Sunday, 15 March 2020

Whether court can grant maintenance charges along with license fees as per O 15A of CPC?

From the aforesaid averments it is clear that the plaintiff has
admitted that it is liable to pay maintenance charges of Rs.25,000/- per
month during the period of Leave and Licence agreement. As stated above
the said agreement specifically refers to various amenities provided by the
licensor and with a view to enable the licensee to enjoy the same the plaintiff
is required to pay Rs.25,000/- per month.
10. The provisions of Section 7(14) of the said Act define the term
“standard rent”. The standard rent in the present case has not been
determined under Section 8 of the said Act. However reading of both the
agreements on the basis of which the plaintiff has been inducted as a
licensee indicates that besides the amount of licence fees, it is also liable to
pay maintenance charges and failure to pay maintenance charges gives a
cause of action to the licensor to terminate the licence.

In Puspa Sen Gupta vs. Susma Ghose (1990) 2 SCC 651 while
considering the provisions of West Bengal Premises Tenancy Act, 1956 and
the question whether the tenant was liable to pay amount of Rs.8/- per
month towards electricity besides Rs.32/- as rent, it was observed that the
expression “rent” was not defined under relevant Act. However on reading
the entire Act, the word “rent” would also include payment in respect of
amenities or services provided by the landlord under the term of tenancy. It
was observed that considering various provisions a tenancy would carry with
it amenities to be provided or services to be maintained by the landlord and
hence the amount of rent would include the amount of electricity charges.
Drawing support from the aforesaid observations it can be said in the facts of
the present case that the plaintiff was liable to pay maintenance charges
besides license fees. This has in fact been admitted by the plaintiff in its
written statement to the counter-claim. In that view of the matter the trial
Court was not justified in refusing to direct the plaintiff to pay Rs.25,000/-
per month towards maintenance charges. The impugned order therefore is
liable to be modified accordingly.
IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT BOMBAY
NAGPUR BENCH, NAGPUR.
WRIT PETITION NO.3553 OF 2019

 Daksha Jyotindra Patel Vs   Big V. Telecom Pvt. Ltd.


CORAM : A. S. CHANDURKAR, J.

Judgment pronounced on : November 08, 2019


Rule. Heard finally with consent of counsel for the parties.
The challenge raised in the present writ petition is to the order
dated 01/01/2019 passed by the learned Judge of the Small Causes Court
thereby partly allowing the application moved by the present petitioners and
directing the respondent to pay an amount of Rs.10,000/- per month as
licence fees.
2. The facts in brief are that it is the case of the respondent-plaintiff
that it is a Company duly registered under provisions of the Companies Act,
1956. It has occupied the property owned by the petitioners-defendants on
Leave and Licence basis under an agreement dated 01/10/2011. As per that
agreement which is duly registered the respondent is liable to pay an amount
of Rs.10,000/- per month as licence fees. After every eleven months the
licence fees are liable to be increased by 7.5% per annum. According to the
plaintiff its servants and agents were not being permitted to enjoy the suit
property on the ground that the Company had not paid the license fees and
maintenance charges as demanded by the defendants. Hence it filed a suit
for a declaration that the defendants had violated the terms of the agreement
dated 11/10/2011 and that it was not entitled to collect maintenance

charges from the defendants. Other ancillary reliefs were also sought in the
said suit.
3. Written statement was filed by the defendants in which it was
denied that the servants and agents of the Company were being prevented
from enjoying the suit premises. In addition a counter-claim for recovery of
possession alongwith arrears of licence fees was also filed. It was pleaded
that the Leave and Licence agreement had expired on 20/06/2014 but the
vacant possession of the suit premises had not been handed over back.
Further a separate agreement for payment of maintenance charges dated
10/10/2011 had been entered into on the basis of which the plaintiff was
required to pay an amount of Rs.25,000/- per month for the amenities
provided in the suit property.
4. During pendency of the suit the defendants moved an application
below Exhibit-82 invoking the provisions of Order XV-A of the Code of Civil
Procedure, 1908 (for short, the Code) in which it was prayed that the
plaintiff be directed to deposit arrears of licence fees including maintenance
charges. It was stated that amount of Rs.40,446/- was liable to be paid per
month in that regard. In reply as filed it was denied that the plaintiff was in
arrears of the said amounts. The licence fees were being deposited regularly.
By the impugned order the learned Judge of the Small Causes Court partly

allowed the said application. The plaintiff was directed to pay licence fees of
Rs.10,000/- per month. The prayer for paying maintenance charges was not
granted on the ground that same required evidence to be considered. The
defendants being aggrieved by that part of the order refusing to direct the
plaintiff to pay maintenance charges have challenged the same.
5. Shri R. M. Sharma, learned counsel for the petitioners submitted
that the trial Court was not justified in refusing to direct the plaintiff to pay
maintenance charges especially when same was liable to be paid along with
licence fees. He referred to both the agreements dated 10/10/2011 and
submitted that it had been clearly stated in the agreement for payment of
maintenance that non-payment of that amount would also result in
terminating Leave and Licence agreement. He referred to the written
statement filed by the plaintiff to the counter-claim in which it was admitted
that maintenance charges of Rs.25,000/- per month were payable.
According to him the plaintiff could not be permitted to enjoy various
amenities while occupying the suit premises without paying the maintenance
charges. He placed reliance on the decision in Dr Rajesh s/o Niranjan
Singhania vs. Surajmal s/o Karnidanji Dhadiwas (Since deceased Thr. LRs)
2009(3) ALL MR 696 and submitted that the application at Exhibit-82 was
liable to be allowed in its entirety.

