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Project On Rent Law

Topic: - Eviction on grounds of non payment of rent

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ACKNOWLEDGMENT
I would like to express my special gratitude towards my respected Teacher Mrs. who gave me the opportunity to do this wonderful project , which helped me in doing Research and I came to know about so many things. I am really Thankful to her. Secondly I would also like to thank my family and friends who helped me a lot in completing the project. In the end I would like to thank all other people who directly or indirectly assisted me to accomplish this project work.

Introduction
Section 13 of the Act now after the Supreme Court decision in Harbilas Rai Bansal Vs. State of Punjab (1996-1)112 P.L.R 227 (S.C.), AIR 1996 S.C. 857 reads: 13. Eviction of Tenant: (1) A tenant in possession of a building or rented land shall not be evicted therefrom in execution of a decree passed before or after the commencement of this Act or otherwise and whether before or after the termination of the tenancy, except in accordance with the provisions of this section, (or in pursuance of an order made under section 13 of the Punjab Urban Rent Restriction Act, 1947, as subsequently amended). (2) A landlord who seeks to evict his tenant shall apply to the Controller for a direction in that behalf. If the Controller, after giving the tenant a reasonable opportunity of showing cause against the application, is satisfied: (i) that the tenant has not paid or tendered the rent due by him in respect of the building or rented land within fifteen days after the expiry of the time fixed in the agreement of tenancy with his landlord or in the absence of any such agreement by the last day of the month next following that for which, the rent is payable: Provided that if the tenant on the first hearing of the application for ejectment after due service pays or tenders the arrears of rent and interest at six per cent per annum on such arrears together with the cost of application assessed by the Controller, the tenant shall be deemed to have duly paid or tendered the rent within the time aforesaid. (ii) that the tenant has after the commencement of this Act without the written consent of the landlord (a) transferred his right under the lease or sublet the entire building or rented land or any portion thereof; or (b) used the building or rented land for a purpose other than that for which it was leased, or

(iii) that the tenant has committed such acts as are likely to impair materially the value or utility of the building or rented land, or (iv) that the tenant has been guilty of such acts and conduct as are a nuisance to the occupiers of buildings in the neighbourhood, or (v) that where the building is situated in a place other than a hill-station, the tenant has ceased to occupy the building for a continuous period of four months without reasonable clause, The Controller may make an order directing the tenant to put the landlord in possession of the building or rented land and if the Controller is not so satisfied he shall make an order rejecting the application: Provided that the Controller may give the tenant a reasonable time for putting the landlord in possession of the building or rented land and may extend such time so as not to exceed three months in the aggregate.

3(a) A landlord may apply to the Controller for an order directing the tenant to put the landlord in possession: (i) in the case of a residential or scheduled building, if (a) he requires it for his own occupation; (b) he is not occupying another residential or scheduled building, as the case may be in the urban area concerned; and (c) he has not vacated such a building without sufficient cause after the commencement of this Act, in the said urban area; (d) It was let to the tenant for use as residence by reason of his being in the service or employment of the landlord, and the tenant has ceased, whether before or after the commencement of this act, to be in such service or employment: Provided that where the tenant is a workman who has been discharged or dismissed by the landlord from his service or employment in contravention of the provisions of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947, he shall not be liable to be evicted until

the competent authority under that Act confirms the order of discharge or dismissal made against him by the landlord. (i-a) in the case of a residential building, if the landlord is a member of the armed forces of the Union of India and requires it for the occupation of his family and if he produces a certificate of the prescribed authority, referred to in section 7 of the Indian Soldiers (Litigation) Act, 1925, that he is serving under special conditions within the meaning of section 3 of that Act..

Explanation For the purpose of this sub paragraph 1. the certificate of the prescribed authority shall be conclusive evidence that the landlord is serving under special conditions; and 2. family means such relations of the landlord as ordinarily live with him and are dependent upon him. (ii) In the case of non residential building or rented land, if (a) he requires it for his own use;

(b) he is not occupying in the urban area Concerned for the purpose of his business any other such building or rented land as the case may be; and (c) he has not vacated such a building or rented land without sufficient cause after the commencement of this Act, in the urban area concerned; (iii) in the case of any building, or rented land, if he requires it to carry out any building work at the instance of the Government or local authority or any Improvement Trust under some improvement or development scheme or if it has become unsafe or unfit for human habitation; (iv) in the case of any building, if he requires it for use as an office, or consulting room by his son who intends to start practice as a lawyer or as a registered practioner within the meaning of that expression as used in the Punjab Medical Registration Act, 1916, or for the residence of his son who is married, if (a) his son as aforesaid is not occupying in the urban area concerned any other building for use as office, consulting room or residence, as the case may be; and

(b) his son as aforesaid has not vacated such a building without sufficient cause after the commencement of this Act, in the urban Area concerned: Provided that where the tenancy is for a specified period agreed upon between the landlord and the tenant, the landlord shall not, except under sub-paragraph be entitled to apply under this sub-section before the expiry of such period: Provided further that where the landlord has obtained possession of a residential, a scheduled or non residential building or rented land under the provisions of subparagraph (i) or sub-paragraph (ii) he shall not be entitled to apply again under the said sub-paragraphs for the possession of any other building of the same class or rented land: Provided further that where a landlord has obtained possession of any building under the provisions of sub-paragraph (iv) he shall not be entitled to apply again under the said sub-paragraph for the possession of any other building for the use of, or as the case may be, for the residence of the same son. (b) The Controller shall, if he is satisfied that the claim of the landlord is bonafide make an order directing the tenant to put the landlord in possession of the building or rented land on such date as may be specified by the Controller and if the Controller is not so satisfied, he shall make an order rejecting the application: Provided that the Controller may give the tenant a reasonable time for putting the landlord in possession of the building or rented land and may extend such time so as not to exceed three months in the aggregate. (c) Where an application is made under sub-paragraph (i-a) of paragraph (a), it shall be disposed of, as for as may be, within a period of one month and if -the claim of the landlord is accepted, the Controller shall make an order directing the tenant to put the landlord in possession of the building on a date to be specified in the order and such date shall not be later than fifteen days from the date of the order.

(4) Where a landlord who has obtained possession of a building or rented land in pursuance of an order under sub-paragraph (i) or sub-paragraph (ii) of paragraph (a) of sub-section (3) does not himself occupy it or, if possession was obtained by him for his family in pursuance of an order under sub-paragraph (ia) of paragraph (a) of sub-section

(3), his family does not occupy the residential building, or if possession was obtained by him on behalf of his son in pursuance of an order under sub-paragraph (iv) of paragraph (a) of sub-section (3), his son does not occupy it for the purpose for which possession was obtained, for a continuous period of twelve months from the date of obtaining possession or where a landlord who has obtained possession of a building under subparagraph. (iii) of the aforesaid paragraph (a) puts that building to any use or lets it out to any tenant other-than the tenant evicted from it, the tenant who has been evicted may apply to the Controller for an order directing that he shall be restored to possession of such building or rented land and the Controller shall make an order accordingly.

