Case Briefs
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Nilesh Laxmichand and Another Vs. Shantaben Purushottam Kakad


Author: Shrijeta Pratik, 1st Year law student at KPMSOL, NMIMS, Mumbai.

Essential details of the case

Citation: N/A

Appellant: Nilesh Laxmichand

Respondent: Smt. Shantaben Purushottam Kakad

Bench: Rajesh G. Ketkar

Date of Judgment: 24 September, 2018

Original copy: N/A

 

Facts of the case

  • The appellants, hereby addressed to as the ‘defendants,’ have appealed to the Appellate Bench of the Civil Causes Court at Bombay’s judgment and the decree of 30.10.2017. The defendants were ordered to deliver undisturbed, unoccupied, and tranquil ownership of the shop to the respondents, jointly referred to as the ‘plaintiffs,’ within 60 days of the orders delivery. 
  • The plaintiffs claimed that the defendant was given the suit premises for the sake of operating his own Book Shop, and that the defendant has been doing so under the name and style of “Chetana Book Stores” ever since beginning. 
  • The first defendant abruptly shut down his bookstore and did not use the property, for the objective for which it was leased, for more than six months subsequent to the filing of the claim, and that too without justification or excuse. The first defendant was also accused of subletting the property to a third party.
  • Sections 16 of the Maharashtra Rent Control Act, 1999 was used by the plaintiffs to seek ownership.
  • The second defendant, who is the father of the first defendant, visited the original property’s owner, the plaintiff’s husband, in 1971 to lease the suit premises. The structures were rented out after the final approval of the talks in 1971. The first defendant was a five-year-old child at that time. 
  • The premises were taken for business reasons by the second defendant, but the second defendant got confirmation in the name of the first defendant for spiritual reasons and on the recommendation of an Astrophysicist. 
  • The first defendant’s identity continued to appear on the lease receipts. Rental agreement in support of the minor was struck down based on Section 11 of the Indian Contract Act, 1872, which states that reciprocal responsibilities are a spell on a lessee. 
  • The second defendant was determined to have the absolute ownership of the property from the beginning. Though the rent receipt is in the credit of the first defendant, the tenancy was deemed to be established on behalf of the second defendant. 
  • Under the Shops and Establishments Act, the defendant got the requisite license. The second defendant was unable to get adequate business and revenue. For a while, he ran a prefabricated clothing business. That, too, was a failure. Following that, he established “Shree Krishna Food Corner” as his business flagship company. 
  • Despite his application, the Health Department did not grant him a permit. The fast food business was halted, and the trade of selling books and stationery resumed.

Issues at hand

  • Whether the behavior of the tenants or those under him caused nuisance or irritation to the contiguous or neighboring occupant?
  • Whether the defendant was  engaged in illegal subletting?

Judgment

There was no plea of secured license in the case of renting. The court determined that subletting had been properly established. The appeal was granted.

  • Among other things, the behavior of the tenants or those under them, like nuisance or irritation to the contiguous or neighboring occupant, are grounds for eviction. The annoyance appeared to be linked to the times when fast food was in operation. The Trial Court’s conclusions have been noted. No proof from any of the neighbors, whether they are shopkeepers in the building or not, comes available. The High Court did not believe that the lower court was justified in upholding the expulsion on the basis of nuisance.
  • In order to determine whether there is subletting, it is required to consider the subletting allegation. It states the defendant has illegally rented, leased, or ceded the property to a third party for an illegal consideration. Plaintiff’s son is also said to have met the individual who affirmed that it was handed to him on a license footing. The defendants have also transferred the suit premises to someone else, according to the complaint. The court can deduce from this that the act of putting a third party in ownership is crucial to the situation of subletting. There is no evidence that the defendant is engaging in illegal subletting. The court believes that the conviction of illegal subletting will be overturned.
  • The Appellate Court looked at the rent records in the title of the first defendant and found that they invalidated the testimony that the premises had been taken in the name of the second defendant since the beginning. As a result, it was determined that the inclusion of the second defendant had been ruled out since the beginning. The rationale for the construction of tenancy in the first defendant’s name being on the recommendation of an astrologer was deemed to be improbable because no such astrophysicist was checked. The High Court upheld the Appellate Court’s decision on the basis of non-user.
  • The High Court did not believe it was appropriate to meddle with the Court’s judgment in the totality of the circumstances, having regard to the fact that the court had found the ground of non-user established under Section 16(1)(n) of the Maharashtra Rent Control Act, 1999, and the factual information as mentioned by us, especially in an appeal after Special Leave. The appeal was hereby rejected.

Critical Analysis

  • The first defendant abruptly shut down his bookstore and did not use the property for the objective for which it was leased. The first defendant was also accused of subletting the property.
  • The premises were taken for business reasons by the second defendant. The second defendant got confirmation in the name of the first defendant for spiritual reasons. The structures were rented out after the final approval of the talks in 1971. 
  • This document should have been labelled as Witness, in my perspective, by the learned trial Judge. If this document was labelled as Witness, I believe the Appellate Court’s conclusions on the ground of nuisance under Section 16(1)(c) of the Maharashtra Rent Control Act, 1999 would have been without any flaw.
  • The first defendant was a five-year-old child at the time. The Court upheld the lower court’s decision on the basis of non-user. No proof from any of the neighbors, whether there are shopkeepers in the building or not, comes available.

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