Landmark Cases of India / सुप्रीम कोर्ट के ऐतिहासिक फैसले

MAN SINGH … Appellant
SHAMIM AHMAD (DEAD) THR. LRS. …Respondent(s)
1. This is a tenant’s appeal, arising out of rent and
eviction proceedings from a Small Causes Court. The
landlord’s suit for eviction was allowed and the tenant’s
J.S.C.C. Revision and Writ Petition respectively have been
dismissed. Leave was granted by this Court on 11.2.2015
and the impugned order was stayed, subject to certain
2. The premises in question is a shop situated in Kotla,
Gangoh-Town, Nukur-Tehsil, District-Saharanpur, Uttar
Pradesh (hereinafter referred to ‘premises’) which was given
on rent to the present appellant on 06.01.1982 on a monthly
rent of Rs. 165/- per month. Later, the rent was increased to
Rs. 195/- p.m. and then from 01.01.1990 onwards to Rs.
250/- p.m. This is the admitted position. We must, however,
record here that the landlord’s claim of the rent being further
increased up to Rs.300/- per month was denied by the
tenant though the Trial Court and the Revisional Court have
given their findings on the enhanced rent, in favour of the
3. The appellant’s case is that he was a tenant in the
shop, on a monthly rent of Rs.250/- per month. In June,
1993, the landlord refused to accept the rent which was then
paid by the tenant through money order which was returned
with an endorsement of refusal. Under these circumstances
when the rent was being refused by the landlord, the tenant
started depositing the rent in the Court of Civil Judge (Junior
Division) (hereafter referred to as ‘Court’). An amount of
Rs.750/- which at the rate of Rs.250/- per month was the
rent for May, June and July which was thus deposited, and
continued to be deposited in the Court, by the tenant.
4. A notice was given by the landlord on 05.04.1995,
admittedly received by the tenant/appellant on 10.04.1995,
where the landlord demanded rent from May, 1993 onwards.
The notice did not result in the deposit of the rent before the
landlord and consequently the landlord filed a J.S.C.C. Suit
No.179 of 1995, in the Court of Judge, Small Causes,
Saharanpur for arrears of rent and eviction, on the grounds
of arrears of rent from 01.05.1993 onwards. In the plaint it
was alleged by the landlord that though earlier the monthly
rent of the shop was Rs.250/- per month but later through
an oral settlement in the year 1993, it was agreed between
the parties that there shall be an increase of Rs.25/- per
month every year and therefore it became Rs.275/- per
month from 01.05.1993 onwards and Rs.300/- per month
from 01.05.1994 onwards etc., and thus, the tenantappellant was in default of rent. Since this rent has not been
paid the tenancy stands terminated on notice already served
and hence the landlord sought an order of eviction.
5. In his reply the appellant denied that there was any
oral agreement between the parties for yearly enhancement of
rent by Rs.25/- per month. The actual and admitted rent is
Rs.250/- per month, which is being duly paid in court since
May, 1993, and continuously being deposited thereafter and
the tenant has never been at any point of time a defaulter for
the payment of rent. At this juncture, it is necessary to refer
to the provision of law which is applicable in the present
case. The statute which governs the field is ‘The Uttar
Pradesh Urban Buildings (Regulation of Letting, Rent and
Eviction) Act, 1972 (hereinafter referred to as “the Act No. 13
of 1972”).
6. Under Section 20 Sub-section (2) a suit for eviction of
a tenant from a building can be instituted, inter alia, on the
grounds given in sub-section 2 (a) of Section 20 reads as
“(2) A suit for the eviction of a tenant
from a building after the
determination of his tenancy may be
instituted on one or more of the
following grounds, namely:
(a) that the tenant is in arrears of
rent for not less than four months,
and has failed to pay the same to
the landlord within one month from
the date of service upon him of a
notice of demand:”
The ground of non-payment of rent by the tenant therefore
has to be for not less than ‘four months’ and which has not
been paid within one month of service of demand of the
notice. Moreover, even when this rent is not paid and the
landlord files his suit for eviction, the law provides yet
another opportunity to the tenant to unburden this liability,
which is by payments of the entire rent and arrears, before
the first hearing of the suit. This is in sub-section (4) of
Section 20 which reads as under:
“20(4). In any suit for eviction on the
ground mentioned in clause (a) of subsection (2), if at the first hearing of the
suit the tenant unconditionally pays or
[tenders to the landlord or deposits in
court] the entire amount of rent and
damages for use and occupation of the
building due from him (such damages
for use and occupation being
calculated at the same rate as rent)
together with interest thereon at the
rate of nine per cent per annum and
the landlord’s cost of the suit in
respect thereof, after deducting
therefrom any amount already
deposited by the tenant under subsection (1) of Section 30, the Court
may, in lieu of passing a decree for
eviction on the ground, pass an order
relieving the tenant against his liability
for eviction on the ground:
Provided that nothing in this subsection, shall apply in relation to a
tenant or any member of the whose
family has built or has otherwise
acquired in a vacant state, or has
got vacated after acquisition, any
residential building in the same
city, municipality, notified area or
town area.
