“Land, that is to say, rights in or over land, land tenures including the relation of landlord and tenant, and the collection of rents; transfer and alienation of agricultural land; land improvement and agricultural loans; colonization” is covered in Item 18 of List II- State List.,Seventh Schedule of the Constitution. So the laws on rent control and eviction throughout the country vary from one State to other, having some common features. The interpretation of the law of one State enables to interpret the similar provision, existing in law of the other State. The Apex Court has forged ahead in various fields including the eviction laws.

Principle of harmonization of interests of landlord and tenant

In Malpe Vishwanath Acharya & Ors v. State Of Maharashtra(infra), the Court was of the view that  In so far as social legislation, like the rent control act is concerned, the law must strike a balance between rival interests and it should try to be just to all. The law ought not to be unjust to one and give a disproportionate benefit or protection to another section of the society. When there is shortage of accommodation it is desirable, nay, necessary that some protection should be given to the tenants in order to ensure that they are no exploited. At the same item such a law has to be revised periodically so as to ensure that a disproportionately larger benefit them the one which was intended is not given to the tenants.

In Amarjit Singh vs Smt. Khatoon Quamarain (infra), it was observed that The Rent Restriction Acts deal with the problem of rack renting and shortage of accommodation. It is in consonance with the recognition of the right of both the landlord and the ten- ant’that a harmony is sought to be struck whereby the bona- fide requirements of the landlords and the tenants in the expanding explosion of need and population and shortage of accommodation are sought to be harmonised and the conditions imposed to evict a tenant are that the landlord must have bona fide need.


Various judgments interpreting eviction provisions

Statute in question

Title of case

Judgment decided in favour of

Decision of the Court

Suggestion of the Court

(if any)

 Delhi Rent Control Act, 1958 Gian Devi Anand v. Jeevan Kumar and Ors.

1985 (2) SCC 683


Tenant and his heirs The mere fact that in the Act no provision has been made with regard to the heirs of tenants in respect of commercial tenancies on the death of the tenant after termination of the tenancy, as has been done in the case of heirs of the tenants of residential premises, does not indicate that the Legislature intended that the heirs of the tenants of commercial premises will cease to enjoy the protection afforded to the tenant under the Act. The Legislature could never have possible intended that with death of a tenant of the commercial premises, the business carried on by the tenant, however flourishing it may be and even if the same constituted the source of livelihood of the members of the family, must necessarily come to an end on the death of the tenant only because the tenant died after the contractual tenancy had been terminated. It suggested that Legislature may consider the advisability of making the bona fide requirement of the landlord a ground of eviction in respect of commercial premises as well.
Tamil Nadu Buildings (Lease and Rent Control) Act, 1960 Rattan Arya Etc. v. State Of Tamil Nadu & Anr.

1986 (3) SCC  385 

Tenants Tenants of both kinds of buildings equally need the protection of the beneficient provision of the Act.

Section 30 (ii) of the Tamil Nadu Buildings (Lease and Rent Control) Act, 1960 struck down being violative of Art. 14 of the Constitution.

Delhi Rent Control Act, 1958 Amarjit Singh v. Smt. Khatoon Quamarain

1986 (4)

 SCC 736

Tenant The philosophy and principle of rent restriction law have nothing to do with the private exploitation of property by the owners of the property in derogation of the tenant’s need of protec- tion from eviction in a society of shortage of accommodation.
The East Punjab Urban Rent Restriction Act, 1949 and

East Punjab Urban Rent Restriction (Amendment) Act, 1956

Harbilas Rai Bansal v. The State Of Punjab & Anr.

1996  (1) SCC  1

Landlord A landlord – under the Act – can seek eviction of a tenant from a non-residential building on the ground that he requires it for his own use.

East Punjab Urban Rent Restriction (Amendment) Act, 1956 taking away  the right of  landlord to seek eviction of his tenant from a non-residential premises declared as

constitutionally invalid.

Bombay Rents, Hotel and Lodging House Rates Control Act, 1947 Malpe Vishwanath Acharya & Ors v. State Of Maharashtra

(1998) 2 SCC 1

Landlord Decision of the High Court upholding validity of the impugned provisions relating to standard rent was not correct. Any further extension of the existing provisions without bringing them in line with the views expressed in this judgment would be invalid as being arbitrary and violative of Article 14 of the Constitution. We hope that new Rent Control Act will be enacted with effect from 1st April, 1998 keeping in view the observations made in this judgment in so far as fixation of standard rent is concerned.
East Punjab Urban Rent Restriction Act, 1949 Rakesh Vij v. Dr. Raminder Pal Singh Sethi and others


SCC 504

Landlord The Act has to be interpreted in a just and equitable manner. To completely deprive a landlord of his right to seek eviction of a tenant from a non residential building even on the ground of his own use for all times to come would be highly unjust and inequitable to him.
Delhi Rent Control Act, 1958 Satyawati Sharma (Dead) by LRs . v. Union of India and another

2008 (5) SCC 287

Landlord Section 14(1)(e) of the 1958 Act is partly struck down. Section 14(1)(e) may read as under :- “that the premises are required bona fide by the landlord for himself or for any member of his family dependent on him, if he is the owner thereof, or for any person for whose benefit the premises are held and that the landlord or such person has no other reasonably suitable accommodation.”