(5) Where the Controller is satisfied that any application made by a landlord for the eviction of a tenant is frivolous or vexatious, the controller may direct that compensation not exceeding one hundred rupees be paid by such landlord to the tenant.

Eviction of the Tenant


The Preamble of the East Punjab Urban Rent Restriction Act of 1949 reads: An Act to restrict the increase of rent of certain premises situated within the limits of urban area, and the eviction of tenants therefrom. The main object of the Act, as given in the Preamble, is to check the arbitrary increase of rent and eviction of the tenant by the landlord. Similar aims are mentioned in various Rent Control Acts operative in other parts of the country but these goals can be achieved only when the Act becomes applicable to an urban property. Section 3 of the Act empowers the State Government to exempt any building or rented land in an urban area from the operation of the Act. In exercise of the power under Section 3 of the Act, the Governor of East Punjab had exempted all crown property from the provisions of the Act in 1949. All buildings and rented lands belonging to Municipal Committees, District Boards and Panchayats were also exempted from the provisions of the Act in 1959. With the object of encouraging construction of new buildings, an exemption from the application of the Act for the first five years of new constructions was granted from

time to time in Punjab. This exemption is commonly known as rent holiday. This rent holiday' primarily aimed to attract investment in housing by providing incentives to the moneyed class. In Chandigarh, exemption from the applicability of Rent Act is provided to all new buildings for the first five years counted from the date of the grant of sewerage connection. Subsequently, it was recognised by the Chandigarh Administration that there are certain buildings like booths (small service shops) where there is no provision for a sewerage connection. It was also noticed that in the case of additional construction on an already existing building, there was no need of a separate sewerage connection for the newly constructed part.

Quit Notice Under T.P. Act.


There was a controversy as to whether for seeking eviction of a tenant under Section 13 of the Act, a notice under Section 106 of the T.P. Act was a prerequisite or not. Landlord-tenant relationships are governed by the T.P.Act whenever the Rent Act is not applicable. Section 106 of the T.P.Act applies to such cases where the parties either do not stipulate the duration of the lease in the lease deed or after the expiry of the stipulated period, the landlord-tenant relationship continues without the renewal or grant of a fresh lease. To determine the duration of the lease, Section 106 provides that if the lease of immoveable property has been made either for agricultural or manufacturing purpose it will be deemed to be an yearly tenancy and terminable with a valid notice of six months. If the lease of immoveable property has been granted for any other purpose, it will be deemed to be a monthly tenancy terminable with a valid notice of fifteen days. The notice prescribed under section 106 of the T.P.Act, must be given in such a manner that the period of six months or fifteen days expires with the end of the year or the month respectively. Once the tenancies covered under the T.P.Act began to be governed by the provisions of the Rent Act, the question arose as to whether landlord seeking eviction of a statutory tenant under Section 13 was still required to. serve a valid notice on the tenant under Section 106 of the T.P.Act. A Full Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court in the case of Bhaiya Ram Hargolal Vs. Mahavir Parsad, (1968)70 P.L.R. 1011 (F.B.) = AIR 1969 P&H 110 (FB), considered the question at length in view of two conflicting Division Bench decisions and held that an application for the ejectment of a tenant under Section 13 of the Rent Act cannot succeed without the contractual tenancy being first-determined by a notice

under Section 106 of the T.P.Act. The Full Bench further held that want of a notice under Section 106 of the T.P.Act continues to be a good defence despite the enforcement of the Rent Act in every case in which such a defence would have been available under the general law of the State if the Rent Act had not been enacted because the Rent Act has not impliedly repealed or abrogated Section 106 of the T.P.Act.

No-obstente Clause
Section 13(1) of the Act provides for the protective umbrella to a tenant against an arbitrary eviction at the instance of the landlord. Section 13(1) lays down that a tenant shall not be evicted from the premises in possession except in accordance with the provisions laid in Section 13. The expression in execution of a decree passed before or after the commencement of this Act had to be incorporated in Section 13(1) in view of the decrees which might have been passed under the 1947 Act. If this expression which was necessary at the time of commencement of the Act is taken out from the provision then it would read as : "A tenant in possession of a building or rented land shall not be evicted therefrom, whether before or after the termination of the tenancy, except in accordance with the provisions of this section. The use of the expression except in accordance with the provisions o f this section gives section 13 of the Act an overriding effect in relation to any agreement or law to the contrary This is what makes section 13(1) to be the 'non-obstente clause. The term 'non-obstente, which means 'notwithstanding, can safely be used in respect of section 13(1). Thus after the coming into force of the Act in 1949 all existing and future tenancies of properties in urban areas, except those which were exempted under section 3 of the Act, came within the purview of the. Act. Section 13(1) puts a complete embargo on the eviction of a tenant except when a tenant is liable for eviction on any of the grounds listed in sub-sections (2) and (3) of section 13. However, if a suit has been filed for the ejectment of the tenant under T.P.Act before the Rent Act becomes applicable to the building. It will be decided under the T.P.Act. It will not make any difference if the Rent Act becomes applicable to the building during the pendency of the ejectment suit. In Sawan Ram Vs. Gobinda Ram, (1980)82 P.L.R. 271 (F.B.) = 1980 (2) RCJ 62 P&H (FB) it was held that the Act covered the field to the total exclusion of all other laws. It

excluded on the substantive aspect the general law of the tenant-landlord relationship and on the procedural aspect barred the forum of the ordinary run of the Civil Courts. In the case of Murali Dhar Aggarwal Vs. Ram Agyan Singh a clause in the lease deed read: that this agreement of lease has been made between the parties with the knowledge of the existing Rent Control and Eviction Acts. The parties do hereby agree and declare that no party will ever claim the benefit of the said Acts and that the provisions of the said Acts have been agreed by mutual consent to be inapplicable to this deed. From the above discussion the following points emerge:(i) that section 13(1) contains in it the non obstente clause;

(ii) that once the Act is applicable to a tenancy, the tenant acquires the status of a protected statutory tenant. (iii) that the tenant becomes a statutory tenant irrespective of the fact as to whether the period of lease settled by the parties has expired or not; (iv) a statutory tenant cannot be evicted except in accordance with the provisions of section 13; (v) the Civil Courts have no jurisdiction to entertain eviction petitions under the Act.

Due Process Clause


A landlord cannot evict his tenant without having recourse to the Controller. Section 13(2) imposes this restriction on the landlord that even if the tenant is guilty of such acts or omissions which make him liable for eviction, he cannot himself throw the tenant out. He must apply to the Controller to seek a direction to the tenant to put the landlord in possession. After receiving the eviction petition from the landlord, the Controller will give a reasonable opportunity to the tenant of showing any cause or defence against the eviction petition. In case the landlord succeeds in establishing that the tenant is liable for eviction on account of any one of the grounds provided in subsections (2) or (3) of Section 13 then the Controller may make an order directing the tenant to put the landlord in possession of the building or rented land. In case the landlord fails to make out a case on any one of the grounds available to him for evicting

his tenant, the Controller shall make an order rejecting the eviction petition. Thus section 13(2) of the Acts puts a complete embargo on the eviction of the tenant by the landlord himself. Therefore, Section 13 (2) can be said to be the due process' clause under the Act.Sub-sections 2 and 3 of the Section 13 incorporate eight grounds on which a landlord may seek the eviction of a tenant. It is proposed that these grounds be taken up for a detailed consideration in four chapters in the following order: 1. Non-payment of Rent 2. (i) Sub-letting (ii) Change of User 3. (i) Material alterations and impairing the value of the property. (ii) Nuisance (iii) Non-occupancy (iv) Dilapidation 4. Bonafide Requirement of the landlord It is also proposed that the provision under Section 13 of the Act relating to the bonafide need of a landlord serving in the Armed Forces of the country be taken up in a separate chapter on Specified Landlord under section 13-A of the Act.

