Tenant will not be considered wilful defaulter
When tenant will not be treated as willful defaulter?
Having considered the rival submissions, we are in agreement with the view taken by the High Court that the evidence on record leaves no manner of doubt that after receipt of notice from the appellant, the respondent-tenant immediately rushed to the Rent Controller and took permission to deposit the amount towards rent of the suit shop.Further,in terms of the liberty given by the Rent Controller the respondent-tenant deposited the amount towards rent of the suit shop before the Rent Controller. That option was resorted to by the respondent-tenant because of dispute relating to ownership of the suit shop. The High Court justly adverted to the dictum in the case of Kannan vs. Tamil Tahlir Kalvi Kazhagam (1998) 5 SCC 21
– where, in similar situation, the tenant deposited the rent in Court which was considered as a valid deposit. The fact remains that the amount towards arrears of rent was deposited by the respondent-tenant
in the Court of Rent Controller on 15th April, 1988 and 25th April, 1988 before institution of the eviction application; and intimation in that behalf was given to the landlord. The respondent-tenant continued to periodically deposit the rent amount in Court thereafter. Further, the appellant in his evidence has admitted of having withdrawn the rent amount till Diwali 2003. This finding of fact recorded by the District Court and affirmed by the High Court, being concurrent finding of fact, need no interference. As a necessary corollary, it must follow that the respondent-tenant was not a defaulter much less willful defaulter. Thus, the ground of default on which eviction of the respondent-tenant was prayed is untenable.
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
CIVIL APPEAL NO.2606/2013
Baburao s/o Narayanrao Terkar
Pokhardas s/o Bhanumal Khatnani
Dated:August 16, 2016