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Questions of Interplay between Provisions of Delhi Rent Control Act Referred to Larger Bench by Delhi HC

The section 14(1)(e) of the act provides that eviction of tenant can be sought by the landlord on the ground that the landlord has no other reasonable residential place and the landlord requires the tenanted provision for his own personal bonafide use. The section 22 of the act also states that the requirement of the premises for the self use of landlord is also a ground of eviction of tenant.
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On questions of relationship and interplay between the Sections 14(1)(e) and 22 of the Delhi Rent Control Act, 1958 the single bench of the Delhi High Court has referred to the division bench.

The section 14(1)(e) of the act provides that eviction of tenant can be sought by the landlord on the  ground that the landlord has no other reasonable residential place and the landlord requires the tenanted provision for his own personal bonafide use. The section 22 of the act also states that the requirement of the premises for the self use of landlord is also a ground of eviction of tenant. However, the difference between the two is that the section 14(1)(e) does not restrict the category of landlords for seeking eviction but section 22 provides that the landlord who is  a company or other body corporate or any local authority or any public institution can seek the eviction of the tenant.

Justice Rajiv Sahai through his opinion expressed that the doubts in the two sections relates to the rights of the natural persons and juristic persons to invoke these specific provisions.

For the understanding and explanation of the two provisions the court relied on several precedents. The view of division bench in the case of Canara Bank v T.T.Limited was examined. In the matter the question before the court was whether section 22 of the act was available to company when the land is required for the residential use of its employees. The court in this matter held that the petition was non-maintainable.

However, earlier in the matter of Madan Mohan Lal Shri Ram Private Ltd v. P. Tondon, it was held by the court that whenever a company in its position of landlord requires a land for use of its employees then section 22 will be applicable instead of section 14(1)(e). The bench said that the reference to division bench has been made to remove the inconsistency between the two judgements.

The court also noted that the instant case before the court also concern with the other two kind of juristic landlord such as trust and society. The court explained that the section 22 includes a company or other body corporate or any local authority or any public institution and a  trust will not be qualified as ‘other body corporate’ and therefore a trust may not be covered under the same. However, a society qualifies as other body corporate.

A question may however arise, whether a public charitable trust carrying on organized activity, though not a ‘other body corporate’, would qualify as a ‘public institution’.

The court thus raised questions to division bench that if and when the company can invoke the provisions of section 14(1)(e) of the act for eviction of tenant.

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Reviewed by:
Mehak Sharma
Published on 26th Dec, 2017
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