Supreme Court SC imposes Rs 1 lakh cost on tenant, asks...

SC imposes Rs 1 lakh cost on tenant, asks him to pay rent of 11 years within 3 months

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New Delhi, Mar 9 (ILNS) The Supreme Court today imposed a cost of Rs one lakh on a tenant for not vacating the premises and directed him to pay the rent of 11 years on the basis of market rate to the landlord within three months.

A two-judge bench of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and R Subhash Reddy said, “This is a classical case of how civil proceedings can be prolonged ad infinitum, causing grave injustice to one of the parties.

“The landlord filed suit for possession, which succeeded right till this Court. The execution proceedings filed in 2009 has dragged on for 12 years,” the Bench said, adding “the petitioner before us filed objections in the execution proceedings on March 26, 2010 contending that he was running a business in the decretal shop in partnership with the tenant from 1980,” it added.

The Bench said, “this application filed by the petitioner itself was an abuse of process of law. We are not satisfied with merely dismissing the special leave petition (SLP) as some signal must be sent to discourage this nature of litigation.

While dismissing the SLP, the Bench directed that the damages be computed by the executing Court at the market rates and paid to the Landlord within 15 days. The trial court will complete the process of hearing the petition and filing of objection, which is March 26, 2010 till possession is taken, within three months.

The court imposed a cost of Rs one lakh on the petitioner for wasting the judicial time and dragging the proceedings in the court. The fine will be paid to the respondent within three months, added the court.

Prabal Dutta, predecessor-in-interest of respondent No 2, filed Title Suit No 93/94 of 2004 against one Rabindra Nath Sinha stating, inter alia, that the said Rabindra Nath Sinha was inducted as a lessee under an agreement for 21 years sometime in 1967. After expiry of the period of lease, the original plaintiff filed the suit for eviction against the said Rabindra Nath Sinha, recovery of possession and other incidental reliefs from the suit premises. The said suit was decreed by a judgment and decree dated August 17, 2005 by the learned Civil Judge (Junior Division), 6th Court at Alipore. The defendant/lessee challenged the judgment and decree passed by the learned trial Court successively up to the Hon’ble Supreme Court. However, the appeals filed by the original defendant /tenant were dismissed on contest affirming the judgment and decree of eviction passed by the trial Court.

After the conclusion of the initial legal battle in the form of suits and appeals, the plaintiff/decree holder put the decree in execution in the year 2009.

The present appellant, namely Debashish Sinha, entered appearance in the said execution proceeding on 26th March, 2010 claiming himself as a nephew of the original defendant/judgment debtor and filed an application under Order XXI Rule 97, 99 and 100 read with Sections 47 and 151 of the Code of Civil Procedure contending, inter alia, that he has been running a business in a decretal shop room under the name and style “The Wardrobe” since 1977 with the original defendant/judgment debtor.

The Calcutta High Court had dismissed the appeal filed by Debasish Sinha. The Court had held that, “In the instant case relationship of lessor and lessee between the decree holder and the original judgement-debtor was established up to the Hon’ble Supreme Court. The present appellant is a ranked third party in respect of landlord-tenant relationship and he cannot claim independent tenancy on the basis of a partnership agreement executed by and between him and the original judgement-debtor.” INLS/SNG/JR

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