Eviction: Meaning of
Eviction means to recover property from any one by judicial process according to Murrays Dictionary. An extract from an early English case has been used in Strouds Judicial Dictionary to say that eviction is not confined to mere compulsion as it was formerly understood but something of a more permanent character done b y the landlord with the intention of depriving the tenant of the enjoyment of the whole or part of demised premises. In its original and technical meaning, it is an expulsion by the assertion of a paramount title and by process of law; a recovery of land etc. by form of

law; a lawful dispossession by judgement of law and an ouster; an act of the landlord with the intention and having the effect of depriving the tenant of the enjoyment of the demised premises. The term is now popularly applied to every class of expulsion" says Iyer in his Law Lexicon. In Whartons Law Lexicon eviction is defined as dispossession; also a recovery of land etc. by form of law. In Ram Lubhaya Vs. Dhani Ram AIR 1947 Lah. 296, it has been observed that it is evident that the eviction is not confined in its meaning to the act of expulsion, but may, in its more modern sense be extended so as to cover the whole process by which recovery of the property is obtained at law. In Ram Prasad Vs. Mukhtiar Chand (1958)60 P.L.R. 332, it was observed that evict literally means expel by legal process. Eviction consists in the physical act of throwing out the tenant from the building which he is occupying. It has further been pointed out in this case that the phrase in accorda nce with the provisions of this section means in the method or mode provided by this section, that is, by means of obtaining an order for eviction from the Controller. This would mean that the eviction shall not take place except when it is in accordance with the provisions of Section 13. Thus the term eviction, in the context of landlord-tenant relationship would mean to recover or take back the possession or user of the tenanted premises by judicial process provided under the Rent Act.

Eviction from Part of Tenanted Premises


When eviction of a tenant is sought by the landlord under any of the grounds given in Section 13 of the Act, the landlord cannot seek eviction of the tenant from a part of the tenanted building. An application under section 13 seeking eviction of the tenant from a part of the building only whereas the tenancy was for the whole building, has been held to be not maintainable. Panna Lal. Vs. Devjit( 1976)78 P.L.R. 21. On the contrary, if a building is let out by the landlord to different tenants in parts, a single application for the eviction from the entire building, has been held to be maintainable in Govind Ram Vs. Goda Ram, 1979 (2) RCR 255. (See also Paras Ram Vs. Shiv Kumar 1987 (2) RCR 104.)

Tenant Out of Possession: No Protection under Rent Act


In Baldev Sahai Bangia Vs. RC.Bhasin AIR 1980 Del. 145, the tenant had walked away from the demised premises with his wife and children and had settled in Canada. It was held herein that in the circumstances of the case the tenant has no animus revertendi (intention to take residence in the rented premises) and therefore, the protection of the Rent Act cannot be extended to others such as mother, brother and sister as the Act is not intended for their protection to the exclusion of the tenant.

Non-payment of Rent
Whatever may be the other grounds which are invoked for the eviction of the tenant, non-payment of rent is a ground pleaded by the landlords in more than 90% of the cases covered by the field survey. The primary obligation of a tenant towards his landlords is to pay the rent. The term rent has not been defined anywhere in the Rent Act. According to Websters Dictionary, the term rent means:income from a property; a pecuniary sum agreed upon between a tenant and his landlord and paid at fixed intervals by the tenant to the landlord for the use of land or its appendages. Section 105 of the T.P. Act defines a transfer in the form of a lease. According to this provision a lease is a partial transfer for consideration. Under. Section 105, the consideration for a lease may be in cash or in kind or both. Thus, the lessee must give consideration to the lessor in lieu of the use of the immoveable property transferred to him. Since receiving Of premium or fine from the tenant is prohibited, under Section 6 of the Rent Act, the tenant is liable to pay rent only. The reciprocal duty of the tenant for the transfer of the possession and use of an immoveable property by the landlord is to pay the rent. The landlord-tenant relationship is governed by the rule of 'pay and stay. Section 13(2)(i) of the Act, providing non-payment of rent as a ground for the eviction of the tenant, reads: 13(2). A landlord who seeks to evict his tenant shall apply to the controller for a direction in that behalf. If the controller, after giving the tenant, a reasonable opportunity of showing cause against the application, is satisfied

(i) that the tenant has not paid or tendered the rent due by him in respect of the building or rented land within fifteen days after the expiry of the time fixed in the agreement of tenancy with his landlord or in the absence of any such agreement by the last day of the month next following that for which the rent is payable: Provided that if the tenant on the first hearing of the application for ejectment after due service pays or tenders his arrears of rent and interest at six per cent per annum on such arrears together with the cost of the application assessed by the Controller, the tenant shall be deemed to have duly paid or tendered the rent within the time aforesaid. In a landmark decision in the case of Prahlad Singh Vs. Col. Sukhdev Singh, AIR 1987 SC 1145, the Supreme court has held that the decision given by a court at an earlier stage of a case is binding at a later stage though interlocutory judgements are open for adjudication by an Appellate Authority. In this case, the landlord had sought eviction of his tenant on the ground of non-payment of Rent. The tenant made the complete tender on the first day of hearing. After some time, the tenant abruptly absented himself from the case. An exparte decree of eviction was passed against the tenant. The tenant applied for setting aside the exparte order alleging that the landlord had told him that he was withdrawing the case. The tenant established that the landlord thereafter received the cheques for rent from him. The tenant claimed that he had believed the landlord in good faith that he will withdraw the case. The landlord refrained from entering the witness box. The Rent Controller accepted the case of the tenant and set aside the ex-parte decree of eviction. After setting aside the ex-parte decree, the eviction of the tenant was still ordered under the original petition for not making a full tender. The Appellate Authority in appeal and the High Court in revision affirmed the ejectment order passed by the Rent Controller. Setting aside the judgements of all the three courts, the Supreme Court held that once the ex-parte decree passed in the petition for eviction based on ground of default in payment of rent was set aside on finding that the landlord had agreed to withdraw the petition and accepted rent from the tenant, the continuance of the eviction petition thereafter, by disregarding the finding recorded in the proceedings for setting aside the ex-parte decree, was illegal. The supreme Court went on to add that the finding that the landlord had agreed to withdraw the petition and receive the rent from the tenant was a finding which was binding on the landlord at later stages of proceedings and therefore, the eviction petition was liable to be dismissed. By this decision, the Apex Court has clarified

the usual confusion noticed in Cases relating to interlocutory orders and final decisions pertaining to non-payment of rent.

