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Supreme Court of India
Pankaj Bhargava vs Mohinder Nath on 2 September, 1994
Equivalent citations: 1994 SCC (6) 4, JT 1994 (5) 468
Author: B Jeevan Reddy
Bench: Jeevan Reddy, B.P. (J)
           PETITIONER:
PANKAJ BHARGAVA

	Vs.

RESPONDENT:
MOHINDER NATH

DATE OF JUDGMENT02/09/1994

BENCH:
JEEVAN REDDY, B.P. (J)
BENCH:
JEEVAN REDDY, B.P. (J)
SEN, S.C. (J)

CITATION:
 1994 SCC  (6)	 4	  JT 1994 (5)	468
 1994 SCALE  (3)946


ACT:



HEADNOTE:



JUDGMENT:

The Judgment of the Court was delivered by
B.P JEEVAN REDDY, J.- This contempt petition is filed by the
appellant-landlords in Pankaj Bhargava v. Mohinder Nath1
complaining that the respondents, Shri Ram Prakash and Shri
Mohinder Nath have violated the undertaking given by them to
this Court by not vacating the house as undertaken by them.

2. The petitioners (landlords) applied under Section 21 of
the Delhi Rent Control Act on 5-4-1978 seeking permission
for creating tenancy for a limited period of five years
which was allowed on 6-4-1978. Since the tenants failed to
vacate at the end of five years’ period, the landlords
applied to the Rent Controller for putting them in
possession of the premises. The respondent-tenants
contested the said application inter alia on the ground that
a new tenancy was created with effect from 6-4-1983
immediately upon the expiry of the original five years’
period. The Rent Controller rejected all the defences taken
by the respondent-tenants and allowed the petitioners’
application which was affirmed by the Rent Control Tribunal
on appeal. However, on second appeal, the High Court
reversed the orders of the Rent Controller and the Appellate
Authority holding that the very creation of the original
tenancy was an illegal one. Accordingly, it dismissed the
landlords’ application for possession. The petitioner-
landlords approached this Court by
1 (1991) 1 SCC 556
6
way of the aforesaid civil appeal which was allowed by a
Division Bench of this Court by its judgment and order dated
11 12-1990.

3. On 17-12-1990, the respondent-tenants applied for time
to vacate the premises. They were permitted to continue to
occupy the premises till 30-4-1991 subject to the usual
undertaking to be filed within two weeks. The respondent,
Ram Prakash executed and furnished an undertaking to this
Court to vacate the premises and to hand over the same to
the landlords on or before 30-4-1991.

4. On 3-5-1991, the landlords filed the present contempt
petition complaining that the tenants have failed to vacate
and hand over the .premises by 30-4-1991 as per their
undertaking. Notices were issued and served upon the
respondents. Mohinder Nath took up the plea that he had
vacated the premises as far back as 1982 and was no longer
concerned with the premises since then. The respondent, Ram
Prakash took up the plea that a new tenancy was created
between the parties by mutual agreement on 15-4-1991 where
under not only the rent was enhanced but certain amounts
were also paid to the landlords by him. The petitioners
denied any such agreement and the receipt of monies. They
characterised it as a forgery and fabrication. Inasmuch as
the respondent, Ram Prakash filed certain affidavits in
support of his plea, this Court by its order dated 20-8-1991
directed the District Judge to enquire into the truth of the
claim put forward by respondent, Ram Prakash, and to record
and submit a firm finding in that behalf. Accordingly, the
learned District Judge took up the enquiry. The respondent,
Ram Prakash examined as many as 19 witnesses before the
learned District Judge and filed a good number of documents.
The petitioner land lords also examined several witnesses
and produced certain documents in support of their case.
After an elaborate consideration of the said material, the
learned District Judge submitted his findings. His report
runs into as many as 71 pages. He found that the claim set
up by respondent, Ram Prakash, was false, that no such fresh
tenancy was created on 15-4-1991 nor any amount paid by him
to the landlords as alleged by him.

5. Respondent, Ram Prakash filed objections to the said
report. We have heard the learned counsel for the
petitioner-landlords and Shri Ram Prakash, appearing in
person.

6. It may be noticed that this is not the first occasion
that the tenant has set up a new tenancy. A similar plea
was set up by him in the Rent Control proceedings, as stated
hereinbefore, which was rejected by both the Rent Controller
and the Appellate Authority. The High Court no doubt held
in favour of the tenants but on a different ground
altogether. It did not uphold the plea of fresh tenancy.
The judgment of this Court in Pankaj Bhargava v. Mohinder
Nath1
shows that the said plea of new tenancy (said to have
been created with effect from 6-4-1983) was not ever,
pressed or argued.