6. On the other hand Shri L. Khullar, learned counsel for the
respondent supported the impugned order. According to him under
provisions of Order XV-A of the Code the plaintiff was liable to pay only the
amount of licence fees and there was no power to direct payment of
maintenance charges as sought by the defendants. The trial Court rightly
observed that unless the evidence was recorded, no direction could be
issued to the plaintiff to pay maintenance charges. The learned counsel also
referred to the provisions of Section 7(14) of the Maharashtra Rent Control
Act, 1999 (for short, the said Act) to urge that there was no liability to pay
maintenance charges as claimed. It was therefore submitted that the
impugned order did not warrant any interference.
7. I have heard the learned counsel for the parties at length and I
have gone through the material documents placed on record. I have also
given due consideration to their respective submissions.
It is not in dispute that the plaintiff was put in possession on the
basis of the agreement of Leave and Licence dated 10/10/2011. As per this
registered agreement the plaintiff was liable to pay amount of Rs.10,000/-
per month towards licence fees. The amount of licence fees was to be
enhanced every after eleven months by 7.5% per annum. The provisions of
the said Act were made applicable to the aforesaid agreement. On the same
day, the parties also entered into another agreement of maintenance. This

agreement is also duly registered and the plaintiff has agreed to pay amount
of Rs.25,000/- per month as maintenance for enjoying the amenities such as
Air conditioner, wooden cup-boards, wooden tables, partitions etc. It was
further agreed that non-payment of maintenance amount could result in
terminating the Leave and Licence agreement. The trial Court has partly
allowed the application filed under Order XV-A of the Code and directed
payment of Rs.10,000/- per month as licence fees. The only question to be
considered is whether the maintenance charges could have been directed to
be paid under Over XV-A of the Code as prayed for by the defendants.
8. As per provisions of Order XV-A(1) of the Code in a suit for
eviction with or without arrears of rent or licence fees the Court can direct
payment of arrears up to the date of the order and also direct deposit of such
amounts for each succeeding month. Deposit of such amount does not have
the effect of prejudicing the claim of the licensor. Perusal of the aforesaid
provisions indicates that the Court is empowered to direct the licencee to
deposit “such amount” on account of arrears up to the date of the order.
The amount to be so deposited would depend upon the facts of each case. In
the present case the initial agreement requires the plaintiff to pay licence
fees of Rs.10,000/- per month. Subsequent agreement requires the plaintiff
to pay Rs.25,000/- per month towards maintenance charges in addtion. In
the written statement filed by the plaintiff to the counter-claim the

averments in paragraph 8 are material and the same read as under :
“ 8. …. It is not denied that Plaintiff agreed to pay maintenance charges
of Rs.25,000/- (Rs. Twenty five thousand only) per month and has given
advance cheques. It is not denied that Defendant No.1 has provided
furniture and fixtures in the suit premises including 2 Air Conditioners,
Water Tap, Wooden Cupboard, Partition, 3 Cabins, 1 Wash Room, 2
Pantrys, 1 small chamber. It is true that Plaintiff agreed to pay
maintenance charges of Rs.25,000/- per month during the period of
leave and license agreement. ”
9. From the aforesaid averments it is clear that the plaintiff has
admitted that it is liable to pay maintenance charges of Rs.25,000/- per
month during the period of Leave and Licence agreement. As stated above
the said agreement specifically refers to various amenities provided by the
licensor and with a view to enable the licensee to enjoy the same the plaintiff
is required to pay Rs.25,000/- per month.
10. The provisions of Section 7(14) of the said Act define the term
“standard rent”. The standard rent in the present case has not been
determined under Section 8 of the said Act. However reading of both the
agreements on the basis of which the plaintiff has been inducted as a
licensee indicates that besides the amount of licence fees, it is also liable to
pay maintenance charges and failure to pay maintenance charges gives a
cause of action to the licensor to terminate the licence.

In Puspa Sen Gupta vs. Susma Ghose (1990) 2 SCC 651 while
considering the provisions of West Bengal Premises Tenancy Act, 1956 and
the question whether the tenant was liable to pay amount of Rs.8/- per
month towards electricity besides Rs.32/- as rent, it was observed that the
expression “rent” was not defined under relevant Act. However on reading
the entire Act, the word “rent” would also include payment in respect of
amenities or services provided by the landlord under the term of tenancy. It
was observed that considering various provisions a tenancy would carry with
it amenities to be provided or services to be maintained by the landlord and
hence the amount of rent would include the amount of electricity charges.
Drawing support from the aforesaid observations it can be said in the facts of
the present case that the plaintiff was liable to pay maintenance charges
besides license fees. This has infact been admitted by the plaintiff in its
written statement to the counter-claim. In that view of the matter the trial
Court was not justified in refusing to direct the plaintiff to pay Rs.25,000/-
per month towards maintenance charges. The impugned order therefore is
liable to be modified accordingly.
11. Hence for aforesaid reasons it is held that the plaintiff is liable to
pay license fees of Rs.10,000/- per month as well as maintenance charges of
Rs.25,000/- per month. These amounts be deposited in the trial Court
within a period of three months from today in terms of the impugned order

which stands modified accordingly. Needless to state that this deposit
would abide by the final adjudication of the respective rights in the suit.
Rule is made absolute in aforesaid terms with no order as to costs.
JUDGE

Print Page

No comments:

Post a comment