Rent Payable by the Tenant


Under the rule of pay and stay, a tenant must not commit any default with regard to the rent payable by him to the landlord such payment is to include all permissible increases in rent as agreed upon by the parties and permitted by law. In Director Health Services Haryana Vs. Pritam Singh 1993(2) RCR 34 P&H, the rent of the building occupied by the tenant was increased from Rs. 485/- p.m to Rs. 1375/- per month by mutual agreement by the parties. It was ruled herein that the rent payable by the tenant is at the rate of Rs. 1375/ - per month. However a tenant will not be liable to pay any rent to the landlord for a non existent building. In Basakhi Ram Halwai Vs. Gobind Kumar Chopra (1996-2)113 P.L.R 492 = 1996 (1) RCR 614 P&H, the tenant was paying Rs. 35/-per month to the landlord. The landlord and the tenant mutually agreed that the landlord will demolish the building and re let it to the tenant @ Rs. 200/- per month after reconstruction. The landlord pulled down the building but did not reconstruct it. The tenant constructed a shed at his own cost to carry on his business and stopped paying the rent of Rs. 35/- p.m. The High Court has held that the tenant is not guilty of non-payment of rent as he is not to pay for a non-existent building. The Court ruled that in fact the landlord has defrauded the tenant. In Himachal Pradesh University Shimla Vs. Punjab University, Chandigarh 1996 (2) RCR 483 SC = AIR 1997 S.C. 88, Panjab University was seeking eviction of the tenant university on the ground of non-payment of rent. The tenant university claimed that the assets of the predecessor university stand vested in it under the Himachal University Act and thus it was under no obligation to pay any rent. The Supreme Court has affirmed the decision of the High Court to hold that for the building Dingle Estate, there is no statutory vesting in the Himachal University. Therefore, it is Iiable to be evicted for nonpayment of rent. In Biswajit Pati Vs. Surani Pati 1997 (1) RCR 108 S.C. (under Orissa Act), the rent was sent by the tenant to the landlord by money order. The landlord refused the money order. The Supreme Court has ruled that the tenant need not send the refused rent every time when he sends the next rent due by money order.

Delay of Two Days


In Gopal Chandra Ghosh Vs. Smt. Renu Bala Majumdar 1994 (1) RCR 329 S.C. (W.B.Act), there was two days delay in the deposit of rent by the tenant. The Supreme Court has ruled that the tenant is not to be thrown out on technical violations. The Rent Act is a beneficial piece of legislation for the tenant and the Courts should take that view which will advance the object and the purpose of the Act to protect the tenant. The Court further said that the technicalities should have no place when the Court is seized of human problem. Resultantly, setting aside the eviction order, the Supreme court condoned the delay of two days in depositing the rent by the tenant.

Tenant Must Pay Rent Even When Premises Attached


When the tenanted premises have been attached by the competent authority for whatever reasons, it does not absolve the tenant from his obligation to pay the rent. In M/s. Roxy Enterprises Vs. Mrs. Aruna Raina 1993 (2) RCR 626 Del., the rented premises were attached by the Municipal Corporation of Delhi. The tenant stopped paying rent to the landlord. He did not pay the rent to the Municipal Corporation also. The Court ruled that the tenant is liable for eviction on account of non-payment of rent.

Onus on the Tenant to Prove Payment of Rent


Under the rule of pay and stay, it is the obligation of the tenant not only to pay the rent without default but also to prove that he has paid the rent as per his agreement as and when s dispute arises as to whether the rent has been paid for a particular period. Although the circumstances and the record of each case has to be seen by itself as to who is to be believed when the tenant claims that he has paid the rent and the landlord claims that the tenant is in arrears; But the initial responsibility is of the tenant to prove that he is not a defaulter. In Shiv Charan Vs. Nar Singh (1993-3)105 P.L.R. 612 = 1994 (1) RCR 731 P&H (Hr. Act). The landlord was seeking eviction of the tenant on account of non-payment of rent from 1972 onwards. The tenant could prove from the entries in his Bahi (account book) that the rent was regularly paid by him upto 1972. The tenant claimed that he had paid rent thereafter also regularly but no receipts were

issued by the landlord. Holding that the tenant is liable for eviction on account of nonpayment of rent, the High Court has ruled that the onus to prove the payment of rent is on the tenant. In this case the statement of the tenant that he had paid full rent was not believed. However, Faquir Chand Vs. Bhagwan Dass (1994-3)108 P.L.R. 129= 1994 (2) RCR 303 P&H (Hr. Act), the landlord was claiming arreas of rent @ Rs. 400/- p.m. He had filed the suit for these arrears after three years. The tenant contended that the rate of ret was Rs. 200 p.m. and he had paid the rent but had no rent receipts. The High Court herein ruled that since the landlord did not speak the truth about the rate of rent, he cannot be believed for the period of length for arrears. Observing that a landlord will not sit quiet for three years, the landlords application was dismissed. It is submitted that this decision is open to question not only for the reason that the onus to prove the payment of rent is on the tenant but also in view of the fact that unlike the Punjab Rent Act, (wherein arrears of rent can be claimed by the landlord for any length of time as will be subsequently noticed), the Haryana Act specifically provides that a landlord can claim arrears of rent for three years only. Thus to say that the landlord remained quiet for three years is no reflection on his conduct as this is what the law has provided for. Thus the onus to prove payment of rent is on the tenant but he may be able to do it even without receipts where the conduct of the landlord is such that even an oral version of the tenant is to be believed.

Tenancy by a Mortgagee and a Mortgage to the Tenant


A mortgagee in possession of the mortgaged property is competent to induct another person as the tenant in such property. When the owner redeems the mortgage, the question arises as to whether the tenant will continue as such under the mortgagor after redemption. The earlier view of some High Courts that it will have to be seen in the light of Section 76 (a) of the T.P.Act as to whether the tenancy was created in the ordinary course of management of that property by the mortgagee has been clarified by the Supreme Court in M/s. Sachamal Paras Ram Vs. Mst. Ratna Bai AIR 1972 SC 637 by holding that the tenancy created by a mortgagee does not survive the termination of the mortgagees interest in the property. It was observed that the termination of

