30 April 2020

No bar of res judicata to second suit for eviction of tenant

Landlord filed suit for eviction on the grounds of bona fide requirement, erection of unauthorized permanent structures, change of user, and unlawful subletting - Suit dismissed - Appeal  was also unsuccessful - After less than three months, the landlord issued a "notice for possession" to the tenant and again filed second suit for eviction on the grounds of bona fide requirement, arrears of rent, and permanent construction on the suit premises

Is the second suit stand barred by res judicata and Section  12 of the Bombay Rents, Hotel and Lodging House Rates Control Act, 1947 ("the Bombay Rent Act")?

True, subsequent events may affect the suit outcome. For that, either party to the suit should bring to the court's notice those later developments. For that even the amended Order 6, Rule 17 of CPC provides. Otherwise, the court itself, in the interest of justice and to avoid multiplicity of proceedings, may take note of those developments. But law does not compel a person to invariably bring on record all the later developments through amendment. If the later developments provide an independent cause of action, the party's right to a fresh legal remedy remains intact. This proposition applies with more rigour if the cause of action is recurring.[Para No.54]


res-judicata

   Default in rent remittance provides recurring cause of action. Every successive default provides an independent cause of action.

Later developments may affect that cause of action if they are duly brought on record; otherwise, they provide further independent cause of action. Even the doctrine of lis pendens does not defeat the suitor's independent right to sue. It is only a matter of prudence and convenience that all the related facts are brought under one umbrella of adjudication. More particularly, if the cause of action is recurring, each instance of recurrence provides an independent cause of action.

   On a completed cause of action if a party sues and pending those proceedings, there is, temporally speaking, recurrence of the same cause of action, it provides an independent cause of action.[Para No.55 & 56]

Bombay High Court

M/S K.B. Lohoti And Comnapy And Others
Vs.
Shri Champalal Vithuram Jajoo

Decided on 27/04/2020


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