Sunday, 8 July 2018

Whether tenant is liable to be evicted if he fails to make payment of arrears of rent within 90 days from service of summons?


 The appellate Court has considered the provisions of section 15(3) of the Maharashtra Rent Control Act, 1999 (for short, referred to as the said Act) in the light of rival submissions and evidence brought on record and in para 16 of the judgment, observed as under:

16. I on perusal of record and proceeding in Civil Application as well as Civil Suit came to know that the tenant deposited nothing in the court along with arrears of rent, interest, costs of the suit etc. as per section 15(3) of the Maharashtra Rent Control Act. Of course some payment made in the court as per Exh.18, 28, 50, 51, 55 and by virtue of some applications dated 14/12/2005, 18/7/2006, 15/2/2007, 13/8/2007 and 7/1/2009 (those applications are without exhibits). But according to me payments made thereto will not allow the tenant to claim relief against forfeiture. The tenant could have avoided passing of decree for possession on the ground of arrears of rent by making payment to that effect within the period of 90 days from the date of service of summons. This mistake on his part has made entitled the landlords to claim relief of eviction on the ground of default. The ratio from the cited case is squarely applicable to the present case. Therefore point no.4 & 5 is answered in favour of landlords.

(Emphasis supplied).

The aforesaid conclusion reached by the appellate Court is in consonance with the evidence brought on record by the parties. Therefore, the said findings are confirmed.

IN THE HIGH COURT OF BOMBAY

Civil Revision Application No. 168 of 2011

Decided On: 20.10.2011

Sunil Mulchand Jain Vs.  Purnima Prakash Kulkarni

Hon'ble Judges/Coram:
S.S. Shinde, J.

Citation: 2012(2) ALLMR 752



1. Rule. Rule made returnable forthwith. By consent of the learned counsel for the parties, the present matter is taken up for hearing and final disposal at the stage of admission itself.

This Civil Revision Application takes exception to the judgment and decree dated 07th March 2011, passed by the learned District Judge, Dhule, in Civil Appeal No. 72 of 2009 and Judgment and decree dated 9th May, 2009, passed by the learned Civil Judge Junior Division Dhule, in Regular Civil Suit NO. 431 of 2004.

2. It is the case of the revision applicant that, he was inducted as tenant by Shamrao Raghunathrao Kulkarni, the original landlord, father-in-law of the plaintiff No.1 and grand father of plaintiff Nos. 2 to 4. The revision applicant is running his business in the suit premises since 1985. It is the case of the revision applicant that, the agreed rent for tenancy was of Rs. 200/- per month. It was regularly paid by the revision applicant. The rent was regularly accepted by Shamrao Kulkarni, after his demise his son Prakash Kulkarni, husband of the applicant No.1 and thereafter, by plaintiff No.1.

3. On 9th December, 2004, Regular Civil Suit N0. 431 of 2004 came to be filed before the Civil Judge Junior Division Dhule, by the respondents for eviction on the ground of willful default and for possession on the ground of bonafide requirement. It was contended that:

(1) Agreed rent was Rs. 300/- out of which only Rs. 200/was paid by the applicant.

(2) Since the year 1985, there is default on the part of defendant to pay the rent.

(3) The plaintiff bonafide required the property for starting the business of Screen Printing, Book Shop and library.

4. It is the case of the revision applicant that, the original landlord, his son Prakash and thereafter plaintiff No.1 has also accepted rent of Rs.200/Per month. No dispute was ever raised about that by Shamrao Kulkarni, his son Praksh Kulkarni nor by the plaintiff No. 1 till filing of the suit. It is the contention of the revision applicant that, there is no single whisper in the plaint about availability of alternate premises to the plaintiff.

5. The revision applicant has filed his written statement on 5th April, 2005 before the Trial Court. The suit was contested by the revision applicant mainly on the grounds that

(1) There is no default on the part of petitioner to pay rent as the agreed rent was Rs.200/which has been regularly paid.

(2) There is no cause to file the suit under provisions of Maharashtra Rent Control Act, 1999.

(3) There are no alternate premises available to petitioner.