mortgagees interest terminates the relationship of landlord and tenant and the tenant cannot claim protection under the Rent Control legislation. However, it may be noted here that if after redeeming the mortgage, the mortgagor accept the tenant as a tenant under him, the relationship of landlord and tenant will be there between the redeeming mortgagor and the tenant inducted by the mortgagee. The position of a tenant inducted by the mortgagee on redemption (i) The general position of law is that no person can confer on another a better title than he himself has and hence a mortgagee whose interest lasts only so long as the mortgagee has not been paid off, cannot as a mortgagee in possession create a right in the tenant inducted by him to continue in possession beyond the period of redemption, that is beyond the termination of the mortgagees interest. The derivative title from him must ordinarily come to an end with the termination of the mortgagees title. (ii) Under the general rule mentioned above the mortgagee by creating a tenancy becomes a lessor of the property but his interest as a lessor is co-terminious with his mortgage interest and by virtue of the provisions of Section III(c) of the Transfer of Property Act, 1882, the duration of the mortgagee interest determines his position as the lessor. The relationship of lessor and lessee cannot subsist beyond the mortgagees interest unless the relationship is agreed to by the mortgagor or a fresh relationship is created. (iii) To the above mentioned proposition an exemption is carved out by Section 76 of the Transfer of Property Act, 1882. Though on the language of Section 76(a) of the Transfer of Property Act, it is an obligation cast on the mortgagee, it has been held that an agricultural lease created by the mortgagee would be binding on the mortgagor even though the mortgage has been redeemed, provided it is. of such a character that a prudent owner of property would enter into it in the usual course of management. This exception carved out by Section 76(a) of the Transfer of Property act, has been applied ordinarily to the management of agricultural lands and has seldom been extended to urban property so as to tie it up in the hands of lessees or to confer on them rights under special status. (iv) When the mortgagor has either in the deed of mortgage or elsewhere stated that mortgagee with possession may lease the property, such authorisation to the mortgagee to let out the property to any Other tenant does not amount to any

intention to allow expressly tenancy beyond the term of the mortgage and a tenancy beyond, the terms of the mortgage with possession under such authorisation cannot create a tenancy which would enure beyond the term of the mortgage. (v) Once the mortgagees interest terminates, the relationship of landlord and tenant comes to an end and there being no landlord and no tenant, unless there is something special in the provisions of the particular Rent Restriction Act so far as, urban immoveable property is concerned, those provisions could not apply and would not confer any protection on the tenant inducted by the mortgagee during the subsistence of the mortgage with possession.

Death of Landlord
After filing an eviction petition against his tenant, if the landlord dies at any Stage of the case, his legal heirs are to be brought on record. In Pinky Vs. Bimal Kumar (1995-2)110 P.L.R. 548 = 1994 (1) RCR 311 P&H, the appeal in an eviction petition by the landlady was with the Appellate Authority. The arguments in the appeal were heard and concluded and the case was fixed for orders. During this time the landlady died. The High Court has ruled that the Appellate Authority could not pass an order without impleading the legal Representatives of the deceased landlord.

First and Second Eviction Petition for Non-payment of Rent


When a landlord files an application for the eviction of the tenant on the ground of non-payment of rent and the tenant does not pay or deposit the rent then and in response to a subsequent eviction petition again for non-payment of rent for the subsequent period filed by the landlord, deposits the entire arrears of rent accumulatively, the question rose as to whether the composite deposit of arrears is a valid payment thereof. Overruling the earlier decision of a Division Bench to the contrary in Rattan. Chand Vs. Jagmohan Singh AIR 1.972 P&H 153 (D.B.), a Full Bench of the High Court in Kalu Ram Vs. Gonda Mal 1980 P.L.R. 452 (F.B.) = AIR 1980 P&H 140 has ruled that every application for ejectment on the basis of non-payment of rent has a separate cause of action and is to be decided as such. If once it is proved that the tenant has failed to pay the arrears of rent on the first date of hearing in any one ejectment

application, then he is liable to ejectment even if he subsequently pays the arrears in second ejectment application. The landlord cannot be said to have waived his rights by filing the second application covering the same period of arrears of rent and by accepting the same in the second ejectment application.

First Hearing
To save himself from eviction on the ground of non-payment of rent, the tenant, is required to pay or tender the arrears of rent with interest and costs on the first hearing of the eviction application after due service has been affected. The expression first hearing after due service was taken to mean the day on which the tenant puts in his appearance before the Controller in response to the summons served on him. However, in case of an ex-parte order against the tenant, the day on which the ex-parte order is set aside at the instance of the tenant is to be taken as the day of first hearing. Since the case of Parag Narain Vs. Brij Lal, the Punjab High Court had consistently held that the expression first hearing connotes the first date after service of summons when the tenant appears in the court in person or through a counsel. A five Judge Bench of the High Court, in the case of Vinod Kumar Vs. Harbans Singh Azad, (1977)79 P.L.R. 144 = AIR 1977 P&H 629 (FB), reaffirmed the above view taken in its earlier decisions. In this case, an ex-parte order of eviction was passed against the tenant by the Rent Controller. One of the grounds for the order was non-payment of rent for thirteen months. The tenant moved the Rent Controller for setting aside the ex-parte order and the same was set aside on 18.12.1967. The date fixed for next hearing of the case was 30.1.1968. The tenant did not tender the arrears of rent on 18.12.1967. On the next date of hearing, that is 30.1.1968, the tender was made by the tenant. On the question of the validity of the tender, the Rent Controller held that since the arrears were not tendered on the day when ex-parte order against the tenant was set aside, subsequent deposit of arrears is not the deposit made on the date of first hearing'. The appellate Authority, on appeal, reversed this ruling of the Rent Controller. The Full Bench agreed with ruling of the rent Controller that the day of first hearing in the present case was 18.12.1967 and since the tenant did not make the tender on that day, he was liable for eviction. Surinder Singh J (as he then was delivering the judgement of the Full Bench observed:

At the time when the tenant approached the Rent Controller with an application for setting aside the ex-parte order, he was obviously aware of the filing of the ejectment application against him and its disposal on an earlier date, though ex-parte. If he was desirous of taking the benefit available to a tenant under the Rent Act, he should have tendered the arrears etc. on the very day when the proceedings were restored. There is nothing on the record to show that he made any such attempt on December 18, 1967. Indeed the tenant may have been heard to plead in this behalf if on that date he had done his duty to tender the rent and other charges before the Rent controller but the needful had not been done by the Controller in spite of request. The statutory benefit available to the tenant under the proviso to S.13(2)(i) has a limited scope in that the same affords a convenient last minute escape from the rigorous of litigation. The first date of hearing cannot be extend merely by a process of reasoning as adopted by the Appellate authority, whose finding of the point is, therefore, reversed. In the first place, the comparison of the provisions of the U.P.Act and the Punjab Act, as reproduced above, shows that the expression used in the U.P.Act is at the first hearing of the suit" while in the Punjab Act the expression first hearing is coupled with the use of the expression after due service. This expression after due service is completely missing from the provisions under the U.P.Act. Under the Punjab Act, after the service of summons on the tenant, the next date obviously is the date of first hearing. Thus, the Apex court while holding the two provisions as pari materia did not take into account that the expression after due service is not synonymous to the term 'suit. Whereas under the U.P.Act, it is a civil suit which is to be filed by the landlord thereby implying the application of C.P.C., the Punjab Act rules out applicability of C.P.C. to proceedings under the Rent Act and that is why the term used is application for ejectment and not a suit. In the second place, the Apex court found fault with the Rent Controller for not assessing the costs of the application on 26.6.1969 when it observed: It is also pertinent to note that on the returnable day, i.e. 26.6.1969 the Rent Controller did not make any order assessing the costs of the application which was required to be deposited along with arrears of rent and interest at 6 per cent per annum on such arrears. It is on 2.7.1969, the Rent Controller assessed the cost of the application and the tenant appellant deposited the arrears of rent upto date...

