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Rajendrakumar S Upadhyay Decd … vs Vinodchandra Bachubhai Alias … on 14 September, 2018

C/CRA/174/2005 CAV JUDGMENT

IN THE HIGH COURT OF GUJARAT AT AHMEDABAD

R/CIVIL REVISION APPLICATION NO. 174 of 2005

FOR APPROVAL AND SIGNATURE:

HONOURABLE MR.JUSTICE BIREN VAISHNAV

1 Whether Reporters of Local Papers may be allowed to
see the judgment ?

2 To be referred to the Reporter or not ?

3 Whether their Lordships wish to see the fair copy of the
judgment ?

4 Whether this case involves a substantial question of law
as to the interpretation of the Constitution of India or any
order made thereunder ?

RAJENDRAKUMAR S UPADHYAY DECD THROUGH HEIRS
Versus
VINODCHANDRA BACHUBHAI ALIAS PURSHOTTAMDAS SONI

Appearance:

(MR SURESHM SHAH)(805) for the PETITIONER(s) No. 1
MR. JENIL SHAH, ADVOCATE FOR MR MEHUL S SHAH(772) for the
PETITIONER(s) No. 1,1.1,1.2
MR SP MAJMUDAR(3456) for the RESPONDENT(s) No. 1

CORAM: HONOURABLE MR.JUSTICE BIREN VAISHNAV

Date : 14/09/2018

CAV JUDGMENT

1 This   revision   application   has   been   filed   under 

Section 29 of the Bombay Rents, Hotel  Lodging House 

Rates Control Act, 1947, by the original plaintiff. 

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The respondent herein is the original defendant. The 

applicant­plaintiff succeeded before the trial Court 

by a judgment and order dated 23.10.2001. The learned 

judge   of   Small   Cause   Court,   Vadodara,   decreed   the 

suit   in   favour   of   the   applicant   directing   the 

defendant  to   hand  over   vacant  possession.  Aggrieved 

by the order, the defendant approached the District 

Court   at   Vadodara.   In   the   appeal   so   filed,   the 

District   Court   by   its   judgment   and   order   dated 

07.05.2005, allowed the appeal of the defendant and 

set aside the judgment and decree passed by the lower 

Court in rent suit No. 136 of 1989. 

2 The facts in brief are as under:

2.1 The   applicant   was   a   landlord   of   the   suit 

property. He had filed the suit to recover possession 

of   the   property   situated   at   Vadfadiyu,   Ghee   Kanta 

Road, Nr. Raopura Tower, Vadodara. One Purshottamdas 

Vrajlal  Soni, was the tenant  of the suit shop at a 

monthly rent of Rs.27.50/­. The said shop was let out 

by   the   applicant­plaintiff   for   doing   job   work   of 

gold.   It   was   the   case   of   the   plaintiff   that   the 

tenant had no son and was doing his business alone. 

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The tenant Purshottamdas Soni died on 22.11.1983. The 

present   defendant   is   a   son   of   the   nephew   of   the 

deceased   tenant,   claiming   to   be   a   family   member 

carrying out business at the time of the death of the 

tenant.   On   the   death   of   the   tenant,   the   plaintiff 

therefore   filed   a   suit   for   recovery   of   possession. 

The defendant filed Civil Misc. Application No. 167 

of 1988 for fixation of standard rent.

2.2 The   present   respondent­defendant   filed   his 

written statement at Exh.7 and opposed the suit. It 

was his case that he was doing business in the suit 

premises,   and   that   the   plaintiff   had   accepted   the 

rent in the name of the deceased tenant from him. He 

denied   that   he   was   not   the   family   member   of   the 

deceased   tenant.   It   was   his   case   in   the   written 

statement that the deceased tenant Purshottamdas Soni 

had adopted him as his son in the year 1958 and he 

was looking after the deceased. On 22.11.1983, he was 

in possession of the suit shop in the capacity as an 

adopted   son.   It   was   his   case   that   since   he   was   a 

legally adopted son, he acquired the tenancy rights 

in   the   suit   premises   under   Section   5(11)(c)(ii)   of 

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the Bombay Rents, Hotel  Lodging House Rates Control 

Act,   1947.   He,   therefore,   prayed   that   the   suit   be 

dismissed.   Civil   Misc.   Application   No.   167   of   1988 

was filed by the defendant for fixation of standard 

rent.

