefore rightly pressed into
service by Mr. Singh before us.
13) We are of the view that the area and field covered by the
MRC Act is entirely different.  The provision such as definition of the
term 'tenant' appearing in section 7(15) must be read in the backdrop of
the object and purpose sought to be achieved by the MRC Act.  It is not
to create a separate class or to carve out a distinct rule of succession but

to merely enable somebody to step­in in place of the deceased tenant
until   the   rights   under   the   general   law   are   determined   that   such   a
provision has been inserted and for protection of the interests of both,
the landlord and tenant.
14) We   do   not   find   that   there   is   anything   contrary   to   this
principle   which   is   laid   down   in   the   case   of    Vasant   Pratap   Pandit
(supra).     There,   the   question   was   about   a   tenant   (Tarabai)   of   the
disputed   premises   dying   issue­less.     She   left   behind   the   Will
bequeathing the properties including tenancy rights to her sister's son
Gopal and appointing the Appellant ­ her brother's son as Executor of
the   Will.     The   Respondent/Defendant,   who   happened   to   be   the
grandson of a sister of the Legatee and his wife were staying with Tara
Bai in the disputed premises.  After her death, the Appellant called upon
the Respondent to vacate the premises and on his refusal, instituted a
Suit for eviction in the City Civil Court, Bombay.  The Suit was resisted
principally   on   the   ground   that   the   bequest   of   the   tenancy   rights
amounted to transfer and it was impermissible under section 15 of the
Act.   That is how the Respondent claimed that he cannot be evicted.
This contention was negatived by the Trial Court and the Suit came to
be decreed.  The Respondent preferred an Appeal in the High Court and
while allowing the Appeal and dismissing the Suit, the High Court held

that the word 'heir' appearing in section 5(11)(c) of the Act did not
include 'legatee' and that the words 'assign' and 'transfer' appearing in
section 15 of the Act were used in a generic sense to include bequest.
Therefore, the Suit itself would not lie.
15) The Hon'ble Supreme Court in that context held that the
word 'heir' appearing in different legislations maybe construed both in a
wider as well as in a narrow sense and which sense would be applicable
to the facts of a particular case would depend on the intention of the
scheme of the particular legislation in which the question occurs.  The
Hon'ble Supreme Court then proceeds to analyse as to what would be
the ambit and scope of the words 'assign' and 'transfer' appearing in
section  15 of  the  Bombay Rent Act.   It is in  that context that the
observations in para 14 of the Judgment have been made.  However, the
Hon'ble Supreme Court has held that the words in section 5(11)(c)(i)
have been incorporated to meet a situation where there are more than
one heir.  The words “as may be decided in default of agreement by the
Court” appear in the context of there being no member of the family
residing   with   the   tenant   at   the   time   of   his   death   and   there   is   no
agreement between the heirs as to who should succeed to the tenancy
rights.  If there is no agreement, then, the Court has to decide who can
be treated as a tenant.  All this is in the context of the Will which was

left behind by the deceased tenant and whether the bequest of the
tenancy rights could have at all been made and if such bequest goes
contrary to the plain language of the section can the testator's wish be
foisted on the landlord.  In the case of testamentary disposition where
the wish or Will of the deceased has got to be respected, a decision of
the Court will not arise.   The rent control legislation in a particular
provision   could   not   have   intended   to   confer   such   a   right   on   the
testamentary heir.  Otherwise, the right of the landlord to recover the
possession   will   stand   excluded   even   though   the   original   party   (the
tenant) with whom the landlord had contracted is dead.  The Hon'ble
Supreme Court in para 14 of the decision in the case of Vasant Pandit
(supra) has clarified that in certain contingencies as contemplated in
section 5(11)(c)(i) of the old Bombay Rent Act, 1947 and now section
7(15)(d)   of   the   MRC   Act  certain   heirs  are   unable  to   succeed  to   a
statutory tenancy.  To this extent, departure is made from general law.
In  the   circumstances,  we   do  not  see  how  such  observations  of  the
Hon'ble Supreme Court would be decisive.
16) In   a   decision   in   the   case   of  Pushpa   Rani   and   Ors.   vs.
Bhagwanti Devi and Anr.  reported in  AIR 1994 SC 774  the Hon'ble
Supreme Court held that when a tenant dies, it was the person who
continued in  occupation  of and carried on business in the business

