What are the essential ingredients that a landlord is required to show for purpose of getting an eviction order for bonafide needs? Del HC elaborates

Delhi High Court: Jayant Nath, J., while addressing a matter noted the essential ingredients that a landlord is required to show for the purpose of getting an eviction order for bonafide needs.

Respondents counsel in the present application vehemently relied upon various orders passed by this Court to hold that once possession was regained by the respondent/landlord the revision petition was rendered infructuous.

Counsel for the Petitioner/Tenant did not deny that in the Execution Proceedings the respondent/landlord had received physical possession of the property. He denied that the instant petition was infructuous.

Referring to the decisions of this Court, Court stated that “it is manifest that present petition is infructuous”

 Background

In the interest of justice, High Court considered the impugned order on merits. Further, dealing with the submissions of the petitioner whereby it had been strongly urged that the impugned order passed by the ARC was liable to be set aside by this court and possession restored.

Present petition was filed under Section 25-B of the Delhi Rent Control Act, 1958 seeking to impugn the eviction order pertaining to the property.

Respondent/Landlord had filed a petition for eviction under Section 14(1)(e) read with Section 25-B of the Delhi Rent Control Act, 1958 on ground of bona fide requirements.

Counsel for the petitioner reiterated that the five shops have been mentioned in the application for leave to defend which are available to the respondent/landlord. He has also further stated that he has denied the need for additional accommodation in his application for leave to defend. Hence, it is pleaded that this denial itself would be a ground for grant of leave to defend as it raises a triable issue.

Analysis, Law and Decision

Looking at the aspect with regard to the scope of present petition, Bench referred to the Supreme Court decision in Shiv Sarup Gupta v. Dr Mahesh Chand Gupta, (1999) 6 SCC 222.

Bench tested the order of the ARC to see whether it is according to law, and whether the conclusions are not wholly unreasonable.

Court noted that the essential ingredients which a landlord is required to show for the purpose of getting an eviction order for bona fide needs are:

  • the petitioner is the owner/landlady of the suit premises
  • the suit premises are required bona fide by the landlord for himself/herself and any of his/her family members dependent upon him/her.
  • the landlord/landlady or such other family members have no other reasonable suitable accommodation.

High Court opined that there was no dispute regarding the relationship of tenant and landlord between the parties.

Petitioner pleaded that there were 5 other properties available to the respondent/landlord which were sufficient for their alleged business. To this, the respondent submitted that the accommodation available with them fell short of carrying out their business of sweets and properties mentioned by petitioner were already being used.

Bench also referred to the Supreme Court decision in G.C. Kapoor v. Nan Kumar Bhasin, (2002) 1 SCC 610,

“9. It is settled position of law that bonafide requirement means that requirement must be honest and not tainted with any oblique motive and is not a mere desire or wish. In Dattatraya Laxman Kamble v. Abdul Rasul Moulali Kotkunde [1999] 2 SCR 912, this Court while considering the bonafide need of the landlord was of the view that when a landlord says that he needs the building for his own occupation, he has to prove it but there is no warrant for ‘presuming that his need is not bonafide’. It was also held that while deciding this question. Court would look into the broad aspects and if the Courts feels any doubt about bonafide requirement, it is for the landlord to clear such doubt.”

In the Supreme Court decision of Prativa Devi v. T.V. Krishnan, (1996) 5 SCC 353, it was held that the landlord is the best judge of his requirement and Courts have no concern to dictate to the landlord as to how and in what manner he should live. Bona fide personal need was a question of fact and should not be normally interfered with.

Further, impugned order rightly held that other than making bald averments without filing any documents, the petitioner/tenant has failed to plead any fact which would throw doubt on the bona fide requirement of the respondents/landlord.

Therefore, Court held that the respondents/landlord’s requirement was a bonafide requirement and is an honest one and not tainted with any oblique motive and is not a mere wish or desire.

Hence, petitioner failed to make out any triable issue and the petition was dismissed. [Bhawani Shankar v. Nand Lal, 2021 SCC OnLine Del 4284, decided on 7-09-2021]


Advocates before the Court:

For the petitioner: J.C. Mahindroo, Megha Verma Mahindroo, Shubham Agarwal and Cherry Singh, Advs.

For the Respondents: Jai Sahai Endlaw, Ajay Kumar Gupta, Subhoday Banerjee and Surbhi Gupta, Advocates

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