2.3 The Trial Court  framed issues at Exh.10  in the 

rent   suit.   The   issue,   whether   the   defendant   could 

prove to be a tenant  of the suit premises (and the 

issue   whether   the   plaintiff   could   prove   that   the 

defendant was not a tenant under Section 5(11)(c)(ii) 

of   the   Bombay   Rents,   Hotel     Lodging   House   Rates 

Control Act, 1947) was decided against the defendant. 

The trial Court examined the plaintiff at Exh.15 and 

the defendant was examined at Exh.33. The defendant 

also examined one Shri Natwarlal Fakirchand Khatri at 

Exh.92.   Documentary   evidence   was   produced   by   the 

plaintiff   at   Exh.22,   whereas   that   of   the   defendant 

was produced at Exh.30.

3 As   is   evident   from   the   case   narrated   herein 

above, the plaintiff had approached the Court stating 

that the tenanted premises was rented out to one Shri 

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Purshottamdas Soni. On his death on 22.11.1983, since 

he had no child  and he was doing business alone  in 

the shop and that the present defendant had illegally 

entered   into   the   shop   claiming   to   be   his   relative, 

the plaintiff sought a decree of eviction. It was the 

case   of   the   defendant   that   he   had   tenancy   rights 

under Section 5(11)(c)(ii) of the Bombay Rents, Hotel 

  Lodging   House   Rates   Control   Act,   1947.   The 

plaintiff had evidence to show that in the year 1983 

on the death of the tenant he had no heirs. That the 

present defendant was not a son of the deceased and 

at   the   time   of   the   death,   he   was   never   doing   the 

business in the suit premises. The defendant deposed 

at   Exh.53   contending   that   he   was   the   adoptive   son, 

adopted in the year 1958. 

4 The   question,   therefore,   that   was   posed   before 

the   trial   Court   was   that   whether   the   defendant­

respondent   herein   was   a   tenant   as   defined   under 

Section   5(11)(c)(ii)   of   the   Bombay   Rents,   Hotel    

Lodging House Rates Control Act, 1947, and whether he 

could   get   the   protection   of   the   twin   conditions   as 

stipulated under the section i.e. (A) that he was a 

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family   member   of   the   tenant   and   (B)   that   he   was 

carrying on business in the premises at the time of 

the death of the tenant. Since the defendant claimed 

to   be   a   tenant   in   succession,   the   burden   to   prove 

such   a   fact   was   on   the   defendant.   It   was   his   case 

that   his   natural   father   was   one   Bachubhai   i.e.   his 

grandfather   was   one   Vitthalbhai   who   had   a   brother, 

the   deceased   tenant   Purshottamdas   Soni.   It   was   his 

case   that   he   was   the   adopted   son   of   the   deceased 

tenant.   He   was   legally   and   validly   adopted   by   the 

tenant. Therefore, in his evidence at Exh.56 he had 

stated on oath that he was adopted in the year 1958 

at the age of 3 to 4 years. 

5 Referring to the provisions of Section 11 of the 

Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act, 1955, the trial 

Court   came   to   the   conclusion   that   except   for   so 

stating that he was an adopted son, the defendant did 

not   produce   any   documentary   evidence   about   adoption 

ceremony. Though he admitted that he had photographs 

of the ceremony, he did not produce the same, nor did 

he   give   any   explanation   as   to   why   he   could   not 

produce such photographs. The trial Court, therefore, 

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drew adverse inference. 

5.1 Natwarlal   Fakirchand   Khatri,   was   examined   at 

Exh.92   as   the   defendant’s   witness.   This   witness 

merely stated that the defendant was an adopted son 

and   that   a   ceremony   was   performed.   However,   he 

admitted   in   his   cross­examination   that   he   had   not 

remained   present   in   such   ceremony   and   that, 

therefore, he had no personal knowledge about it. The 

trial   Court,   further,   observed   that   though   the 

defendant’s real mother Vimlaben, his brother Dinesh 

and his sister Meenaben are alive, he did not choose 

to examine them as witnesses to establish that he was 

adopted by the deceased Purshottamdas Soni. The trial 

Court,   accordingly   held     that   the   defendant   had 

miserably failed to prove that the adoption ceremony 

was performed at the time of adoption. The adoption 

deed   was   produced   by   the   defendant   at   Exh.59.   On 

examination   of   such   deed,   the   Court   found   that   the 

deed   was  not   executed  and   signed   by  the   parents  of 

defendant   but   just   gave   him   as   an   adopted   son.   In 

accordance with the provisions of law, therefore, in 

the  opinion   of  the   trial   Court   there   was  no  giving 

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and   taking   ceremony.   The   deed   showed   date   of 

