Case BriefsHigh Courts

Rajasthan High Court: The Bench of Dr Pushpendra Singh Bhati, J., dismissed the petition filed for mainly amendment of the issues framed in the pleadings at a later stage.

The facts of the case were that the respondent-landlord had filed an application under Section 18(2) of the Rajasthan Rent Control Act, 2001 before the Rent Tribunal, for recovery of arrears of rent. The petitioner filed a reply to the said application under Section 18(2) of the Rajasthan Rent Control Act, 2001 and denied the existence of the landlord-tenant relationship between him and the respondent. This started the series of litigation that followed thereafter between the parties. During this, the petitioner filed an application under Section 21 of the Rent Control Act, 2001 for amendment of the issues. The petitioner also made a request to delete issues framed earlier and prayed for framing of a new issue. Also, he filed an application under Section 21 read with Section 11 of the Court Fee Act and under Order 7 Rule 11 CPC with the averment that the respondent in the rent application had although prayed for arrears of rent along with 18% interest per annum, but did not pay the appropriate court fee. The argument advanced by the respondent was that the eviction suit was filed in the year 2010 and had been going on for almost nine years, and thus, at that stage when no material change in the original pleadings were made, then permitting the petitioner to file new applications just for the purpose of delaying the proceedings was inappropriate.

The Court held that the parties were satisfied with the issues so framed at that juncture, and therefore, since no material change was reflected in the pleadings, at a belated stage, the petitioner was barred to contend that the issues need to be re-framed. The petition was thus rejected. [Umesh Jhamb v. Parkash Rani, 2019 SCC OnLine Raj 326, Order dated 12-04-2019]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Rajasthan High Court: The landlord-petitioners filed an eviction petition on the ground of personal and bona fide necessity before the Rent Tribunal, Jaipur in the year 2010 which continues to languish despite the lapse of 7 years at the stage of the landlord’s evidence for reason of stalling tactics by the respondent-defendant, the tenant.

The Court, while adjudicating the matter opined that the Rajasthan Rent Control Act, 2001 was intended to expedite the adjudication of landlord-tenant disputes. Section 15(5) of the Act of 2001, even though directory in nature, requires that the eviction petition be disposed of within 240 days of the service on the opposite party. The Court was of the opinion that even the directory provisions of Act of 2001 cannot be reduced to a dead letter and eviction petitions be allowed to remain pending for years, as in the instant case wherein an eviction petition filed under the Act of 2001 has remained pending for about 7 years.

The Court, directing that the eviction petition laid by the landlord before the Rent Tribunal be finally disposed of within a period of three months, held that, “Such delay destroys the confidence of the litigating public in the administration of injustice and belittles the rule of law. No doubt that the tenant has a right to file applications but has no right to file frivolous applications. The Code of Civil Procedure except to the very limited extent set out in the Act of 2001, does not attract to proceedings before the Rent Tribunal. Only principles of natural Justice have to be complied with by the Rent Tribunal/Appellate Rent Tribunal. There is thus no conceivable reason as to why repeated applications without a substantial cause should be filed before the Rent Tribunal to defeat the object and purpose of the Act of 2001.” [Kamla Devi Bohra v. State of Rajasthan, 2017 SCC OnLine Raj 2570, decided on 3.10.2017]