No doubt, it is the duty of the Rent Controller, to assess the costs of the application and unless such an assessment is made by him the arrears of rent cannot be deposited. But the Controller is not to assess the costs suo moto. It is only when the tenant expresses his desire to deposit the arrears and makes a request to the Controller for assessing the costs, the Controller will act. If a tenant is in no mood to pay any arrears of rent, the Controller is not supposed to harp on assessing the costs of the application. In the present case, the tenant did not make arty offer for making a tender. He simply requested for another date to file the written statement which was granted. It was not even an adjournment as no costs were paid by the tenant to the landlord. On the next date when the tenant wanted to tender the arrears of rent, the Controller did assess the costs of the application. Thus, it was wrong to blame the Controller for not assessing the costs of the application on 26.6.1969. Thirdly, the Apex Court did not take cognizance ofthe practice of the High Court, since 1952, consistently holding the first hearing to be after the return of summons. While Drawing complete support from Ved Parkash Vadhwas case, the Apex Court did not notice that one of the reasons for the conclusion of that judgement was that it is not advisable to upset the consistent view of the High Court in matters of state statute unless it is revoltingly wrong*. Had this test been applied in the present case, then the consistent view of the High Court including the Five Judge Bench decision in Vinod Kumar Vs. Harbans Singh Azad is likely to have got the nod from the Apex Court. Lastly, in practical terms, if the view of the High Court could be considered as harsh on the tenant, the view of the Apex Court has turned out to be harsher in the case of the landlord. As a consequence of this decision, the plight of the landlord for recovering what he is entitled to get from his tenant has become far more difficult. There is no limit to the number of defaults a tenant can make under the Punjab Act. Every time the landlord is made to recover his arrears through the Controller. It takes one to two years time to reach the stage of framing the issues which is the first hearing according to this decision. This long delay is usually ensured by obtaining two to three adjournments (of three months each) on one or the other pretext by paying costs (which normally do not exceed Rs. 100/-), and by obtaining time to file the written statement. Thus the decision of the Apex Court has become handy for the unscrupulous amongst the tenants to deny the landlord his due rent for a period of another two years. There is an urgent need to strike a fair balance between the two extremes namely, the tenant being forced to rush to the Court with his money bag and the landlord being at

the mercy of the scheming tenant to recover the rent. A way out could be that the tenant shall be given fifteen days time from the date of his appearance in response to the summons from the Controller for paying the arrears of rent.

Provision for First Hearing Deposit not Violative of Article 14


In Priyavarte Mehta Vs. Amrendu Banerjee AIR 1997 Pat. 114 (F.B.), a full bench of Patna High Court has ruled that the provision under the Bihar Act empowering the Court to direct the tenant to deposit rent is not violative of Article 14 of the Constitution. Since the Bihar Act permits the landlord to claim arrears for three years, the order of the court to the tenant to pay arrears or move out is not discriminatory.

Calculation of Arrears
It is not the duty of the Controller to calculate the arrears of rent at the time of first hearing deposit. His only duty is that if the tenant wants to make a tender whether full or in part, whether under protest or otherwise then he will assess only the costs to be paid to the landlord and pass an order to that effect (Dial Chand Vs. Mahant Chand Kapoor (1967)69 P.L.R. 248). It is the responsibility of the tenant that he calculates and pays the arrears and the interest thereon at the rate of 6% per annum.

Valid Tender
The tenants obligation to pay or tender the arrears of rent thus practically amounts to making cash down payment of the total amount inclusive of the interest on the arrears at the rate of 6 per cent per annum, and the costs of the landlordss petition as assessed by the Controller. The word Tender would mean the actual production and showing the money to the person to whom it is to be paid accompanied by the willingness to hand over the same. A mere offer to pay does not constitute a valid tender. The law requires that the tenderer has the money present and ready and he produces and actually offers to the other party. In Kali Charan Vs. Ravi Dutt (1957)59 P.L.R. 204 it was observed that the law

insists upon an actual, present physical offer. It is not satisfied by a mere spoken offer to pay, which although indicative to present possession of money and intention to produce, is unaccompanied by any visible manifestation of intention to make the offer good. Thus to constitute a valid tender, it is not only the physical carrying of money but also actually offered to the other party. (Kaushalaya Devi Vs. Major Dhani Ram 1973 RCJ 534) The stage for making the first hearing tender is quite risky and slippery from the tenants point of view. The tenant has one of the three options open to him, namely to pay the arrears as claimed by the landlord or to pay as much of it as he holds to be due or to claim that the rent has already been paid. In exercising the latter two options, the tenant must be on a firm footing to establish that either there are no arrears of rent due or whatever he considers to be due is correct. After taking a specific position in the written statement, it is for the tenant to prove the same or face the consequence of eviction. In the course of field survey, it was found that unless a tenant has clear documentary proof to vindicate his stand, his lawyer advises him to pay the arrears as demanded by the landlord on the first hearing under protest and then contest the landlord' claim. In the case of Meja Singh Vs. Karam Singh, (1981)83 P.L.R. 387 = 1981 (2) RCJ 347 P&H (DB), the Rent Controller signed the deposit-challan to pay the arrears of rent on the same day when exparte order of eviction was set aside at the instance of the tenant. Due to the necessary formalities, the arrears of rent were accepted in the treasury on the third day. The validity of this tender being challenged by the landlord, a Division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court has held that the tender made by the tenant was valid. In the case of Tarlok Chand Vs. Swarn Kaur, the landlady claimed arrears of rent at the rate of Rs. 350/- p.m. The tenant claimed that the rent was Rs. 40/- p.m. and deposited the arrears at that rate. Ultimately it was found that the rate of rent was Rs. 60/- per month. Upholding the eviction of the tenant, it was held by the High Court that the wrong claim by the landlady will not render invalid tender to be valid one. From the above case law, it emerges that a landlord invites no penalty even when his claim for rent is ultimately found to be wrong. But on the other hand, tenant who takes a chance with the claim made by the landlord runs the obvious sk of being evicted from the premises. To strike a balance, a landlord making false claim or a tenant falsely denying the claim of the landlord must face penal consequences of imprisonment

upto six months. The measure, it is hoped, will work as a deterrent on the fraudulent claims or denials by the landlord and the tenant respectively.