registration as 27.09.1983. Obviously therefore, the 

trial Court observed that if the deed was executed in 

the year 1983 i.e. 25 years after the adoption, there 

was  reason   to  believe  that   such   a  deed   of  adoption 

was not genuine. In absence of the signature of the 

persons giving and taking the child, the presumption 

that   the   trial   Court   drew   was   that   there   was   no 

adoption.   Considering   these   facts,   the   trial   Court 

observed that since the defendant had failed to prove 

that   he  was  legally   and  validly   adopted  son   of  the 

deceased   tenant,   he   was   not   entitled   to   protection 

under   Section   5(11)(c)(ii)   of   the     Bombay   Rents, 

Hotel  Lodging House Rates Control Act, 1947. 

5.2 An alternative case was pleaded by the defendant 

that   he   was   doing   business   in   the   premises   at   the 

time of death of the tenant. To prove this fact, he 

tried to show that he was residing with him and with 

a view to substantiate this circumstance,he suggested 

that he was doing job work of gold since 1975 with 

the   deceased   tenant.   At   Exh.23   was   produced   a 

certificate of the Bombay Shops  Establishment Act. 

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The   trial   Court   on   examination   of   this   certificate 

found   that   the   name   of   the   deceased   tenant 

Purshottamdas   Soni   was   deleted   and   that   of   the 

present   defendant   was   inserted   only   on   28.11.1986 

i.e. three years after the death of the tenant. The 

certificate   had   no   name   or   the   photograph   of   the 

family members in the columns so mentioned. The fact 

that the name of the present defendant was inserted 

in   the   year   1986   weighed   with   the   trial   Court   in 

holding that the defendant was not doing the job work 

of gold in the disputed premises at the time of death 

but after the death of the tenant.

6 It was the case of the defendant that he used to 

sit   in   the   premises   and   do   the   job   work   with   the 

deceased tenant. Registration certificate of the year 

1964   was   produced   as   stated   herein   above.   The 

defendant,   further,   pleaded   that     during   the   life 

time   of   the   deceased   tenant,   the   present   plaintiff 

used to accept the rent from the present defendant on 

behalf   of   the   deceased   tenant.   Rent   receipts   were 

produced   from   Exhs.   39   to   50.   The   trial   Court   has 

observed that, even if it is so accepted, it cannot 

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be said that the present defendant was doing business 

as a tenant in the premises, because merely   making 

payment   of   rent   on   behalf   of   the   deceased   tenant 

would not make him a tenant. The trial Court observed 

that considering all these facts, the defendant not 

being   an   adopted   son,   could   not   claim   protection 

under section 5(11)(c)(ii) of the Bombay Rents, Hotel 

  Lodging   House   Rates   Control   Act,   1947,   and 

accordingly   decreed   the   suit   in   favour   of   the 

plaintiff, the applicant herein.

7 Aggrieved   by   this   judgment   and   decree,   the 

defendant­respondent   herein   preferred   Regular   Civil 

Appeal   No.   282   of   2001   in   the   Court   of   the   Joint 

District   Judge   at   Vadodara.   Interestingly,   as   is 

evident from perusal of the judgment rendered by the 

Appellate Court in favour of the defendant­respondent 

herein, the Appellate Court on consideration of the 

case law, affirmed the findings of the trial Court by 

holding that the claim of the present defendant who 

was   claiming   to   be   so   adopted   was   not   proved.   On 

appreciation   of   the   evidence,   the   Appellate   Court 

came to the conclusion as under:

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“xxx  xxxxx     xxxxx. 

