Judgement of the Day - Mohd. Inamv.Sanjay Kumar Singhal & Ors.

U.P. Urban Buildings (Regulation   of Letting, Rent and Eviction) Act, 1972

 

Sections 16(1)(b), 18 - Eviction – Whether vacancy order (preliminary order) passed against

tenant by Rent Control and Eviction Officer can be challenged along with the final order

passed against him. Held, yes. According to three judge Bench ratio in Achal Misra's case order notifying a vacancy which leads to final order of allotment can be challenged in a

proceeding taken out to challenge the final order, as being an order which is a preliminary

step in the process of passing the final order. Failure to challenge the order notifying the

vacancy then and there, would not result in the loss of right to challenge the order in a

revision against the final order. Thus, a person aggrieved by the order of vacancy has the

option to either challenge the order notifying vacancy then and there or after a final order of

allotment. It is a matter of election of remedies.


Sections 16(1)(b), 18 - Binding precedent - Maintainability of revision

Appellant-tenant challenged the vacancy order dt. 4.6.2003 (preliminary order) in a writ

petition. High Court dismissed the writ petition by order dt. 23.8.2006, but gave  liberty to

challenge the order after passing of final order, relying upon Achal Misra's case - As final order dt. 31.5.2007 was also passed against the Appellant-tenant, he filed revision. Same was allowed by District Judge. In a writ petition against said decision, High Court held that the joint revision against vacancy order and final order was not maintainable. In holding so, High Court relied on Narayani Devi's case. It was held, High Court failed to consider that the earlier order dt. 23.8.2006 was passed on basis of Achal Misra's case which specifically held that a party was free to challenge the vacancy order along with the final order in the revision

under Section 18. Thus, the revision was maintainable. High Court erred in relying on a one

paragraph order in Narayani Devi's case instead of the binding precedent in Achal Misra's

case.


Finality of judgement - Whether High Court's judgement and order dt. 23.8.2006 dismissing appellant tenant's writ petition against vacancy order dt. 4.6.2003, having not been challenged, attained finality. If so, no revision against vacancy order could be filed.  Held, no. While dismissing the writ petition wide order dt. 23.8.2006, High Court had reserved the right of the appellant to challenge the vacancy order along with the final order passed under Section 16. Thus the observation in the impugned judgement that order dt. 23.8.2006 attained finality was wrong. Similarly the observation that High Court in its earlier order dated 23.8.2006 could not have granted liberty to challenge the vacancy order along with the final order was contrary to the settled principles of judicial propriety.


Section 18 - Exercise of revisional jurisdiction - Governing principles.


Held, revisional powers of District Judge under the Act are almost analogous with the

revisional powers of the High Court. Interference by High Court in exercise of revisional

powers is permitted only if it finds that the order impugned is in violation of any statutory

provision or a binding precedent or suffers from misreading of evidence or omission to

consider relevant evidence or where the inference drawn from the facts proved is such that no reasonable person could arrive at it. High Court, though, cannot reassess and reappraise the evidence as an appellate court, it can reappraise the evidence for the limited purpose of

ascertaining if the conclusion arrived at by the factfinding court is wholly unreasonable. A

pure findings of fact given on a wrong premise of law can be interfered with. Same principles

apply to exercise of revisional power by the District Judge under Section 18.


Sections 12(1)(b), 18 - Whether District Judge wrongly exercised his revisional jurisdiction

in setting aside vacancy order as also final order passed by  Rent Control and Eviction Officer against appellant tenant - Rent Control and Eviction Officer had reached a finding that

persons other than the family members of tenant had been permitted to stay in the premises

and thus landlord had established his case under Section 12(1)(b). Held, said finding of Rent

Control and Eviction Officer was not only based on misreading of the evidence on record but

was also totally contrary to the law as interpreted in Harish Tandon's case. Inspection report of Rent Control Inspector clearly established that the original tenant was residing in the tenanted premises with his son, brother’s son and their families. Since no person who was not a family member was allowed to occupy the premises in his own right, Section 12(1)(b) was not attracted as held in Harish Tandon's case.


Constitution of India, 1950


Article 227 - Exercise of jurisdiction under Article 227 - Governing principles. Held, though

the powers under Article 227 are wide, they must be exercised sparingly and only to keep

subordinate courts and tribunals within the bounds of their authority and not to correct mere

errors. In the guise of exercising jurisdiction under Article 227, High Court cannot convert

itself into a court of appeal.


Article 227 - Whether High Court erroneously exercised jurisdiction under Article 227 in the

present case by setting aside decision of District Judge. Held, yes. District Judge had rightly

set aside orders of Rent Control and Eviction Officer as perverse and contrary to law laid

down in Harish Tandon's case. Hence, that decision should not have been set aside.

Furthermore, in the impugned judgment, High Court misinterpreted the earlier order of High

Court dt. 23.8.2006 and gave a finding which was contrary to the law laid down in Achal

Misra's case. Therefore, appeal is allowed.

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