(4) There is no bonafide requirement to the plaintiffs. This is an attempt to earn money by the plaintiffs.

(5) The petitioner would loose his livelihood, which is dependent on the business which is carried on in the suit premises since 1985.

6. On 9th May, 2009 the learned Civil Judge Junior Division, Dhule pleased to pass the decree in the Suit bearing Regular Civil Suit NO. 432 of 2004. On 1st July 2009, Civil Appeal No. 72 of 2009, filed by the revision applicant before the District Judge Dhule, challenging the judgment and decree, passed by Civil Judge Junior Division, Dhule on 9th May, 2009, came to be dismissed by the learned District Judge, on 7th March, 2011. Hence, this Civil Revision Application.

Learned Counsel for revision applicant submits that the applicant is not willful defaulter. The agreed rent was Rs. 200/per month. The rent was regularly paid to the landlord, namely, Shamrao Raghunath Kulkarni and his son Prakash Kulkarni and thereafter plaintiff NO.1, who in turn accepted without raising any dispute in that regard. This itself shows that, the agreed rent was Rs.200/per month. It is further submitted that, the plaintiffs have not approached the Court with clean hands, as such, there is no whisper in the plaint by the plaintiff about availability of alternate accommodation, but in the cross examination, plaintiff No.1 has admitted that there is one shop available on the upper floor of the suit premises, which has been given on rent to one Chartered Accountant Mr. Agrawal.

It is further submitted that, it is obligatory for the landlord to disclose in the pleading and in his evidence the fact that he owns other premises, which are capable being utilized for the requirement pressed into service. It is only then landlord would be entitled to invoke this ground and would succeed in establishing his need to be bonafide and reasonable.

It is submitted that, there is no cause of action for filing the suit since the revision applicant was continuously paying Rs.200/per month as per standard rent. Learned counsel invited my attention to the provisions of section 15 of the Maharashtra Rent Control Act and submitted that, if subsection 1 of section 15 is complied with, other provisions would not come in to picture at all. The standard rent of Rs.200/per month is fixed on 14th October, 2004. The revision applicant i.e. tenant was continuously paying Rs.200/per month from 1985 till 2004. Therefore, according to learned counsel for the revision applicant, there are no any arrears towards rent, which was required to be paid to the respondent's landlord. However, the trial Court erroneously held that, Rs.2400/are in arrears towards rent, and to be paid by the revision applicant. The learned counsel further submitted that, money orders of Rs.1500/was sent to the landlord, however, the landlord did not accept it and same came to be returned. Learned counsel invited my attention to the reported Judgment of this Court in the case of Marutrao Bhaurao Shelke Vs. Akbarlai Noorbhai Bohari and others, reported in MANU/MH/0112/1972 : 1974 MH.L.J. 239. Relying on the said judgments it is contended that, the tenant sending rent by cheque by registered post after receiving notice and contending that he could not pay, because landlord demanded more rent and was unwilling to adjust the expenses on repairs, landlord refusing registered cover, it cannot be said that tenant was not ready and willing to pay the rent, section 12(1) and not section 12(3)(a) of the Bombay Rent Hotels, Lodging and House Rates Control Act (Hereinafter referred to as the "Said Act" for the sake of brevity), applies and tenant cannot be evicted.

Learned counsel also invited my attention to the reported Judgment of this Court in the case of Sitaram Narayan Shinde and others Vs. Ibrahim Ismail Rais and others reported in MANU/MH/0381/2004 : 2005 (1) Mh.L.J. 35, and in particular Head Note B of the said judgment. Relying on the said judgment, learned counsel for the revision applicant would submit that there must be sufficient evidence about benefit/requirement of the suit premises in consonance with basic and proper pleading of need mentioned in the plaint mere ipse dixit that landlord required additional premises could not have been accepted by the Courts below. In the instant case, the Courts below did not consider the evidence of other premises available to the respondents and whether they were sufficient or not?