The   lower   Court   has   discuss   this   issue   at 
length,   therefore,   I   have   not   discuss   this  
issue,   but   looking   to   the   evidence   of   the 
defendant   Vinodchandra   there   is   no   any  
documentary   evidence   regarding   the   adoption  
ceremony   and   registered   documents   Exh.59   was 
executed   between   the   defendant   (adoption   son)  
and adopted father not by the natural father or 
mother of the defendant, therefore, defendant is 
unable to prove the legal and valid adoption.”

7.1 In other words, the Appellate Court affirmed the 

findings   of   the   trial   Court   that   the   respondent­

defendant herein had failed to prove that he was an 

adopted   son,   and   therefore,   not   a   member   of   the 

tenant’s family.

8 An   alternative   submission   was   made   by   the 

defendant   for   the   first   time   before   the   Appellate 

Court   that,   though   he   had   failed   to   prove   to   be   a 

legally   adopted   son,   he   was   entitled   to   claim   a 

tenancy   right,   as   he   was   living   with   the   original 

tenant as a family member and doing business with the 

deceased   tenant.   In   support   of   this,   the   Appellate 

Court   considered   the   evidence   holding   that   the 

marriage of the defendant was held at Vadodara, where 

the deceased tenant was staying and that the place of 

birth of the daughter on 07.09.1978 was at the same 

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place.   A   birth   certificate   of   the   son   was   also 

produced at Exh.60 dated 19.05.1981 showing the place 

of birth of the daughter and the son at the place of 

the deceased tenant, and therefore, it was the case 

projected   by   the   appellant   that   he   was   living   with 

the   deceased   tenant   even   before   the   tenant   died   on 

22.11.1983.   The   Appellate   Court   observed   that   the 

fact   that   the   address   of   the   defendant   and   the 

original   tenant   was   the   same,   and   that   therefore 

there   is   a   reason   to   believe   that   he   was   residing 

with the original tenant up to death of the original 

tenant.

9 On the second limb that the defendant was also 

doing   the   business   with   the   deceased   tenant   at   the 

time   of   death   of   the   tenant,   the   Appellate   Court 

observed   that   since   the   defendant   was   residing   on 

first floor of the same building since 1977 and was 

doing job work since 1975, the trial Court ought to 

have considered him as doing business at the time of 

the death of the tenant by virtue of certificate of 

registration   at   Exh.62.   The   Appellate   Court   also 

relied on the admission of the plaintiff’s deposition 

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by which it was contended that he had admitted that 

the defendant was doing the business in the suit shop 

in the month of October,1985 and that he had accepted 

rent   by  virtue   of  the   rent   receipts.   Based   on  this 

evidence,   the   Appellate   Court   held   that   there   was 

clear evidence that the defendant was doing business 

at   the   time   of   the   death   of   the   tenant   with   the 

tenant.

10 The   Appellate   Court   observed   that   it   cannot   be 

said that the defendant was a stranger because he was 

the son of the nephew of the original tenant and was 

therefore   a   blood   relative   and   therefore   a   family 

member   of   the   deceased   tenant.   Being   a   son   of   the 

nephew of the deceased tenant, in the opinion of the 

Appellate Court, the trial Court committed an error 

in   not   considering   the   defendant   as   a   tenant   under 

Section   5(11)(c)(ii)   of   the   Bombay   Rents,   Hotel    

Lodging House Rates Control Act, 1947. The Appellate 

Court, therefore, reversed the judgment of the trial 

Court and the rent suit of the plaintiff, applicant 

herein was dismissed.

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11 It   is   under   these   circumstances   that   the 

applicant herein, original plaintiff, being aggrieved 

by   the   order   of   the   Appellate   Court   reversing   the 

decree which was in his favour is in revision.

12 Mr. Jenil M.Shah, learned advocate has appeared 

for   the   applicant.   He   has   contended   that   the   lower 

Court i.e. the first Court did not commit any error 

in   interpreting   the   provisions   of   Section   5(11)(c)

(ii) of the Bombay Rents, Hotel  Lodging House Rates 

Control Act, 1947. The Appellate Court was erroneous 

in   holding   that   the   defendant   had   acquired   the 

transmission   of   the   tenancy   right   of   the   deceased 

tenant­Purshottamdas Soni. 