7. After failing in this Court in the said civil appeal,
the respondent, Ram Prakash applied for extension of time to
vacate the premises which was granted, as aforesaid, till
30-4-1991 subject to filing of usual undertaking,
7
which he did, whereunder he undertook to vacate and deliver
possession to the landlords on or before 30-4-1991. If
indeed a fresh tenancy agreement was arrived at between the
parties on 15-4-1991, as alleged by him, the most natural
thing would have been to report the said fact to this Court
and to request that he may be discharged from the obligation
undertaken by him in the undertaking furnished by him. Ram
Prakash did nothing to this sort. Only after the contempt
petition was filed and notice was served upon him (the
notice was admittedly served upon him on 4-6-1991) he came
forward with the plea on 1-7-1991 that a new tenancy
agreement was arrived at between the parties and that
certain payments were made by him to the landlords. The
landlords have denied the same; they say that certain
amounts were credited in their bank account without their
knowledge and consent.After an elaborate enquiry, the
learned District Judge has recorded the following findings:,
“(1) Petitioners or O.P Bhargava had never
given any advertisement on or about 17-3-1991
for reletting the premises;

(2) The petitioners or O.P. Bhargava had not
entered into any agreement for reletting the
premises to respondent Ram Prakash on or about
11-4-1991 or on 15-4-1991;

(3) Pankaj Bhargava or O.P. Bhargava has not
executed lease deed dated 15-4-1991 photostat
copy of which is marked D or carbon copy
marked E on 15-4-1991 and these are not signed
by him at any of the places purported to be
signed by them;

(4) They had not received any payments by
cash or by cheque from Ram Prakash on 15-4-
1991;

(5) Receipts Exts. R-5 to R-8 had not been
signed either by Pankaj Bhargava or by O.P.
Bhargava.

(6) Affidavit Ext. R- 12 is not signed by
O.P. Bhargava at points PA- 1, PA-2 and PA-3
and was not sworn by him before the Executive
Magistrate.

(7) O.P. Bhargava had not purchased the
stamp papers used in lease deed marked D and
marked E and had not signed either in the
stamp vendor’s register or on the back of the
stamps;

(8) Documents marked D and marked E have
been fabricated by Ram Prakash in collusion
with RW-11 Sukhdev Raj and they also had filed
false affidavits in support thereof in the
Supreme Court of India.”

The respondent, Ram Prakash has filed his objections to the
said report and has reiterated the same before us.

8. It must be remembered that contempt proceedings are
summary proceedings. We have gone through the report of the
learned District Judge which is an elaborate and well
considered one. He has given elaborate reasons for
rejecting the case set up by respondent, Ram Prakash. No
acceptable objections or reasons have been assigned by the
respondent not to
8
accept the report of the learned District Judge. The
respondent merely reiterated that his own evidence and that
of his witnesses should be believed in preference to the
evidence of the petitioner-landlords, their father, Dr O.P
Bhargava or their witnesses. We are not prepared to agree.
The findings recorded by the learned District Judge show
that not only the respondent has fabricated the so-called
agreement but has also tried to support it by producing
other false documents and witnesses. Even the affidavit
said to have been sworn to by Dr O.P Bhargava (father of the
landlords) before the Executive Magistrate has been
disbelieved by the learned District Judge. The Advocate,
Shri J.P Singh who is said to have identified Dr O.P.
Bhargava before the Executive Magistrate was examined as RW-
3 before the learned District Judge but his evidence too has
not been accepted.

9. The several submissions made by Shri Ram Prakash before
us were also urged before the learned District Judge and
have been rejected and, in our opinion, rightly. It is not
without significance that none of the advocates who appeared
for the parties in the original or appellate court or in the
High Court and Supreme Court have been apprised of the said
tenancy agreement. The agreement is put forward for the
first time on 1-7-199 1. The whole story appears to be a
made-up one and is unacceptable.

10. It may be noticed that by the aforesaid order dated 20-
8-1991 made in these proceedings, this Court had directed
the respondent, Ram Prakash to vacate the suit premises and
to hand over the vacant possession of the tenanted premises
to the landlord within three weeks from the date of the said
order. It was, however, directed that the landlords shall,
after getting vacant possession of the premises, keep the
same vacant and shall not let out or transfer or part with
the possession of the suit premises in any manner whatsoever
until further orders of this Court. It is stated before us
that the respondent vacated the premises accordingly and the
landlords have taken possession thereof. In the
circumstances, no directions are necessary with respect to
the delivery of the possession.

11. Inasmuch as the respondent, Ram Prakash has violated
the order of this Court dated 17-12-1990 and came forward
with a false case and tried to support the same by producing
fabricated documents, he is held guilty of contempt of
court. Having regard to all the facts and circumstances of
the case, the respondent, Ram Prakash is sentenced to two
weeks’ imprisonment in addition to a fine of Rs 2000. In
case, the fine is not paid within 15 days from today, he
shall suffer further imprisonment for another two weeks.

12. Contempt Petition is ordered accordingly.

10


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