August 25, 2018
Eviction of Tenant– In this recent case the Supreme Court has held that decree for eviction can’t be passed unless provisional rent has been determined by the Court.
Case name: Ram Pratap v. Anand Kanwar & ors.
In the case, the Appellant was the landlord of the suit schedule premises, whereas the defendant was the tenant. The Appellant had initially filed suit for eviction against the defendant tenant on the ground of nonpayment of rents under Section 13(1) of the Rajasthan Premises (Control of Rent and Eviction) Act, 1950 (“Rent Act”).
The trial court in the case decided the matter in favour of the appellant landlord. However, in appeal the High Court held that Section 13(3) of the Rent Act is mandatory in nature so far as provisional determination of the rent is concerned and without determination of rent no decree of eviction on the ground of default can be passed.
Thus, the issue that fell for consideration before the Supreme Court was whether fixation of provisional rent by the trial court under Section 13(3) where eviction of a tenant is sought under Section 13(1)(a) is mandatory or directory?
Here it would be relevant to mention that Section 13 of the Rent Act provides for Eviction of Tenant and Section 13(3) of the Rent Act provides that the Court shall not be more than three months after filing of the written statement and before the framing of the issues, shall determine the amount of provisional rent to be deposited in court or paid to the landlord by the tenant.
- The Apex Court in the case observed that the use of the word ‘shall’ in Section 13(3) of the Rent Act puts a mandatory obligation on the court to fix provisional rent within three months of the filing of the written statement but before framing of the issues. That the language of the Section is mandatory and places a duty on the court to determine the provisional rent irrespective of any application or not.
- That if the rent so determined by the court is paid by the tenant as provided under Section 13(4), no decree for eviction of the tenant can be passed on the ground of default under Section 13(1)(a) in view of Section 13(6) of the Act.
- The Supreme Court thus concluded that unless the determination under Section 13(3) takes place, Section 13(6) cannot be complied with and a valuable right given to a tenant would be lost.
The entire case can be accessed here.