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Ram Pratap Vs. Anand Kanwar and Ors. - (Supreme Court) (21 Aug 2018)

Tenant cannot be evicted for defaulting rent without determination Of ‘Provisional Rent’ by Court



In instant appeal, The Appellant-Plaintiff is the landlord of the suit premises, whereas the Defendant is the tenant. The Plaintiff filed Suit for eviction of the Defendant from the suit Schedule premises on the ground of non-payment of rents under Section 13(1) of the Rajasthan Premises (Control of Rent and Eviction) Act, 1950 ("Rent Act"). The High Court vide order has held that, Section 13(3) of the Rent Act is mandatory in nature so far as provisional determination of the rent is concerned and without determination of rent, no decree of eviction on the ground of default can be passed. Issue involved in present case is whether compliance of Section 13(3) of the Act is mandatory in the suit for eviction on the ground of default and without determination of rent, no decree of eviction on the ground of default can be passed.

The material facts are not in dispute. The Plaintiff's suit for eviction was filed Under Section 13(1)(a) on the ground of default in payment of rent for the period from 1st july, 1981 till 30th June, 1984. The matter was posted on different dates and it was continuously adjourned for determination of rent. The case set up by the Plaintiff was that the rent had been enhanced to Rs. 15 per month, whereas the Defendant has contended that the rent was Rs. 10 per month.

The claim of the Plaintiff is that, the Defendant had committed default in payment of rent. There was a dispute between the Respondent and Onkar Singh as to title, for which suit was filed by him against the said Onkar Singh. The said suit was decreed on 7th November, 1983 and during the said litigation the Defendant was depositing rent in court under Section 19A of the Act.

It is evident that, the trial Court without determination of provisional rent under Section 13(3) of the Act decreed the suit. It is evident from Section 13(3) of the Rent Act that, the use of the word 'shall' puts a mandatory obligation on the court to fix provisional rent within three months of the filing of the written statement but before framing of the issues. The language of the Section is mandatory and places a duty on the court to determine the provisional rent irrespective of any application or not. If the rent so determined by the court is paid by the tenant as provided under Section 13(4), no decree for eviction of the tenant can be passed on the ground of default under Section 13(1)(a) in view of Section 13(6) of the Act.

It is thus clear that, unless the determination under Section 13(3) takes place, Section 13(6) cannot be complied with and a valuable right given to a tenant would be lost. The High Court has rightly held Section 13(3) of the Act to be mandatory. There is no merit in present appeal, which is accordingly dismissed.


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