02 May 2020

Tenant is not protected if he fails to pay rent after receipt of notice and during the trial as well as appeal proceeding

Maharashtra Rent Control Act - Eviction of tenant on the ground of default in payment of regular rent and illegal subletting - No rent is paid even after receipt of notice for eviction - Tenant disputed the standard rent but has not filed application for fixation of standard rent - Tenant made default in payment of regular rent in trial court and appellate court - Court commissioner report in respect of subletting filed but tenant has not filed his say thereon.

   The above enunciation, clarifies beyond doubt that the provisions of Clause (b) of Section 12(3) are mandatory, and must be strictly complied with by the tenant during the pendency of the suit or appeal if the landlord's claim for eviction on the ground of default in payment of rent is to be defeated. The word "regularly" in Clause (b) of Section 12(3) has a significance of its own. It enjoins a payment or tender characterized by reasonable punctuality, that is to say, one made at regular times or intervals. The regularity contemplated may not be a punctuality, of clock like precision and exactitude, but it must reasonably conform with substantial proximity to the sequence of times or intervals at which the rent falls due. Thus, where the rent is payable by the month, the tenant must, if he wants to avail of the benefit of the latter part of Clause (b), tender or pay it every month as it falls due, or at his discretion in advance. If he persistently default during the pendency of the suit or appeal in paying the rent, such as where he pays it at irregular intervals of 2 or 3 or 4 months as is the case before us the Court has no discretion to treat what were manifestly irregular payments, as substantial compliance with the mandate of this Clause irrespective of the fact that by the time the Judgment was pronounced all the arrears had been cleared by the tenant.
{Mranalini B. Shaha and another Vs. Baplal Mohanlal Shaha (1980) 4 SCC 251} [Para No.16]

   Defendant has raised the dispute about the standard rent, failed to file any application in the Court under sub-section 3 of section 11 of the Act of 1947. Even, the applicant/defendant has failed to deposit the amount of rent month wise as directed by the trial court during pendency of the suit. He persistently committed default even in depositing the payment of rent before the Court.


   The provisions under section 12(3) (b) of the Act of 1947 are mandatory and must be strictly complied with by the tenant during the pendency of the suit or appeal.[Para No.20]

   The learned District Judge-1, Jalgaon has rightly observed that so far as illegal sub-letting is concerned, it is always done in secrecy and in normal course, the landlord hardly gets any proof in agreement between a tenant and sub-tenant. The learned District Judge, has, therefore, rightly given weightage to the Court Commissioner's report Exhibit 20. The Court Commissioner has visited the suit premises in presence of the parties and their respective advocates. The Court Commissioner has specifically observed in the report that in the room having door on the southern side, there was a dinning table and chairs in the Eastern side corner of the door of that room board C.M.Pawar advocate hanging on a peg. Even though parties were called upon to file say, the defendant has not fled any say to the said Court Commissioner's report no fault in the finding recorded by the learned District Judge about subletting of one room.

Bombay High Court

Nandlal Ghisulal Pande
shwinkumar Sureshchandra Lalwani

Decided on 30/04/2020

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