Learned counsel further placed reliance on the reported judgment of this Court in the case of Narhar Damodhar Wani Vs. Narmadabai T. Nave reported in MANU/MH/0538/1984 : 1984 Mh.L.J. 313. Relying on this judgment the learned counsel would submit that, refusal of the landlord to receive the entire amount of rent as was demanded by the notice under section 12(2) of the said Act must be treated for the purposes of subsections (1) and (2) of section 12 as being equivalent to payment and on this findings, no suit for the recovery of possession for nonpayment of those arrears could have been filed by the landlord and no decree for possession could have been asked for by him in his favour. Therefore, learned counsel appearing for the revision applicant would submit that, since the revision applicant has paid rent of Rs.200/per month continuously from 1985 till 2004, thus, there is no question of default of payment of rent. Secondly, standard rent is fixed Rs.200/for suit premises on 14th October, 2004 by the Appellate Court. The requirement of the landlord in the instant case is not bonafide and reasonable. The landlord has utterly failed to bring on record the details about his properties. It is obligation of the landlord to disclose the properties in the plaint. It is further submitted that the suit property is only 20 X 6 feet or 20 X 5 i.e. near about 120 Sq. feet. However, the entire property is 1800 Sq. feet.

7. The learned counsel appearing for the applicant placed on record the written notes of arguments. It is contended that the landlord shall not be entitled to the recovery of possession of any premises so long as the tenant pays, or is ready and willing to pay, the amount of the standard rent and permitted increase, if any observes and performs the other conditions of tenancy in so far as they are consistent with the provisions of Act.

It is further contended that no suit for recovery of possession shall be instituted by a landlord against the tenant on the ground of nonpayment of the standard rent or permitted increase due, until the expiration of 90 days next after notice in writing of the demand of the standard rent or permitted increase has been served upon the tenant in the manner provided in section 106 of the Transfer of property Act, 1882.

It is further contended that the applicant tenant has always paid and was always ready and willing to pay the standard rent and permitted to increase. The learned lower Appellate Court has held that the standard rent of the suit premises was Rs. 200/per month. The plaintiffs in their plaint itself admit that since October 1985 till February 2004 defendant has always paid rent @ Rs. 200/p.m.

It is further contented that on 16.08.2004 the landlord/plaintiff issued a notice to the defendant/tenant contended that agreed rent was Rs. 300/p. m. and as such, since October 1985 tenant has paid Rs. 100/less every month. Therefore, the landlord alleged arrears of Rs. 22,400/since 1985.

It is contended that it is alleged by the landlord that since March 2004 the tenant did not pay any rent. Therefore, landlord has claimed arrears of Rs. 1500, @ Rs. 300/for month of March 2004 to July 2004 i.e. 5 months. It is contended that the landlord also alleged that they have paid Rs. 10,858/towards tax of the suit property. It is contended that by the said notice landlord has demanded an exorbitant amount of Rs. 34,757/.

It is contended that the applicant tenant replied the said notice on 30.08.2004 and thereby expressed his ready and willingness to pay the standard rent. It is further contended that before sending the reply, the applicant had already forwarded by money order an amount of Rs.1400/towards rent for the month of March 2004 to September, 2004 @ Rs.200 p. m. It is contended that the landlord refused to accept the rent offered by the tenant on the ground that the amount offered was less than the amount claimed in the notice issued by the landlord.

It is contended that applicant tenant was obliged only to pay the amount of standard rent, which is distinct from the rent claimed in the notice. It is contended that an amount of Rs.1400/was offered to the landlord and that the notice of landlord was replied by the tenant are admitted by the landlord in the plaint itself. It is contended that, the applicant tenant filed Misc. Civil Application 78 of 2004 seeking fixation of standard rent. The Regular Civil Suit No. 431 of 2004 was thereafter instituted on 09.12.2004.

