SC cheer for landlord

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By The Telegraph Online
  • Published 30.10.08

New Delhi, Oct. 29 (PTI): The Supreme Court has ruled that a landlord can evict a tenant if he wants the premises not just for himself but also for his son or daughter.

“The expression — landlord for his own use — is not confined in its meaning to actual physical use by the landlord personally. The requirement not only of the landlord himself but also of the normal emanations (kith and kin) of the landlord is included therein,” the bench said, quoting an earlier judgment.

The ruling — a boon for owners of rented shops and commercial properties — came on a petition filed by Punjab resident Ajit Singh who had asked tenant Jit Ram to vacate his commercial property because his son wanted to use it.

The rent control court and the appellate court in Punjab had ruled in favour of Singh, but Punjab and Haryana High Court quashed the eviction proceedings saying the tenant could be asked to vacate only if the landlord wanted the premises for “his own use”.

Singh and his son then moved the apex court, which set aside the high court order.

Interpreting Section 13 of the East Punjab Urban Rent Restriction Act, 1949, the Supreme Court said the landlord could seek eviction of a tenant from commercial premises as long as he or she was not alternatively occupying any other commercial building or land on rent in the same area.

Citing an earlier verdict, the apex court said the phrase “his own use” in the act should be given “a wide, liberal and useful meaning”.

A variety of factors, such as inter-relationship and interdependence between the landlord and the person for whom he or she is seeking the premises, must be considered while dealing with eviction cases, the apex court said.

The bench granted Ram nine months to vacate the property.