Sukhdev Kumar Bali And Ors. vs Shrimati Swatantar Bala on 4 March, 1992

Punjab-Haryana High Court
Sukhdev Kumar Bali And Ors. vs Shrimati Swatantar Bala on 4 March, 1992
Equivalent citations: (1992) 102 PLR 386
Author: A Bhan
Bench: A Bhan


JUDGMENT

Ashok Bhan, J.

1. This is tenants’ revision petition. The facts giving rise thereto are as under : — Respondent-landlord (hereinafter referred to as the landlord) filed an ejectment application, inter alia on the grounds of (i) material impairment and (ii) sub-letting to–(a) respondent No. 2 (b) respondent No. 2 and (c) brother-in-law of the tenant. Para 6 of the ejectment application in which the allegations regarding sub-letting are contained is as follows :–.

“That respondent No. 1 has sublet the premises on the ground floor to respondent Nos. 2 and 3 while making partitions in the shop portion and Barsati portion has also been sublet by the respondent No. 1 to his brother-in-law who is in exclusive posses sion of the Barsati portion of the aforesaid shop-cum-flat. It is added that Shri B. N. Kohli is running a chemist shop and Shri Praveen Kumar is running Studio business and both respondent Nos. 2 and 3 are in exclusive possession in the ground floor being sub-lessees. Respondent No. 1 has sublet the premises to the persons mentioned aforesaid and has himself parted away with the possession and thus is liable to eviction on the ground of subletting. As respondent Nos. 2 and 3 are in possession as sublessees, therefore they are made parties to the present petition as respondent Nos. 2 and 3.”

In the written statement filed, the tenants admitted the subletting in favour of respondent No. 2 but pleaded that the same was created prior to the coming into force of the East Punjab Urban Rent Restriction Act, 1949, as made applicable to the Union Territory of Chandigarh. Subletting to respondent No. 3 was denied and it was pleaded that he was an employee of the tenant. Subletting in favour of the brother-in-law was also denied. Para 6 of the written statement filed is reproduced below :–

“That respondent No. 1 has been running the business of Sangam Studio since 1965 being its sole proprietor. Prior to 1965 one Sharma was doing the business of photography in the part of the premises which was started by them in the year 1959 when respondent No. 1 took the premises on rent and Mr. Sharma was already in the premises. Mr Sharma left the premises and vacated the same and in that part of the premises respondent No. 1 started his business of Studio alongwith watches.”

The petitioner moved the present application for amendment of the written statement and submitted that inadvertently he could not specifically reply to the allegations of subletting to his brother-in-law in respect of Barsati portion. Hence be wanted to add at the end of para 6 of the written statement of following plea :—

“It is further submitted that the Barsati portion is in exclusive possession of respondent No. 1 since it was taken on rent and it was never sublet to his brother-in-law at any stage. All his brother-in laws are settled in Chandigarh and they are doing separate business and residing in separate houses. Otherwise also the allegations regarding the subletting to brother-in-law is vague. Even the name of the brother-in-law is not mentioned in the petition.”

This plea has been negatived by the learned Rent Controller vide impugned order with the following observations :–

“I have heard the learned counsel for both the parties who have raised arguments in respect of their plea taken in their pleadings. I do not find any force in the contention raised on behalf of the respondent/applicant in support of his proposed amendment. The corresponding para 6 of his earlier written reply, he in his clear cut terms has admitted the respondent No. 2 to be in occupation of the demised premises since the year 1971 and this is what is the case of the petitioner that the respondent No. 2 is in occupation of the demised premises while the same were let out to respondent No. I. It is a mute question to be decided whether the demised premises were let out to respondent No. 1 only or to all the respondents collectively. In these circumstances if amendment would allow, it would certainly have the effect of denial of the admission made already and law is well settled, that where the proposed amendment is, attempts to negate the admission already made then that cannot be allowed. In these circumstances I do not find any merit in the application for amendment and amendment in question is disallowed……….”

2. I have heard the learned counsel for the petitioner at length. A perusal of the order itself shows that the Rent Controller erred materially in exercise of his jurisdiction in-as-much as he misread the scope of the application for amendment filed by the tenant. The tenant did not want to withdraw his admission regarding respondent Mo. 2 but wanted to take additional plea by way of explanation regarding subletting Barsati portion to his brother-in law and denial of the allegation levelled in the petition. The landlord had not mentioned the name of the brother-in-law of the tenant to whom the premises had been sublet. The reply of the tenant was not specific but general in nature. By taking the additional plea, the tenant wants to specifically deny the allegations regarding the subletting in favour of his brother- in-law. The Rent Controller, it seems, was labouring under the impression that the tenant wanted to withdraw his admission regarding subletting created by him in favour of respondent No. 2, which is incorrect on the face of it as is clear from the perusal of the allegations made in the ejectment petition, reply filed by the tenants and the additional plea which the tenant wants to take by way of amendment to the written statement as reproduced in the earlier part of this judgment

3. It is stated by Mr. Hemant Gupta, counsel for the petitioner that the evidence has already concluded and he would not adduce any more evidence on this point.

4. For the foregoing reasons, the revision is accepted, the order of the Rent Controller is set aside and the application filed by the tenant for amendment of the written statement is allowed.

5. Parties to appear before the Rent Controller on 1st of April, 1992.

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