The learned counsel further contended that, the applicant tenant has also tendered the rent through money orders on receipt of notice demanding arrears of rent. It is further contended that, the applicant tenant is entitled to the protection offered to the tenant under section 15(1) of the Maharashtra Rent Control Act. It is further contended that, there was no cause of action at all to institute a suit for eviction on the ground of default. The provision of section 15 of Maharashtra Rent Control Act is analogues to the provisions of section 12 of the Bombay Rent Act. In support of this submission the learned counsel appearing for the applicant relied on the reported judgments in the case of Marutirao Bhaurao Shelke Vs. Akbarlai and Narhar Damodhar Wani Vs. Narmadabai Nave cited supra. The learned counsel further submits that in view of the ratio laid down in the above mentioned two judgments, Section 15(3) of the Maharashtra Rent Act, is wholly in applicable in the present case.

It is contended that, there was no cause of action for the landlord to institute a suit on the ground of default when the amount of standard rent was offered to the landlord by money order after receipt of notice demanding arrears of rent. On the contrary, the applicant is entitled to the protection granted under section 15(1) of the Act.

It is further contended that, during the pendency of suit as well as the appeal, the applicant has been deposing the monthly rent regularly in advance. The applicant has now deposited the rent up to December 2011. It is further contended that, the observations of learned Lower Court in this regard is contrary to the admitted fact that Rs. 1,400/were tendered to the landlord by Money order, within a period of 15 days from receipt of notice issued by landlord. In these circumstances the suit of the plaintiff on the ground of default ought to have been dismissed.

It is further contended that the learned trial Court had accepted the contention of the landlord original plaintiffs that the tenant defendant was liable to pay rent @ Rs.300/per month. As such the learned trial Court was pleased to pass the decree for recovery of amount of Rs. 5,100/ according to discussion in para No. 18 of the Judgment. The learned lower appellate Court held that the standard rent of the suit property is only Rs. 200/. As such, the decree for recovery of amount passed by the trial Court, based on the finding that the tenant was liable to pay @ Rs.300/out to have been set aside by the First Appellate Court. However, the appeal is simply rejected without application of mind.

It is further contended that in view of provisions of Section 16(1)(g) of the Act, if the landlord satisfies the Court that his requirement is bonafide as well as reasonable, the landlord can pray for eviction. It is further contended that to determine the reasonableness of the requirement of the landlord it is necessary for the Court to consider the total extent of premises available to the landlord. As such, it is obligatory for the landlord to disclose the premises in possession of the landlord and offer some explanation as to how the area in his possession is insufficient. In absence of such pleadings and any explanation whatsoever the reasonableness of the requirement of landlord cannot be adjudicated.

In support of above mentioned proposition the applicant relies on the judgments Sitaram Narayan Shinde Vs. Ibrahim Ismail Rais and Tarachand Hassaram Shamdasani Vs. Dugashankar G. Shroff and others cited supra.

It is further contended that in the instant case the only pleading of the landlord regarding bonafide requirement is contended in para No. 7 of the suit. The landlord has deliberately avoided to mention to the total extent of area in their possession. The landlord also did not offer any explanation as to how the premises in their possession are insufficient. On the contrary, the tenant had brought it on record that the entire CTS No. 1192/C, totally admeasures 12'X 150 =1800 Sq. Feet. CTS No 1192/C are a two storied building. The suit premises is only a small part admeasuring 6'X 20'= 120 Sq. Feet.

It is further contended that, both the Courts below, however, did not consider at all the extent of area in possession of the landlord. Here it may not be out of place to mention that before the Appellate Court that the landlord conceded that they would not press requirement of respondent Nos. 2 and 3( Original plaintiffs). It is further contended that it was necessary to ascertain as to how the premises admeasuring 1680 sq. feet was insufficient for the requirement of two persons. This aspect of the matter has not been considered at all by both the Courts below.

On the aforesaid submissions the learned counsel appearing for the applicant submits that, present Civil Revision Application merits consideration at the hands of this Court. Learned counsel further submits that, in the alternative arrangement by directing the landlord to offer alternate premises to the tenant on the ground floor of CTS No. 1192/C.

8. On the other hand, learned counsel appearing for the respondents landlord submits that the decree of eviction is passed by the learned trial Judge on two grounds, firstly on the ground of arrears of rent and secondly on the ground of bonafide requirement. The learned lower Appellate Court has also confirmed the decree on both counts. Section 15(3) of the Maharashtra Rent Control Act makes a clear provision, which is reproduced in para No. 16 of the trial Court's Judgment.

