Wednesday 19 July 2023

Should a landlord have all information about the income and assets of his wife and disclose it before the court to seek eviction of a tenant?


 The impugned judgment then delves into the examination of nature of business being carried out by the landlord i.e. whether the hotel business was being run from 19 rooms to 13 rooms and how it was being run. It also doubted the credibility of the landlord on the ground that, since his family comprised only his wife and two daughters, he should have known the received income of his wife from her business of running a hotel. It further records that the hotel business was being run from the first and second floor of a building which was rented by the same Wakf-ul-aulad, to a partnership firm in which his brothers, sisters and sister-in-law were partners. The learned ARC inferred dishonesty and concealment on the part of the petitioner because he did not disclose these aspects and of his wife's business. {Para 11}

12. The court is of the view that the aforesaid inquiry was neither relevant nor necessary because for the purposes of a petition under section 141(1)(e) read with section 25B of the DRC Act, only the availability of suitable alternate accommodation is to be seen. It also presupposes that a husband has a right to know all details of his wife's business and financial affairs, as if the wife had no right to financial and business confidentiality or personal independence or privacy. There cannot be an assumption that the wife is subservient to her husband and is obliged to disclose to or share with her husband details of all her financials. In the present case, it was only to be seen: Whether a suitable alternate accommodation was available on the ground floor for the petitioner and/or his daughters for starting the business.

21. A wife is neither an appendage of nor an adjunct to her husband. Her identity does not merge with or get subsumed in her husband's identity. In law, she retains her individual entity. She retains her natural right to pursue her dreams, aspirations and the desire and need to be financially independent or otherwise do some meaningful social work. Idle luxuriation may not be the life-goal of many a woman or to be simply known as a rich man's wife. There is a certain self-worth which a person acquires by running her or his own business/commercial enterprise, vocation and professional activity. This aspiration cannot be questioned in proceedings for eviction of a tenant on the ground of bonafide requirement of the tenanted premises.


RC. Rev. 367/2018, CM Appls. 13453/2023 and 22041/2023

Decided On: 07.07.2023

 Nisar Ahmed  Vs.  Agya Pal Singh

Hon'ble Judges/Coram:

Najmi Waziri, J.

Citation:  MANU/DE/4291/2023.

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