Case BriefsHigh Courts

Himachal Pradesh High Court: Sandeep Sharma, J. upheld the order passed by the Rent Controller whereby an appeal was filed under Section 24(5) of the Himachal Pradesh Urban Rent Control Act, challenging the order whereby an application filed by respondents under Order 22 Rule 3 read with Section 151 of Code of Civil Procedure for impleadment as petitioners/landlords in place of original tenant was dismissed.

Chamba Mal Bhagra, the original tenant, had filed a petition for eviction on two grounds, firstly, that the building had become unfit and unsafe for human habitation and, secondly, that there was an urgent need for rebuilding the same. After his death on 24-10-2018, an application under Order 22 Rule 3 CPC was filed on behalf of his grandsons Vishal Sood and Vikas Sood, on the basis of a Will. In the starting, the aforesaid application was resisted by the tenants on the ground that the said Will was not placed on record, but the impugned referred the document. As per the Will placed on record, the building in dispute was bequeathed in favour of respondents i.e. Vishal Sood and Vikas Sood.

The tenants argued that pleadings to evict the building made by Chamba Mal Bhagra cannot apply anymore as he died during the pendency of the trial. He further argued that in view of the death of the original landlord, an application filed by the applicants/respondents was not maintainable.

The Court heard both the parties and found no illegality or infirmity in the impugned order, and therefore did not interfere with the findings of the Rent Controller. The Court did not consider the arguments put forth by the petitioner because the claim regard to the building being bona fide required for personal use, should have been decided in the main petition and not in the application for impleadment. Moreover, issue with regard to availability of ground if bona fide requirement for personal requirement, after death of original landlord, is no more res Integra in view of the judgment laid down by the Supreme Court in Shakuntala Bai v. Narayan Das, (2004) 5 SCC 772, where it was held that even if landlord dies during pendency of the petition, the eviction notice/order cannot be said to have lapsed. Apart from this, the building was unfit and unsafe for human habitation, and therefore, the Rent Controller below had rightly concluded that cause of action qua aforesaid ground can be inherited by the successors of the original landlord. The petition was dismissed by the Court.[Rikhi Ram Amar Nath v. Vikas Sood, 2019 SCC OnLine HP 1547, decided on 23-09-2019]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Sikkim High Court: The Bench of Bhaskar Raj Pradhan, J. allowed an impleadment through the present petition.

The petitioner in the present case submitted that during the mid-eighties Sikhs in the Indian Army and members of other professionals collected funds and built a Gurudwara at Gurudongmar Lake and placed the Nishan Sahib there and since then it has been open for public to offer prayers for which the Government of Sikkim has always issued permission to the pilgrims.

It has been stated that “Dzumsa” with the help and assistance of local administration and more particularly the sub-divisional magistrate removed the holy Guru Granth Sahib Ji, uprooted the Nishan Sahib, dismantled all internal furniture and removed the holy items from the premises of Gurudwara. All of this leads to the present writ petition under Article 226 of the Constitution of India.

The directions sought by the petitioners are the restoration of the Guru Granth Sahib Ji, the Nishan Sahib and direction to fix all internal furniture, next direction was upon the State-respondents to refrain from dismantling Gurudwara, further, a writ of prohibition was also prayed for in the same respect.

State of Sikkim provided the background of the dispute regarding the construction of the Gurudwara near the Gurudongmar Lake on reserved forest land. “Dzumsa” opposes the building of the Gurudwara by the Army. Applicant pleads that the applicant is a necessary party, the application is bonafide and the impleadment of the applicant would not change the nature and character of the writ petition and no prejudice would be caused to the petitioner as well as the private respondent.

Further, petitioner pleaded that the petition had been filed for the purpose of complaining about the gross violation of Article 25 of the Constitution of India by State-respondents regarding illegal acts committed.

“Rule 101 of Sikkim High Court (Practice & Procedure) Rules, 2011 provides that every person likely to be affected in any manner by the result of the petition shall be joined as a respondent thereto and any petition in which a necessary party is not impleaded is liable to be dismissed.”

Applicant sought a prayer of prohibition upon the State of Sikkim, not to dismantle the Gurudwara. Any activity if in a reserved forest area would necessarily need the permission and involvement of the Applicant. For the issuance of writ of prohibition, it is necessary to hear the applicant.

It is necessary to implead the applicant to enable this Court to effectively and completely adjudicate upon and settle all the questions involved in the writ petition. Therefore, application for impleadment of the PCCF-Secretary, Forest Environment & Wildlife Management Department, Government of Sikkim as a respondent was allowed. Array of respondents may be amended accordingly and the applicant permitted to file a counter-affidavit. [Sri Guru Singh Sabha v. State of Sikkim, 2018 SCC OnLine Sikk 241, Order dated 01-12-2018]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Orissa High Court: A Single Judge Bench of Dr A.K. Rath, J., allowed the petition which challenged the order of the trial court whereunder the application of the plaintiffs filed under Order 1 Rule 10 CPC to implead the wife of Defendant 1 was rejected.

The facts of the case were that the plaintiffs-petitioners had instituted the suit for permanent injunction and recovery of possession impleading the wife of the defendant as Defendant 2.

The contention of Mr A.P. Bose, Advocate for the petitioners, was that a part of the suit land had been alienated to the wife of the defendant. The said fact came to the knowledge of the plaintiffs after the written statement was filed. The hearing of the suit had not begun. The intervenor was a necessary party to the suit.

The counsel for defendants Mr S. Udgata, submitted that the written statement was filed in the year 2011. But then, the petition for impleadment was filed after a gap of five years. The intervenor was neither necessary nor proper party to the suit.

The Court relied on the case of Razia Begum v. Sahebzadi Anwar Begum, AIR 1958 SC 886, wherein the Apex Court had held that it is firmly established as a result of judicial decisions that in order that a person may be added as a party to a suit, he should have a direct interest in the subject matter of the litigation whether it raises questions relating to movable or immovable property. The suit scheduled land had been alienated to the wife of the defendant. In view of the same, the intervenor was a necessary party to the suit thus the petition was allowed. [Ramesh Chandra Sahoo v. Ranjit Kumar Singh, 2018 SCC OnLine Ori 436, decided on 19-12-2018]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

High Court of Jharkhand at Ranchi: A Single Bench Judge comprising of Chandrashekhar, J. addressed a petition on a title suit wherein the petitioner had initially filed a suit for declaration of his right, title and interest over the land in question and a decree of confirmation of his possession over that land and alternatively, if he was found dispossessed during the pendency of the suit recovery, then khas possession be given to him instead.

In the pending suit, an application for impleadment in the title suit was filed by a third party under Order I Rule 10(2) CPC, to be considered a defendant in the suit. This application was allowed by the Court against which the petitioner filed the present petition.

The counsel for the petitioner submitted that the title suit was instituted against a sole defendant i.e. the State. Allowing the third party’s impleadment would lead to a situation where there would be three persons claiming right, title and interest over the property in question and thus any decision that would be taken in the title suit concerned would affect the petitioner adversely.

The Court held that a person who has any substantial interest in the property in question and as long as his interest is not merely peripheral has to be a necessary party in the suit. The Court acknowledged that any adjudication in the title suit would affect the proceeding of the other title suit filed by the third party seeking impleadment in the main title suit. The mere fact that no relief had been sought against the third party respondent was not sufficient to non-suit him. Dismissing the petition, the Court also observed that the object for adding a party in exercise of power under Order I Rule 10(2) is to avoid multiplicity of litigation. [Lal Babu Sao v. State of Jharkhand, 2017 SCC OnLine Jhar 2336, dated 2.11.2017]