9. Learned counsel further submits that the tenant fails to make payment of arrears of rent within 90 days from the date of service of summons of the suit. A decree shall be passed. Not only that but also further provides that the tenant should be regular in depositing the amount of rent in the Court. In this case, there are categorically findings given by both the Court below that the tenant has not paid the arrears of rent within 90 days from the date of receipt of summons of the suit. Learned counsel further submits that the tenant was served with summons on 19.01.2005 as per the service report below Exh.6 of the compilation of Civil Revision Application. The tenant also appeared in the Court on the same date. In spite of appearing in the Court tenant did not file any application to deposit arrears of rent as contended in the plaint, thus there is a clear failure on the part of tenant.

Learned counsel appearing for respondents further submits that for the first time the tenant has made deposit in the month of December, 2005 which is clearly beyond period of 90 days. It is specifically observed that not a single attempt was/is made by the tenant to pay the arrears of rent.

Learned counsel further submits that as per the agreement (Exhibit 27) rent was decided at the rate of Rs. 300/per month, the tenant's case all the while is that the rent was only Rs.200/per month and not Rs. 300/The tenant has in fact admitted execution of document Exhibit 27. However, in the case of the tenant he has stated that monthly rent was only Rs. 200/per month. In support of that he has produced the receipt at Exhs.60 and 61. However there is no reference made to these exhibits in the written statement or in the reply notice, therefore the case of the tenant that monthly rent of Rs. 200/is rightly not believed by the learned Courts below. Assuming the case of the tenant that the standard rent was fixed at Rs. 200/per month in revision, but it is pertinent to note that the standard rent was decided for the first time some where in the year 2009, in Civil Revision Application NO. 05 of 2009. As per section 15(3) of the Act it is incumbent on the part of the tenant to deposit an amount of rent as demanded by the landlord which is Rs. 300/per month in this case.

The learned counsel in support of this submission placed reliance on the reported judgment in the case of Narhar Damodhar Wani Vs. Narmadabai T Nave MANU/MH/0538/1984 : 1984 Mh.L.J. 313. In the light of facts of present case, the cited case is not applicable for the reason that the case was under Section 12(3)(b) of the Act, 1947. Even assuming for the sake of argument that the provision is applicable still in the judgment, it is specifically observed that when tenant pays "Amount demanded", so this tenant has to pay an amount as demanded by the landlord. In this case neither tenant has paid as demanded nor has he made attempt even after service of suit summons. The applicant tenant cannot take benefit of this judgment. The learned counsel further submits that the learned Courts below have rightly relied upon the judgment reported in the case Om Wati Gaud and others Vs. Jitendra Kumar and others 2003 Bom. R.C. 229.

Learned counsel appearing for respondents landlord submits that, as regards ground of bonafide requirement is concerned, it is clear case of the landlord that plaintiff No.4 physically challenged person and needs to start a business in the suit premises. On this count also both the learned Courts below held in favour of the landlord. The tenant has not even attempted to show that he would suffer great hardship comparatively than the landlord.

The learned counsel further submits that, the Courts below have rightly relied upon the judgment cited before it. The respondent's landlord has also relied upon the reported judgment in the case of Shuasini Atmaram Parab and others Vs. B.H. Khatu and others 2003 BRC 313. It is held that when the land lord proceeds to initiate the suit on the ground of boafide requirement, the tenant is expected to start looking for alternative premises. On this ground the tenant has come with case that he has started search for alternative premises.

Learned counsel further relied upon the another reported judgment in the case of Yogesh Dattaram Pathak Vs. Shrikrishna Shriram Joshi 2003 Bom. R.C. 433. It is clearly held that the tenant has to plead and led the evidence to show that it is not possible for him to search alternate premises and secure the similar accommodation. It is held that in such cases, the comparative hardship has to be decided against the tenant. In this case the tenant has not led his evidence. The learned counsel further submits that the tenant has miserably failed and has not even pleaded that it is not possible to search alternate and suitable accommodation. Thus, the petitioner has not made out any case of interference at the hands of this Court.

