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DURING TENANCY: No challenge to Title of Landlord

The Hon’ble Supreme Court, in a recent case, has held that the tenant cannot challenge the title of his landlord during tenancy.

The Hon’ble A.K. Sikri and A.M. Sapre, JJ., have held that law relating to derivative title of the landlord (Lessor) and challenge, if made, to such title by the tenant (Lessee) during subsistence of tenancy in relation to demised property is fairly well settled.

Though by virtue of section 116 of the Evidence Act, 1872, the tenant is estopped from challenging the title of his landlord during continuance of the tenancy, yet the tenant/ lessee is entitled to challenge the derivative title of an Assignee/ Vendee of the original landlord (Lessor) of the demised property in an action brought by the Assignee/ Vendee against the tenant for his eviction from the demised property under the Rent laws. This right of a tenant is, however, subject to one caveat that the tenant/ lessee has not attorned to the Assignee/Vendee. In other words, if the tenant/lessee pays rent to the Assignee/ Vendee of the tenanted property then it results in creation of an attornment between the parties which, in turn, deprives the tenant/ lessee to challenge the derivative title of an Assignee/ Vendee in the proceedings.

However, once the Assignee/ Vendee proves his title to the demised property, the original tenancy devolves on the Assignee/ Vendee and tenant/ lessee by operation of law on the same terms and conditions on which it was entered into with the original landlord/lessor and continues till either modified by the parties or is determined by the landlord in accordance with law. It enables the Assignee/ Vendee to acquire the status of a “new landlord” in place of the original landlord of the demised premises qua tenant/ lessee.

Bismillah Be v. Majeed Shah, 2017 (169) AIC 60 (SC).


In a recent case, the Hon’ble Supreme Court, has held that the landlord can choose a more suitable premises for himself.
Appellant/tenant was inducted as tenant in the suit scheduled premises by the erstwhile owner of the premises vide Rent Deed dated 20-7-1989. Subsequently, the respondent/landlady acquired the premises under a registered sale-deed dated 11-12-2002. The respondent sought eviction of the appellant from the suit premises by filing a petition under section 14(1)(e) of Delhi Rent Control Act, 1958 on the ground of bona fide requirement. Respondent claimed that her son Sh. Vaibhav Maheshwari required the premises for running his separate business of sanitary and hardware products as the suit premises has a prime location for the said business. Respondent’s son was pursuing MBA at the time of the filing of the eviction petition and completed the same in June 2011.

The appellant has alleged that the High Court erred in affirming the eviction decree passed by the Addl. Rent Controller as no case of bona fide necessity was established by the respondent. Allegedly, alternate accommodations were available for occupation of respondent’s son which were not suitable for running sanitary and hardware business which the respondent neglected to consider. Moreover, the appellant alleged that the High Court erred in not noticing that the respondent did not set up her bona fide requirement; rather she set up a case of bona fide requirement of her son and thus, no relief should have been granted to her without keeping in view the comparative hardship to the appellant/ tenant.

The Hon’ble S.K. Singh and R. Banumathi, JJ., have held that the Additional Rent Controller and the High Court rightly concluded that no alternative premises was lying vacant for running business of respondent’s son. The High Court rightly relied on the ratio of Anil Bajaj and another v. Vinod Ahuja to hold that it is perfectly open to the landlord to choose a more suitable premises for carrying on the business by her son and that the respondent cannot be dictated by the appellant as to from which shop her son should start the business from.

Bhupinder Singh Bawa v. Asha Devi, 2017 (169) AIC 97 (SC).



The Hon’ble Supreme Court, in a recent case has held that a registered adoption deed stood duly proved.

It is undisputed that late Shri Sharnappa died intestate in the year 1957 leaving behind him his wife Smt. Sharnappa and three daughters, namely, Smt. Kydigamma, Smt. Nagamma and Smt. Sarojamma. In the instant case, there was no coparcenary, as Late Shri Sharnappa was the sole male member in the family. In the circumstances, upon his death his properties were inherited by his widow and three daughters.

At the time when Shri Sharnappa died in 1957, defendant No. 1 was not in the picture as he was adopted by Smt. Sharnappa on 9th February, 1971. By virtue of proviso to section 12 of the Adoption Act, an adopted child cannot divest any person of any estate which vested in him or her before the adoption. Thus, the properly of late Shri Sharnappa which, upon his death in 1957, had vested in his widow and three daughters, would not be disturbed by virtue of subsequent adoption of defendant No. 1 by the widow Smt. Sharnappa.

The Hon’ble Anil R. Dave and L. Nageswara Rao, JJ., have held that however upon appreciation of the evidence, it was found by the Trial Court that the adoption was valid because that was by virtue of a registered adoption deed and the said deed had been duly proved. In the circumstances, we do not think it necessary to discuss the said evidence again. We confirm the view of the first Appellate Court that the adopted son viz. defendant No. 1 would not divest any person in whom the property had been vested prior to adoption.

Saheb Reddy v. Sharnappa, 2017 (169) AIC 109 (SC).

Not covered under Section 498-A, IPC

In a recent case, the Hon’ble Dipak Misra and Amitava Roy, JJ. of the Hon’ble Supreme Court has held that the concept of mental cruelty depends upon the milieu and the strata from which the persons come from and definitely has an individualistic perception regard being had to one’s endurance and sensitivity. It is difficult to generalize but certainly it can be appreciated in a set of established facts. Extra-marital relationship, per se, or as such would not come within the ambit of section 498-A, IPC.

It would be an illegal or immoral act, but other ingredients are to be brought home so that it would constitute a criminal offence. There is no denial of the fact that the cruelty need not be physical but a mental torture or abnormal behaviour that amounts to cruelty or harassment in a given case. It will depend upon the facts of the said case. To explicate, solely because the husband is involved in an extra-marital relationship and there is some suspicion in the mind of the wife, that cannot be regarded as mental cruelty which would attract mental cruelty for satisfying the ingredients of section 306, IPC.

K V Prakash Babu v. State of Karnataka, 2017 (169) AIC 211 (SC).


The Hon’ble A.K. Sikri and Amitava Roy, JJ., have held in a recent case that it is immaterial to whom the declaration is made. The declaration may be made to a Magistrate, to a Police Officer, a public servant or a private person. It may be made before the doctor; indeed, he would be the best person to opine about the fitness of the dying man to make the statement, and to record the statement, where he found that life was fast ebbing out of the dying man and there was no time to call the Police or the Magistrate. In such a situation the Doctor would be justified, rather duty bound, to record the dying declaration of the dying man. At the same time, it also needs to be emphasised that in the instant case, dying declaration is recorded by a competent Magistrate who was having no animus with the accused persons. As held in Kushal Rao v. State of Bombay, this kind of dying declaration would stand on a much higher footing.

Ramesh v. State of Haryana, 2017 (169) AIC 244 (SC).

1 Comment

  • s.6a ,5,7,8 of delhi rent control act has been declared unconstitutional, the purpose of S 50 of DRA became infructious . Rent controller courts are also become infructious.

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