Deposit of Arrears of Rent Under the Punjab Relief of Indebtedness Act


A controversy had persisted for a long time as to whether the deposit of arrears of rent made by the tenant under section 31 of the Punjab Relief of Indebtedness Act, 1934, constituted a valid tender under section 13 of the Rent Act. Section 31 of the Punjab indebtedness Act reads: 31. Deposit, in Court- (1) Any person who owes money may at anytime deposit in court a sum of money in full or part payment to his creditor. (2) The Court on receipt of such deposit shall give notice thereof to the creditor and shall, on his application, pay the sum to him. (3) From the date of such deposit interest shall cease to run on the sum so deposited. The Punjab Indebtedness Act had been introduced with a view to provide relief to the debtors from exploitation by their creditors who refused to accept the repayment of loans advanced by them. Section 31 of this Act provided that a debtor could deposit in court the amount due to him and interest would cease to run on the deposited amount from that date. This deposit was to be made in the court of Sub-Judge, First Class, who was also the designated court of the Controller under the Rent Act: In some cases, the tender of arrears of rent was made by the tenants under section 31 of the Punjab Indebtedness Act. The landlords questioned the validity of such a deposit on the ground that it was not a valid tender under section 13 of the Rent Act. A Division Bench of the Punjab High Court in the case of Mam Chand Vs. Chottu Ram had held that the deposit made by a tenant, under section 31 of the Punjab Indebtedness Act, was a valid tender of the arrears of rent so as to attract the protection against eviction under the proviso to Section 13(2)(i) of the Act. The High Court held that since it is the same judicial officer who acts as the sub-judge and the Controller, the deposit made in his court even under section 31 of the Punjab

Indebtedness Act will be a valid tender under the Rent Act so as to save the tenant from eviction on the ground of non-payment of. rent.

Tender to Whom?
The obligation of the tenant to pay the rent is essentially towards the landlord. The payment has to be made to the landlord either personally or by other methods like deposit in his bank account, by money order, by cheque or draft. In the case of Sansar Chand Vs. Nanak, in response to the eviction petition by the landlord, on account of non payment of rent, the tenant sent the amount of arrears of rent by money order and the Same was received by the landlords wife before the first date of hearing. It was held that in the absence of any evidence that the relations between the . landlord and his wife were strained, the payment made was a valid payment of rent. Similarly in the case of Gurdev Singh Vs. Pushpa Batra, the rent paid by the tenant to Suman Batra, the daughter of the landlady residing with her, against receipt was held to be a valid payment of rent. In the cases of Narinder Kumar alias Billa Vs. S. Kirpal Singh 1989 (2) RCR 125 P&H and Aneel Kaur Vs. Bhupinder Singh, (1989-2)96 P.L.R 243 1989(2) RCR 507 P&H, the rent note executed by the parties put the total Claim of each of the landlords at Rs. 2,500/- p.m. The break up was Rs. 1,400/- by way of rent and Rs. 1,100/- as service charges for telephone, water and sweeper. In both the cases for eviction of the tenants on account of non payment of rent, the tenants deposited the arrears of rent at the rate of Rs. 1,400/- p.m. In both the cases,it was held that the rent for the premises was Rs. 2,500/- p.m. and therefore the tender made at the first hearing was not valid tender. It appears that the landlords in these cases, indulged in the exercise of putting the break up of the total amount so as to circumvent the provisions of the Income Tax laws. In these two cases, fortunately for the landlords, it was specifically written in the rent notes that the agreed rent payable by the tenant shall be Rs. 2,500/- per month. (Moreover, in Annel Kaurs case, the tenant had obtained the tenancy by giving a false reference of a lady known to the landlord. This led to a police Case between the parties.) Had the rent note incorporated the rent as Rs, 1,400/- and specified additional payment for service charges separately, then the agreed rent would have been Rs. 1,400/- only. Although there is nothing in the Act which prohibits a landlord from

charging for services but taking rent in the guise of service charges must be discouraged. It may be specifically provided in the Act that the agreed rent shall be inclusive of services, if any, to be provided by the landlord.

Tender by Whom?
Who can make a valid tender? This question arose in Punjab Rajasthan Good Carrier Vs. Onkar Mal in the Punjab and Haryana High Court. It was held that the arrears must be paid by the person who is the admitted tenant of the landlord. An alleged subtenant could not pay the arrears of rent in the absence of the landlord-tenant relationship. However, in its recent decision in the case of Smt. Pushpa Devi Vs. Milkhi Ram, 1990 (1) RCR 334 (SC), the Apex Court, overruling the decision in Punjab Rajasthan Goods Carrier case, has held that the obligation to tender the rent does not depend upon the existence of admitted jural relationship of landlord and tenant. The benefit of the proviso could be availed by the tenant and also by any one who claims to be the tenant. The Apex Court also held that the word tenant in the proviso has to be liberally construed as different from the definition of tenant given under section 2(i) of the Act. Justifying the liberal interpretation of the meaning of the term tenant in the proviso, the Apex court laid down that the governing principle of the proviso is that the tenant could pay and stay in an action for eviction on default. At the same time, the landlord is ensured payment of arrears, interest and the cost that he has incurred without the necessity of going to civil court to recover it. The proviso affords a real and sanctified protection to the tenant against eviction on the ground of default.

Arrears for How Long?


Section 13(2)(i) of the Act does not prescribe any limitation period for the landlord to claim arrears of rent. In the absence of any period of limitation, it becomes a handle for the landlord to evict his tenant. As already pointed out, the landlord, in the first place, does not issue any receipts for the rent received and subsequently claims eviction of the tenant alleging non-payment of rent even for the period for which the rent has already been received by him. This puts the tenant at the mercy of the landlord. The tenant is pratically in no position to prove that he has already paid the

rent which is being claimed by the landlord. The Court finds itself unable to rescue the tenant where a landlord claims arrears of rent for the past six or seven years. In the case of Raj Kumar Vs. Ram Parkash, 1982(2) RCJ 248 P&H, the landlady sought eviction of her tenant on the ground of non-payment of rent for nine years. The tenant claimed on oath that he had paid the rent. The landlady did not enter the witness box to deny the payment of rent. The High Court held that though there is no limitation prescribed under the Act but it could be inferred against the claim of the landlady. What really came to the rescue of the tenant in this case was that the landlady did not appear in the witness box. Had she put up an appearance and stood the cross examination, the court would have had no other option except ordering the eviction of the tenant. From the above cases, it emerges that it is possible for a landlord to claim that he chose to sleep for years before waking up to claim the arrears of rent. This puts the tenant in an outrightly disadvantageous position. To remove this anomaly, under the Haryana Act, it is specifically provided that a landlord cannot claim arrears of rent for a period of more than three years. It needs no emphasis that a similar provision should be made in the Punjab Act whereby the limitation period for claiming arrears of rent should be put at three years. The justification for this period of three years is that if a landlord is negligent for so long abut his claim for the rent of his real estate, he should suffer for it. A limitation period of less than three years may cause hardship to absentee landlords like the non-resident Indians. Therefore, a landlord should not be allowed to claim arrears of rent for more than three years immediately preceding the date of the application under the Act.