[Explanation.- For the
purposes of this sub-section-
(a)the expression “first
hearing” means the first
fate for any step or
proceeding mentioned in the
summons served on the
(b)the expression “cost of the
suit” includes one-half of
the amount of counsel’s fee
taxable for a contested
As we have already referred above the case of the
appellant/tenant has been that on refusal of the landlord to
receive the rent, he was constrained to deposit the same in
the “Court”. The Act No. 13 of 1972 provides under Section
30, an avenue for the tenant to deposit rent in court, inter
alia, in the event such rent is being refused by landlord the.
“30. Deposit of rent in Court in
certain circumstances.-
(1) If any person claiming to be a
tenant of a building tenders any
amount as rent in respect of the
building to its alleged landlord and
the alleged landlord refuses to accept
the same then the former may deposit
such amount in the prescribed
manner and continue to deposit any
rent which he alleges to be due for
the any subsequent period in respect
of such building until the landlord
in the meantime signifies by
notice in writing to the tenant his
willingness to accept it.
(2) Where any bona fide doubt or
dispute has arisen as to the person
who is entitled to receive any rent in
respect of any building, the tenant
may likewise deposit the rent stating
the circumstances under which such
deposit is made and may, until such
doubt has been removed or such
dispute has been settled by the
decision of any competent Court or by
settlement between the parties,
continue to deposit the rent that may
subsequently become due in respect
of such building.
(3) The deposit referred to in subsection(1), or sub-section (2) shall be
made in Court of the Munsif having
(4) On any deposit being made
under sub-section(1), the Court shall
cause a notice of the deposit to be
served on the alleged landlord, and
the amount of deposit may be
withdrawn by that person on
application made by him to the Court
in that behalf.
(5) On a deposit being made under
sub-section (2), the Court shall cause
notice of the deposit to be served on
the person or persons concerned and
hold the amount of the deposit for the
benefit of the person who may be
found entitled to it by any competent
Court or by a settlement between the
parties and the same shall be
payable to such person.
(6) In respect of a deposit made as
aforesaid, it shall be deemed that the
person depositing it has paid it on the
date of such deposit to the person in
whose favour it is deposited in the
case referred to in sub-section (1) or
to the landlord in the case referred to
in sub-section (2).”
 (emphasis provided)
7. The case of the landlord is that after the notice dated
05.04.1995 was served on the tenant (on 10.05.1995), and
he refused to pay the rent within the stipulated period of one
month, his tenancy stood terminated and he had therefore
filed a suit for eviction before the Judge, Small Causes Court,
Saharanpur for his the eviction. The position of the tenant
throughout has been that there was no occasion for him to
deposit the rent on receiving the notice dated 10.05.1995, or
on the first hearing under Section 20(4) of the Act, for the
simple reason that he had never defaulted in payment of rent
as the entire rent at the rate of Rs. 250/- per month was
being deposited by him in the Court under Section 30 of the
Act. The Judge, Small Cause Court gave a finding that the
tenant was in arrears of rent, holding that the rent was
Rs.300/- per month and not Rs.250/- per month which
admittedly has never been deposited anywhere, and
consequently a decree of eviction and recovery of rent was
passed against the tenant. The tenant then filed JSCC
Revision before the District Judge, Saharanpur which was
dismissed on 31.07.2003 and so was his writ petition, later
by the Allahabad High Court on 17.02.2012.
8. The Allahabad High Court though, has set aside the
findings of the Trial Court and the Sessions Court, on the
enhanced rent. The High Court held that there was no
evidence before the trial Court of any ‘oral agreement’ set up
by the landlord, which provided for a periodical increase of
rent from Rs. 250/- per month to Rs. 275/- per month, and
then to Rs.300/- per month, and so on. Since the so-called
oral agreement between the parties was not proved, it would
be deemed that the correct rent between the parties was Rs.
250/- per month, which was being paid by the tenant in the
Court under Section 30 of the Act.
9. The High Court then proceeded to decide the legal
position post notice dated 05.04.1995. Section 30 of the Act
provides that the deposit may be made in the Court on
refusal of the rent by the landlord, but this position only
lasts till the landlord expresses his willingness to receive the
rent. This willingness to receive the rent has to be seen in his
notice dated 05.04.1995 received on 10.05.1995, by the
tenant. The High Court dealt with this aspect and held that
once the notice of demand was sent to the tenant by the
landlord on 05.04.1995 (received by the appellant on
10.04.1995), demanding a rent at the enhanced rate, then
the tenant had no option but to deposit the rent before the
landlord, as against depositing it in the Court. He could
though deposit the admitted rent (i.e. Rs.250/-) and not the
enhanced rent (Rs.300/-), but the deposit had to be made to
the landlord.