10. I have given due consideration to the rival submissions and also perused the memo of civil revision application, annexure thereto, reply filed by the respondents i.e. original landlords and additional documents placed on record and the judgments cited by the respective Counsel appearing for the parties. The decree of eviction has been passed by the Civil Judge, Junior Division, Dhule on the ground of willful default and bonafide requirement. Since the C.J.J.D., Dhule and the appellate Court have extensively dealt with the facts and evidence brought on record and the decree of eviction has been passed, in a limited scope under revisional jurisdiction, this Court will have to see as to whether the findings recorded by the Courts below are in consonance with the evidence on record.

The 3rd Joint C.J.J.D., Dhule has elaborately considered the evidence brought on record by the plaintiffs and defendant. The plaintiffs have examined total two witnesses, plaintiff no.1 herself below Exh.26 and P.W.2 her son Anil Prakash Kulkarni below Exh.62. The defendant examined himself below Exh.65 and his witness below Exh.73.

So far monthly rent is concerned, specific issue was framed to that effect by the Civil Court and after taking into consideration the evidence brought on record and in the light of the agreement entered into between the parties, the trial Court concluded that the suit property was given to defendant as a tenant since 1.10.1985 for monthly rent of Rs.300/and it was agreed by defendant to pay municipal tax of C.S. No.1192/C, if it exceeds Rs.200/. On this aspect, the Court has considered Exh.27 in para 10 of the impugned judgment and arrived at the conclusion that as per the said agreement, rent was Rs.300/per month.

The Court has considered Exhs.60 and 61 which were produced on record by the defendant. However, concluded that there are no pleadings to that effect and mere producing such receipts at Exhs.60 and 61 is of no avail. These to receipts at Exhs.60 and 61 have no evidentiary value. It is also observed that these documents receipts are surprisingly shown to the plaintiff no.1 in her cross examination and, therefore, the trial Court concluded that these receipts have no evidentiary value.

11. The appellate Court has framed issue Nos.3 to 5 as regards standard rent of the suit premises, default in payment of rent by the tenant and whether the landlords are entitled to seek eviction on the ground of default in payment of rent.

Though the learned Counsel for the revision applicant strenuously contended that the revision filed by the revision applicant has been allowed and standard rent of the suit property is fixed at Rs.200/per month with permitted increase of 4%. However, it will have to be held that even as per said order, the said rent would be made applicable w.e.f. 14.10.2004. Therefore, the standard rent fixed by the Court would have application prospectively and it cannot be made applicable retrospectively. Therefore, for the earlier period from 1985 till fixing of the standard rent, the tenant was bound to pay Rs. 300/per month as per the agreement as the said agreement has been considered by the civil Court and the Court has recorded finding that agreed rent as per the agreement was Rs.300/per month. The trial Court has also considered that though the respondent's landlords contended that from 1985 till 2004 the tenant has paid Rs.200/per month instead of Rs. 300/, the claim for the period from October, 1985 to January, 2001 is time barred. The trial Court held that the respondents / landlords are entitled to get Rs. 100/per month in addition to Rs.200/from the tenant for the period from February, 2001 till February, 2004.

12. It has come in the evidence that the revision applicant herein sent Rs.1400/towards arrears of rent. However, the trial Court has concluded that the said amount was short and was not sufficient to meet out the arrears of rent.

13. The appellate Court has considered the provisions of section 15(3) of the Maharashtra Rent Control Act, 1999 (for short, referred to as the said Act) in the light of rival submissions and evidence brought on record and in para 16 of the judgment, observed as under:

16. I on perusal of record and proceeding in Civil Application as well as Civil Suit came to know that the tenant deposited nothing in the court along with arrears of rent, interest, costs of the suit etc. as per section 15(3) of the Maharashtra Rent Control Act. Of course some payment made in the court as per Exh.18, 28, 50, 51, 55 and by virtue of some applications dated 14/12/2005, 18/7/2006, 15/2/2007, 13/8/2007 and 7/1/2009 (those applications are without exhibits). But according to me payments made thereto will not allow the tenant to claim relief against forfeiture. The tenant could have avoided passing of decree for possession on the ground of arrears of rent by making payment to that effect within the period of 90 days from the date of service of summons. This mistake on his part has made entitled the landlords to claim relief of eviction on the ground of default. The ratio from the cited case is squarely applicable to the present case. Therefore point no.4 & 5 is answered in favour of landlords.

