Wednesday, 8 August 2018

Whether landlord has discretion to file eviction suit against one of tenant?

 Learned Counsel for the revision petitioner then submitted that there was one tenant by name Dadaji Dabji who was in occupation of very large premises. The said Dadaji Dhabji has sublet some portions of his premises to Standard Chartered Bank, New India Assurance Company and Nicson Dadaji Ltd. Again, it is not the case of the revision petitioner that the premises let out to Dadaji Dhabji ever came in the possession of the respondent. According to the revision petitioner, Dadaji Dhabji has sublet the premises. There is no evidence on record to show whether agreement of tenancy with Dadaji Dhabji prohibits subletting. As stated earlier, under Section 15 of the Bombay Rent Act there is no absolute prohibition against subletting by a tenant. Subletting is not illegal if the contract of tenancy permits it or if the landlord consents to the subletting. Assuming that the landlord did not take action against a tenant who had illegally sublet his premises or any part thereof, that by itself would not result in rejecting the claim of bona fide requirement made by the landlord in a pending suit against another tenant. If the landlord has a ground for eviction against more than one tenants, it is open to the landlord to decide against whom he should take action. It may be noted that the suit against present revision petitioner was filed in the year 1990 and the evidence was recorded in the year 2000. If the landlord had to wait for a decade for recording of the evidence in a suit for possession on the ground of bona fide requirement filed against a tenant, he may choose not to file a suit for eviction against other tenants against whom gets a cause subsequently simply out of frustration arising out of delay in such suit coming up for hearing decades later. He may well assume that a case which does not involve a claim for bona fide requirement would come for hearing much after the hearing of earlier suit and may choose not to file a suit immediately against the other tenant on the ground of subletting when suit for possession against one tenant is pending. In my view not filing of a suit for eviction on the ground of illegal subletting against Dadaji Dhabji does not militate against the claim of bona fide requirement of the respondent trust.


Civil Revision Application No. 370 of 2003, Appeal No. 737 of 2001 and R.A.E. Suit No. 924 of 1990

Decided On: 09.10.2006

Praised Darius Gandhi Vs. B.A. Rane and Ors.

Hon'ble Judges/Coram:
D.G. Karnik, J.

Citation: 2007 (2) MHLJ 590
Read full judgment here: Click here

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