New Delhi: The Supreme Court has held as unlawful to sublet any premises in Mumbai after the enactment of the Bombay Rents, Hotel and Lodging House Rates (Control) Act 1947 unless the contract itself expressly provides so.
A bench of Justices Sudhanshu Dhulia and Sanjay Kumar said: “It is not lawful after coming into operation of the 1947 Act for a tenant to sublet the premise let out to him or to assign or transfer in any manner his interest therein.”
In the case, a petition was filed for recovery of possession of the leased premises from the tenant. The trial court held that the appellants were entitled to claim eviction. This was also confirmed by the Additional District Judge, Pune. Another round before the High Court and the matter reached the apex court.
Top court directed legal representatives of deceased to vacate suit premises
While allowing the appeals, the top court directed the legal representatives of the deceased to vacate the suit premises and hand it over to the appellant in two month. The appeal was filed by Yuvraj alias Munna Jagdale against Janardan Subajirao for recovery of possession of the leased premises from the tenant.
The main question before the court was whether the tenant committed breach of the lease condition by transferring his business in the leased premises, warranting his eviction under the Act.
Though a mere execution of a genuine partnership deed by a tenant where they converted a sole proprietary concern into a partnership business while continuing to actively participate in the business and retaining control over the tenanted premises would not amount to subletting, such a principle was not applicable in the instant case.
The court noted that the tenant executed the partnership agreement dated in 1985 and, further, went on to execute the assignment agreement where he assigned his hotel business in the leased premises to Krishna B Shetty and received ₹50,000 as earnest money. It said this itself established transgression of the leased control and the statutory mandate.
“The very act of execution of this document was sufficient in itself to complete the breach of the lease condition and the statutory mandate and did not require anything further,” the court added.
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