Monday, 21 December 2020

Whether Competent authority under the Maharashtra rent control Act can entertain proceeding in respect of premises exempt under S 3(1) (b) of said Act?

 The first is the submission of Mr. Vachasundar that the non-obstante clause of Section 24 takes precedence over the exempting clause contained in Section 3(1) (b) of the Act. Sections 3(1)(b) and 24 are quoted below:

"3. Exemption.

(1) This Act shall not apply ----

(b) to any premises let or sub-let to banks, or any Public Sector Undertakings or any Corporation established by or under any Central or State Act, or foreign missions, international agencies, multinational companies, and private limited companies and public limited companies having a paid up share capital of more than rupee one crore or more.

"24. Landlord entitled to recover possession of premises given on license on expiry.

(1) Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, a licensee in possession or occupation of premises given to him on license for residence shall deliver possession of such premises to the landlord on expiry of the period of license; and on the failure of the licensee to so deliver the possession of the licensed premises, a landlord shall be entitled to recover possession of such premises from a licensee, on the expiry of the period of license, by making an application to the Competent Authority, and, the Competent Authority, on being satisfied that the period of license has expired, shall pass an order for eviction of a licensee.

(2) Any licensee who does not deliver possession of the premises to the landlord on expiry of the period of license and continues to be in possession of the licensed premises till he is dispossessed by the Competent Authority shall be liable to pay damages at double the rate of the license fee or charge of the premises fixed under the agreement of license.

(3) The Competent Authority shall not entertain any claim of whatever nature from any other person who is not a licensee according to the agreement of license.

Explanation - For the purposes of this section,-

(a) the expression "landlord" includes a successor-in-interest who becomes the landlord of the premises as a result of death of such landlord; but does not include a tenant or a sub-tenant who has given premises on license;

(b) an agreement of license in writing shall be conclusive evidence of the fact stated therein."

As is obvious, Section 3(1)(b), which exempts premises, as opposed to relationships, from the provisions of the Act where a government company or a public sector undertaking is a tenant, is a fundamental provision of the Act, which operates vis-a-vis each and every provision of the Act and there is no reason why it should not operate even as regards Section 24 of the Act. If any premises are exempt from the application of the Act, there is no reason why such exemption shall not extend to Section 24. A non-obstante clause, usually appended to a provision of law as an opening, is designed to give the enacting part of the provision, in case of a conflict with either other provisions of the same enactment or other enactments, an overriding effect over these latter provisions. It is, by its very nature, premised on a conflict; if there is no conflict between the other provisions contained within the ambit of the non-obstante clause and the enacting part of the clause, there is no question of overriding these other provisions or, in other words, giving effect to the non-obstante clause. Once it is clear that each and every premises, covered by Section 3(1)(b), are excluded from the operation of the Act, there is no possibility of any conflict as between the application of Section 24 and any other provision of the Act to such premises. The provisions of the Act (including Section 24) are uniformly inapplicable to such premises. The non-obstante clause within Section 24 merely implies that as for premises to which the Act applies, whenever there is any conflict between the other provisions of the Act and section 24, it is the latter that would prevail. There is, thus, no question of Section 24 taking precedence over Section 3(1)(b).


Writ Petition No. 7931 of 2019

Decided On: 19.05.2020

 EEPC India  Vs.  Additional Commissioner, Konkan Division and Ors.

Hon'ble Judges/Coram:

S.C. Gupte, J.

Citation: MANU/MH/0573/2020, 2020(5) MHLJ 585.

Read full Judgment here: Click here

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