The Allahabad High Court observed that neither the tenant nor the court has the authority to dictate how the landlord should live or organize his affairs.

The court was while dealing with a Writ Petition challenging an eviction order issued by the Rent Controller.

The court said that there exists no legal constraint impeding the landlord's right to the beneficial enjoyment of their own property.

The Single Judge Bench of Justice Alok Mathur in its Jugdement stated, "It cannot be doubted that the landlord has a right to determine as to how and in what manner he shall live, arranges his business etc. He has to settle his life in his own way. It cannot be guided, controlled or restricted by any 3rd person including the court. A tenant or the court cannot direct the landlord how and in what manner he should live arranges affairs. There is no bar which can restrict a landlord beneficial enjoyment of his own property."

Advocates Aakash Prasad, Amitav Singh, Himanshu Singh, and Yash Joshi appeared for the Petitioner while Advocates Shishir Chandra and Vishnu Pratap Singh appeared for the Respondent.

The petitioner, a shop tenant with a history of operating a small machine parts shop for the past 37 years, faced eviction as the landlord claimed the shop was essential for his unemployed son to initiate a business. After the initial failure to secure the eviction, the landlord sought intervention from the Rent Controller, resulting in an eviction order against the petitioner. Subsequently, the District Court affirmed the eviction order. In response, the petitioner approached the High Court challenging the decisions of the lower courts.

The Petitioner argued before the High Court that the respondent had adequate space and consequently it cannot be said that he requires the disputed property for the bonafide need of establishing a business for his son. The Petitioner also stated that the respondent had several other vacant shops to start his independent business.

On the other hand, the landlord submitted that the said shop was required by by him to establish a business for his son and that he had no other place apart from the said shop to start the said business. He also stated that that a furniture business shop would be established in the premises so vacated by the petitioner and accordingly it cannot be said that the respondent had not given any nature of business sought to be established.

Considering the aspects the High Court noted that in the order passed by the District Judge, it was noted that though the petitioner had stated that the son of the respondent is not unemployed, he had not been able to show any evidence or any material or documents to show as to how the son of the respondent was employed and accordingly he was not able to demonstrate that the son of the respondent is employed.

The High Court further observed that the District Judge also opined that in order to establish and run a furniture shop, a large area is required and the same cannot be run from a small shop and a big showroom is required for which purpose the disputed premises as well as adjacent shops owned by the respondent would be required.

Relying on decisions of Apex Court, the High Court further observed, "In the case of R.C Tamrakar vs Nidi Lekha AIR 2001 SC 3806 it was held by the Supreme Court that law is well settled that it is for the landlord to decide how in what manner he should live and that he is the best judge of his essential requirement. In deciding the question of bonfide requirement, it is unnecessary to make and endeavour as to how else landlord could have adjusted himself. The petitioner had vehemently urged that the landlord did not specify the business which was to be started by his son. This aspect of the matter was also considered by this court in the case of K.C Kapoor vs Additional district judge Kanpur 2003(2)ARC 70 and it was held that it is not necessary that the landlord should state the nature of business sought to be commenced by his family. In the aforesaid discussion the said issue is decided in favour of the landlord and against the petitioner."

Accordingly, the High Court did not find any infirmity with the finding recorded by the Prescribed Authority, and the arguments of the petitioner were accordingly rejected. However, as regards compensation considering the second proviso of Section 21(1) of the U.P. Urban Buildings (Regulation of Letting, Rent and Eviction) Act, 1972 and also that the tenant has been in the tenancy of the premises for over three decades, this Court stated that ends of justice would be met in case the landlord/respondent is directed to pay Rs.25,000/- as compensation to the petitioner.

Cause Title: Vijay Kumar Banswar v. Awadesh Kumar Jaisawal [WRIT - A No. - 6728 of 2023]

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