premises alone with whom the landlord should deal and other heirs
must be held to have surrendered their right of tenancy.   In a later
pronouncement in the case of State of West Bengal and Anr. vs. Kailash
Chandra Kapur and Ors.  reported in  AIR 1997 SC 1348  the Hon'ble
Supreme Court, after referring to the view taken by this court in the
case of  Dr. Anant Trimbak Sabnis vs. Vasant Pratap Pandit  reported in
AIR 1980 Bom. 69 held as under:­
“11. It   was,   therefore,   held   that   in   the   absence   of   any
definition   the   legal   heirs   of   the   tenants   who   succeeded   by
intestate succession became the tenants under the Rent Act for
the purpose of continuance of tenancy right had by the tenant
even if it is after the determination of the contractual tenancy.
The statutory tenancy steps in and gives protection to the legal
heirs of the deceased tenant.   It is true that in that case no
distinction   was   made   by   this   Court   between   testamentary
succession   or   intestate   succession.     As   far   as   testamentary
succession is concerned, this court had considered that question
in Bhavarlal's case (AIR 1986 SC 600) (supra).  In that case, S.
5(11) of the Bombay Rent Act defines the tenant and clause (c)
defines the “restricted tenancy rights” in favour of the family
members of the tenant.  In that context, the question arose in
that case whether a tenant can bequeath a Will in favour of a
stranger?  Considering the ratio in Gian Devi's case (AIR 1985
SC 796) (supra) and the object of the Act, this court had held
that the tenant cannot by a Will bequeath leasehold right in
favour of strangers and induct the stranger as tenant of the
demised   premises   against   the   Will   of   the   landlord   and   the
landlord is not bound by such a bequest to recognise the legatee
as   a   tenant.     It   is,   thus,   settled   law   that   though   leasehold
interest may be bequeathed by a testamentary disposition, the
landlord is not bound by it nor a stranger be thrusted as tenant
against the unwilling landlord.”
17) Therefore,   there   appears   to   be   no   conflict   in   the   two
provisions.     The   HS   Act   amends   and   codifies   the   law   relating   to
succession amongst Hindus and therefore the overriding effect given to

it   by   section   4(1)(b)   over   other   law   in   force   immediately   before
commencement of the HS Act relating to intestate succession amongst
Hindus, that law ceased to apply insofar as it is inconsistent with any
other provisions contained in the HS Act.  The reliance placed on this
clause by Mr. Thakkar is entirely misplaced.  Once we understand the
controversy in the above manner, then, we do not see how we can apply
the mandate of Article 254 of the Constitution of India.  That Article has
no application.
18) We have already held that nothing in clause (d) of section
7(15) of the MRC Act interferes with the rule of succession enacted by
the HS Act.   That definition of the term 'tenant' has been inserted to
mean any person by whom or on whose account rent is payable for any
premises and includes firstly such person who is a tenant or who is a
deemed tenant or who is a sub­tenant as permitted under a contract or
by the permission or consent of the landlord or who has derived title
under a tenant or to whom interest in premises has been assigned or
transferred as permitted by virtue of or under the provisions of any of
the repealed Acts.  Secondly, it includes a person who is deemed to be a
tenant under section 25 of the MRC Act or a person to whom interest in
premises has been assigned or transferred as permitted under section 26
of the MRC Act and finally, in relation to any premises when the tenant

dies, whether the death occurred before or after the commencement of
this Act, any member of the tenant's family, who, when the premises are
let for residence, is residing or when the premises are let for education,
business, trade or storage, is using the premises for any such purpose
with the tenant at the time of his death or in the absence of such
member, any heir of the deceased tenant, as may be decided, in the
absence of agreement, by the Court, will step in.   If there was any
intention to interfere with the law of succession and the rule laid down
thereunder, the words “any heir of the deceased tenant” would not have
been appearing in the definition at all.  We also find that the definition
read in its entirety reveals as to how the tenant means any person by
whom   or   on   whose   account   rent   is   payable   for   any   premises   and
includes, after the death of the tenant, a member of the tenant's family.
It is not as if only a right is created by this provision in the member of
the family residing with the tenant or carrying on business with him but
there is a duty and obligation while permitting the member of the
family to step in after the tenant's demise and that is to pay rent and
other charges for the premises in terms of the MRC Act and also to
abide by it so far as the matters covered by it.  Therefore, we do not
find   that   there   is   any   substance   in   the   contentions   of   the   learned
Counsel appearing for the Petitioner.

19) As a result of the above discussion, the Writ Petition fails
and is dismissed.
(G.S.KULKARNI, J.)                       (S.C.DHARMADHIKARI, J.)

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