(Emphasis supplied).

The aforesaid conclusion reached by the appellate Court is in consonance with the evidence brought on record by the parties. Therefore, the said findings are confirmed.

14. So far as bonafide need of the landlords is concerned, both the courts have concurrently held that the suit premises are required for the business of Screen Printing by the landlords. On the point of comparative hardship also, the appellate Court has taken a view that the balance of convenience lies in favour of the landlords since the suit property is being used by the tenant as a Godown. The appellate Court has also observed that the tenant has not made any efforts to occupy alternative premises and that shows that the tenant is rather adamant in occupying the suit property. Therefore, in my considered opinion, the findings recorded by the trial Court as also the appellate Court are in consonance with the evidence brought on record. Though the learned Counsel for the revision applicant strenuously contended that in pursuance to the demand notice, rent amount was sent by the revision applicant i.e. tenant. However, the same was not accepted by the landlords. Therefore, section 15(1) of the said Act is applicable to the instant case and the applicant is entitled for protection offered to the tenant u/s 15(1) of the said Act. However, in the present case, the provisions of section 15(3) of the said Act are very much applicable and as stated earlier, the appellate Court has considered the provisions of section 15(3) of the said Act and has reached to the correct conclusion. The amount which was sent by the revision applicant by way of money order was not the amount demanded by the landlords and was not total amount towards arrears of rent. Therefore, in the facts of this case, it will have to be held that the findings recorded by the Courts below that the applicant / tenant was defaulter will have to be confirmed.

15. So far as bonafide need of the landlords is concerned, the Supreme Court in case of Ragavendra Kumar vs. Firm Prem Machinary and Co., MANU/SC/0010/2000 : AIR 2000 SC 534(1) has taken a view that in the matter of eviction on the ground of bonafide requirement, so far as suitability of premises to landlord's requirement is concerned, landlord is the best judge and has complete freedom in the matter.

Yet, in another decision in the case of Yogesh Dattaram Pathak vs. Shrikrishna Shriram Joshi 2003 Bom. R.C. 433, this Court has taken a view that if the tenant has not pleaded or led evidence showing that it is not possible to secure similar accommodation, in that case, question of comparative hardship has to be decided against the tenant. In the instant case, the appellate Court has answered the point of hardship in favour of the landlords. The Division Bench of this Court in case of Narhar Damodar Wani vs. Narmadabai T. Nave MANU/MH/0538/1984 : 1984 Mh.L.J. 313 has taken a view that the tenant has to pay the amount demanded by the landlord. In that case, the Court was considering the provisions of Section 12 of the Bombay Rents, Hotel and Lodging House Rates Control Act (57 of 1947). Therefore, in the present case, the demanded amount was not sent by the revision applicant / tenant and the tenant sent the amount which according to him was due and payable towards arrears of rent.

16. The Bench consisting of three Hon'ble Judges of the Supreme Court in case of Mrs. Rena Drego vs. Lalchand Soni, etc. MANU/SC/0198/1998 : AIR 1998 SC 1990 has taken a view that the need of the landlady for more accommodation cannot be said to be unreasonable. It would also raise presumption that such need is bona fide one. Denial of eviction to her by High Court on ground that her eldest son was having a flat of his own, has been held to be improper. Therefore, in the instant case also, the premises are required by the landlords for the business of Screen Printing. Both the Courts have concurrently held that the need of the respondents landlords is bona fide. Both the Courts have held that the revision applicant tenant is using the suit premises as Godown.

17. Therefore, viewed from any angle, the findings recorded by the Courts below are in consonance with the evidence brought on record. There is no perversity in the findings. No interference is called for in revisional jurisdiction. The revision application being devoid of merits stands rejected. Rule discharged.




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