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Gulshera Khanam v. Aftab Ahmad - (Supreme Court) (27 Sep 2016)

Legal right of residence in property entitled married daughter to seek tenant’s eviction from it for her need

MANU/SC/1106/2016

Tenancy

In instant case, Appellant is aggrieved by judgment of High Court reversing concurrent findings of Courts below holding that, Appellant’s daughter is not a member of family as defined under Section 3(g) of Uttar Pradesh Urban Buildings (Regulation of Letting, Rent and Eviction) Act, 1972 because she is a married daughter whereas Section 3(g)(iii) include only an “unmarried daughter”. Further, Appellant could not seek eviction for need of her married daughter; and that Appellant’s need is not bona fide.

Word "family" as defined in Section 3(g) of the Act shows that family in relation to landlord or tenant of a building would include (1) spouse (2) male lineal descendants (3) such parents, grandparents, unmarried or widowed or divorced or judicially separated daughter or daughter of a male lineal descendant as may have been residing with the landlord. The definition further says, "Family” includes in relation to landlord, any female having a legal right of residence in that building.

Any female, if she is having a legal right of residence in the building, is also included in the definition of “family” in relation to landlord regardless of the fact whether she is married or not. In other words, in order to claim the benefit of expression "family", a female must have a "legal right of residence" in the building. Such female would then be entitled to seek eviction of the tenant from such building for her need.

Since, original owner was Mahomedan, his entire estate including the building in question, devolved on the appellant (wife), his two sons and four daughters as per the shares defined in Hanafi Law of Inheritance. Shares of heirs which are defined in Chapter VII titled "Hanafi Law of inheritance" would show that, daughter is also entitled to claim her specific share in her father’s estate. Dr. Naheed Parveen being daughter, accordingly, received her share and became co-owner of building along with other co-sharers. Being a co-owner, she got a legal right of residence in building as provided under Section 3(g) of Act. In this way, she fulfilled definition of “family” under Section 3 (g) of Act.

In rent matters, landlord is sole judge to decide as to how much space is needed for him/her to start or expand any of his/her activity. This principle was overlooked by High Court while deciding the issue of need. In light of factual findings of Courts below, there was no justification on part of High Court to have probed into any factual issues again in depth by undertaking appreciation of evidence like a first appellate Court and reversing the findings.

Relevant : Section 3(g) of Uttar Pradesh Urban Buildings (Regulation of Letting, Rent and Eviction) Act, 1972, Hindustan Petroleum Corpn. Ltd. v. Dilbahar Singh [MANU/SC/0738/2014 ] : (2014) 9 SCC 78; Surya Dev Rai v. Ram Chander Rai and Ors. [MANU/SC/0559/2003 ] : (2003) 6 SCC 675

Tags : EVICTION   RIGHT   BONAFIDE NEED  

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