10. This was not done and the defence of the tenant that
he continued to deposit the “admitted rent” in the Court will
not come to his rescue as once the landlord had expressed
his willingness to accept the rent, which was expressed in his
notice of demand dated 05.04.1951 then such a rent was
liable to be given to the landlord and not in the Court. We
are of the considered view that the reasoning given by the
learned Single Judge of Allahabad High Court, which follows
a Full Court judgment of the High Court, correctly lays down
the law. Section 30 gives an opportunity to the defendant to
deposit the admitted rent in Court, but this arrangement
lasts only till the landlord expresses his willingness to receive
the rent directly.
11. Let us again examine sub-section (1) of Section 30
under which the tenant can deposit rent in the Court. The
above provisions have already been referred above, but we
would like to emphasize the last few lines of the provision
which says:
‘…until the landlord in the
meantime signifies by notice in
writing to the tenant his
willingness to accept it’
In other words, the tenant can only deposit rent in the Court,
as long as the landlord has refused to accept the rent. Once
the landlord expresses his willingness to accept the rent,
which in the present case he does by serving the notice dated
05.04.1995 (received on 10.04.1995), the tenant has no
option but to deposit the rent to the landlord. This has not
been done by the appellant.
12. The Full Bench decision of which reference has been
given by the Allahabad High Court in its impugned
judgement dated 17.02.2012 is Gokaran Singh v. Ist
Additional District and Sessions Judge, Hardoi and
 There were three questions before the Full Bench, all
of them were relating to the Act No.13 of 1972. One of the
questions with which we are presently concerned was:
“In a case where the landlord had
earlier been refusing to accept rent at
the correct rate and had been claiming
rent at higher rate and the tenant had
as a consequence of landlords earlier
refusal in the past, deposited the rent
in Court under Section 30 and
thereafter, landlord serves a formal
notice of demand again at a higher
rate, whether the tenant without
tendering rent at the correct rate to the
landlord has a right straight away to
deposit the same under Section 30
After discussing the entire law on the subject, the conclusion
derived by the Full Bench to this question is as follows:
37. (2) If the landlord has been
refusing to accept the rent at the
correct rate and has been claiming
rent at higher rate, the tenant as a
consequence of landlord’s earlier
refusal in the past, deposited the rent
in the Court under Section 30 and if
1 2000 SCC OnLine All 174
thereafter landlord serves formal
notice to of demand against the higher
rate and expresses his willingness to
accept the rent, the tenant after receipt
of notice is under an obligation to
tender the rent at least at the rate
admitted to him to the landlord and
has got no right to straight away
deposit the same under Section 30(1)
of the Act.”
13. The learned counsel for the appellant Sh. U.K. Uniyal,
would rely on a later decision of this Court which is Ajai
Agarwal and Ors. v. Har Govind Prasad Singhal and
. We are afraid that the facts of the said case were
entirely different. In the case cited above, the tenant was
given the benefit of sub-section (4) of Section 20 of the Act, as
he had deposited the “admitted rent” before the first date of
hearing. The question before the Court was whether in order
to get the benefit of sub-section (4) of Section 20 the tenant
was liable to deposit the enhanced rate of rent as claimed by
the landlord, or will he be relieved of the liability if he
deposits the admitted rent. This court was of the opinion,
which was in fact the settled position of law, that in case a
tenant deposits the admitted rent, under sub-section 4 of
(2005) 13 SCC 145
Section 20, he would get the benefit. Paragraph 19 of the
above cited judgement clears this position.
19. In the absence of any proper
evidence regarding the purported
agreement for periodical enhancement
of the rents, it becomes difficult to
accept the story of such agreed
enhancement as made out on behalf of
the landlord or its application to the
provisions of Section 20(4) of the Act.
Since there is no such evidence on
record, except for the uncorroborated
statement of the landlord, we have no
other option but to accept the story of
the appellant tenants that the parties
had agreed to the increase of the
monthly rent up to a maximum of Rs
100 per month and that too after the
renovation had been effected to the
shop room and a shutter had been
fixed therein. If such be the case, the
appellants would also be entitled to
the protection of Section 20(4), since
the rents admitted to be in arrears at
the rate of Rs 100 per month had been
duly deposited by the tenant within
the time prescribed under such
provision of the Act.
14. The learned counsel of the appellant Shri Uniyal,
sought to draw a parallel with the said case and would argue
that in the present case as well the tenant has been
depositing the admitted rent. However, as we have already
noticed the facts of the two cases are entirely different. The
above case therefore has no application to the present case.
15. We therefore find no merit in the appeal which is
hereby dismissed. All interim Orders shall stand vacated.

New Delhi.
April 05, 2023.


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