Vendee from the Landlord


If the tenanted promises are sold by the landlord, the buyer steps into the shoes of the seller for all rights and liabilities including the right to receive rent from the tenant. A tenant, who is not aware of the sale and has not been informed by the buyer, if keeps on paying the rent to the original landlord, he cannot be compelled by the buyer to pay the rent again. Such bonafide payment of rent to the original landlord is protected by Sections 50 and 109 of the T.P.Act. In Banwari Lal Vs. Wazir Chand 1981 (1) RCR 460 it was ruled that if prior information of transfer is not given by the original owner to the tenant, and the latter in good faith makes payment of the rent to him,

then that would be a good discharge of his liability under the lease contract and the transferee landlord cannot take any advantage due to the tenant not paying such rent again to him. However, if the premises are sold after the landlord has filed an application for the eviction of the tenant on the ground of non-payment of rent, the buyer has a right to prosecute the case by stepping into the shoes of the seller. The question regarding the locus-standi of a buyer from the landlord to prosecute the eviction petition against the tenant on the ground of non-payment of rent was settled in Manmohan Singh Bedi Vs. Santosh Kumari, (1985-1)87 P.L.R. 45 = 1984 (1) RCJ 621 P&H. In this case the tenant did not tender the arrears of rent on the first hearing of the case. Subsequently, the landlord sold the premises to another person. It was held that the buyer of the premises, after first hearing, is entitled to prosecute the case against the tenant.

Non-payment of Rent Under Other Rent Acts


(a) Deposit in Court Section 19A (3) (c) of the Rajasthan Act provides that the rent may be deposited by the tenant in the Court if personal payment to the landlord or deposit in Bank or payment through money order is not possible. In Kuldeep Singh Vs. Ganpat Lal AIR 1996 S.C. 729 = 1996 (1) RCR 348 S.C., the tenant deposited the rent in the Court under Section 19A(3)(C) without first exhausting the other modes of payment like personal payment to landlord, Deposit in Bank and sending by money order. The Supreme Court has ruled that the deposit directly in Court is not according to law. Holding the tenant to be defaulter, his eviction was ordered. (b) Striking off Defence - In Raghunath Singh Vs. Vikram Sharma 1996 (1) RCR 332 Raj. (F.B.), a Full Bench of the Rajasthan High Court has ruled that during the pendency of the suit, if the Controller has directed the tenant to pay a certain amount as Rent, such a direction will bind the tenant during the pendency of the case with the controller only. It has been ruled by the Full Bench that the non-payment of the directed rent in appeal is no default which will call for the striking off the defence of the tenant. Similarly a Division Bench of the Kerala High Court in Karaparanihil Vs. Kalathinigal H.Haji 1995 (2) RCR 650 Ker. (D.B.), has held that the tenant has to deposit arrears of rent to maintain the appeal only if he is directed by the Court to do so. He is not required to suo moto deposit the arrears for the purpose of maintaining his appeal.

But once the direction to deposit is given by the Court, he must comply with it to maintain his appeal. (c) Notice and Default Under the Kerala, Bombay and Delhi Rent Acts, the landlord is required to give a notice to the tenant asking him to pay the arrears of the rent. If the tenant defaults even after notice by the landlord, he becomes liable for eviction under these Rent Acts. In Chinnamma Vs. Gopalan 1995 (2) RCR 522 S.C. (Kerala Act), the Supreme Court has held that the sending of 15 days notice for rent by the landlord is mandatory. The tenants obligation to pay is with regard to those arrears which are mentioned in the notice of the landlord. Arrears which may become due subsequent to the sending of notice are not covered by the notice. (d) Wilful Default In Teegala Satyanarayana Vs. G.S.Bhagwan 1995 (1) RCR 516 S.C. (A.P.Act), the Supreme Court has held that the Controller while extending time for deposit by the tenant has to specifically record that the default is not wilful to take it out of the mischief of wilful default. In this case the landlord accepted the deposit under protest. The Supreme Court has ruled that the landlord does not waive the default by accepting rent under protest. In M.Bhaskar Vs. J. Venkatarama Naidu 1996 (2) RCR 573 S.C.(A.P.Act), the tenant paid rent to the attorney of the landlord without landlords instructions to that effect. The tenant did not follow section 8 of the A.P.Act to ask for landlord's bank account number nor deposited it with the Controller. The Court has ruled that the tenant is a wilful defaulter and thus liable for eviction. In the case of P. Rajanna Vs. K.Lalitha Reddy AIR 1996 AP 113 = 1996 (1) RCR 434 A.P. (A.P.Act), the Andhra Pradesh High Court has identified the following tests to determine as to whether the tenant is guilty of wilful default: Social and economic status of the landlord and the tenant, capacity of the tenant to pay at a particular time; bonafide conduct of the tenant in attempting to pay rent; condition of the tenant at a particular time like illness, festivals, family obligations; conduct of the landlord in relation to payment of rent by the tenant; totality of circumstances to satisfy Court conscience; any other useful circumstance.

Conclusions
In discussing the various aspects of the case law dealing with the eviction of the tenant on the ground of non-payment of rent, several lacunas and anomalies have been identified and suggestions made to rectify the same. In order to make the ground of non-payment of rent more effective and to ensure that it is not open to misuse either by the landlord or the tenant, it may be reiterated that the following measures need to be taken: 1. It should be categorically provided in the Act that the first hearing' of the case shall be the first date of appearance by the tenant in response to the summons served or deemed to be served on him. 2. The Rent Controller shall calculate the arrears of rent, interest on it and the cost of the petition on the day of first hearing The tenant, at the time of his appearance in person or through counsel, shall be informed of the total claim made by the landlord. 3. Instead of the present cut throat method of getting the arrears deposited on the same day, the tenant shall be given fifteen days time, from the date of first hearing, to make a deposit of the arrears of rent. 4. Unlike the present position of the arrears being allowed to be claimed for any length of time, the landlord shall not be allowed to claim arrears for more than three years. Whenever the arrears are claimed for more than two years, the landlord shall be asked to specifically explain, by giving cogent reasons, as to why he could not file his claim for the arrears of rent earlier. 5. In view of the rapid growth and easy accessibility of the banking services in the Country, the rent should be made payable in the bank account of the landlord. The mention of the bank account number of the landlord should be made a compulsory recital in the lease deed. Alternatively documentary payment of rent by money order, payment against valid receipt, or deposit through the Controller should also remain open to the tenant. 6. All leases, irrespective of their duration, should be made compulsorily registrable to reduce the wastage of the Court time in recording evidence to establish the terms of an oral tenancy. It will also help in augmenting the revenue income of the State.

7. To ensure that the tenant does not misuse the provision of first hearing tender, the benefit of such a tender, to save the tenant from eviction, shall be available to him only once. A provision like Section 14(2) of the Delhi Act should be incorporated to ensure that the landlord receives in time the rent lawfully due to him. In case a tenant commits the default a second time, the first hearing tender shall not be available to him as a shield against eviction. 8. A continuous publicity campaign should be launched through the media to enlighten the landlords and tenants about their rights and obligations. The campaign should focus on the advantages of having a registered lease deed. If the above measures are adopted under the Act, it is hoped that they will help in mitigating the hardship caused to the landlord or the tenant in disputes relating to non-payment of rent.

Bibliography
Dr. D.N. JAUHAR, Rent Matters on Trails, Jain Law Agency.

Multani Balbir, Rent Restriction Law in Punjab, Haryana & H.P., Chawla Publication Pvt. Ltd., Chandigarh, 2nd Edition, 2006 Reprint.