The presence of a person’s name on the electoral roll would only prove that he/she was residing at the premises at a certain point of time but in no way would indicate his/her status as a tenant or a licensee, the Supreme Court has said.
“The electoral roll will not show whether a person is occupying a premises as a tenant or as a licensee. It may at best show that the person was residing in the premises,” said Justice R.V. Raveendran and Justice A.K. Patnaik in their ruling Friday.
“The fact that both respondents were residing in the premises had never been disputed. If they represented that they were husband and wife, the electoral roll will reflect the same,” said the court.
The case relates to Dnyaneshwar Ranganath Bhandare, who allowed his maid servant Chhaya to stay in a room of a double-storey house in Sangli district of Maharashtra. Chhaya looked after Bhandare’s mother but he allowed her to stay on in the room even after his mother’s death.
Chhaya later brought in Sadhu Dadu Shettigar (Shetty), claiming he was her husband and occupied another room as well.
Bhandare approached the Supreme Court against an Oct 7, 2008, Bombay High Court order which had refused to interfere with the earlier Sangli district court’s judgement that ruled the couple was tenants.
Earlier, the trial court had ruled in favour of Bhandare and asked the couple to hand over the possession of premises to Bhandare.