12.1 Shri   Jenil   Shah,   learned   advocate   for   the 

applicant,   further   contended   that  if   the   provisions 

of Section 5(11)(c)(ii) are read, in order to acquire 

tenancy  rights,   the  incumbent  has   not  only   to  be   a 

member   of   the   tenant’s   family,   but   also   must   be 

carrying on the business in the suit premises at the 

time of death of the tenant. The learned trial Judge, 

therefore,   was   correct   on   appreciation   of   the 

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evidence   on   record   that   neither   was   the   respondent 

herein a member of the family, nor was he carrying on 

the  business   at  the   time   of  the  tenant’s   death.  In 

view of a categorical finding of the trial Court that 

the   defendant   was   not   legally   adopted   and   that   the 

name   of   the   defendant   was   incorporated   in   the 

registration   certificate   three   years   after   death   of 

the   tenant,   it   could   be   said   that   these   was 

sufficient proof to hold that the twin requirements 

of section 5(11)(c)(ii) of the Bombay Rents, Hotel  

Lodging   House   Rates   Control   Act,   1947,   were   not 

satisfied.

12.2 The   Appellate   Court   committed   an   error   of   law 

in, though affirming the finding of the trial Court 

and   holding   the   adoption   as   invalid,   but   then, 

deciding   the   question   of   defendant   being   “a   family 

member”   in   his   favour   though   he   was   the   deceased 

tenant’s   nephews   son.   Moreover,   it   was   only   on   the 

basis   of   evidence   that   the   defendant   was   residing 

with the deceased tenant. The fact of his carrying on 

business   with   deceased   tenant   at   the   time   of   his 

death, was held in his favour. 

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12.3 The   Appellate   Court   failed   to   appreciate   that 

the   tenant­defendant   herein   had   not   challenged   the 

finding of the trial Court that he was not a legally 

adopted   son   which   was   against   him.   Even   when   the 

Appellate Court has affirmed such a finding against 

the   respondent   which   is   not   under   challenge,   it   is 

conclusively   proved   that   the   respondent   is   not   a 

family member. 

12.4 It   was   not   even   the   case   of   the   defendant   to 

claim transmission of tenancy on his being the son of 

of the nephew of the deceased tenant, and therefore, 

the Appellate Court ventured into deciding the issue 

which was not even raised for consideration. 

13 In   support   of   these   submissions,   Mr.Shah, 

learned advocate relied on a decision in the case of 

Madhuben   Natwarlal     Ors.   vs.   Prajapati   Purshottam  

Tulsidas, reported in 1990 (2) GLR 1177. My attention 

was drawn to paragraphs 4 and 5 of the judgment where 

the Court observed that the Rent Act does not provide 

that   the   statutory   tenancy   will   be   inserted   by   the 

heirs of the deceased, but the protection of the Rent 

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Act   is   granted   to   a   person   who   is   a   member   of   the 

tenant’s family. The Court in that case has observed 

that the term “family” would not include nephews’ of 

the   deceased   tenant.   He   specifically   relied   on   the 

following observations in the judgment:

” xxx            xxxx                     xxxxx. 

It is true that in the said decision the Court  
has held that a conspectus of the connotation of  
the term ‘family’ which emerges from a reference  
to the dictionaries clearly shows that the word  
‘family’ has to be given not a restricted but a 
wider meaning so as to include not only the head  
of   the   family   but   all   members   or   descendants  
from   the   common   ancestors   who   are   actually  
living with the same head. From this Mr. Bavishi  
submitted that as the appellants are descendants 
from   the   common   ancestors,   therefore   the 
appellants   would   be   the   family   members   of   the  
deceased   Jamnadas.   In   my   view,   this   contention  
cannot   be   accepted.   Merely   because   the   word  
“common ancestors” is used in the said judgment,  
it   would   not   mean   that   distant   nephews   or 
cousins should be considered as family members. 
By   amending   Sec.   5(11)(c)   the   Legislature 
stepped   in   and   provided   a   special   mode   of 
succession   to  the  tenancy   rights   or  lease  hold  
rights   to   the   extent   of   irremovability   from  
possession to those who were in need of it but  
has   limited   it   to   the   members   of   the   tenant’s  
family.   Normally   ‘family’   includes   parents,  
spouse, brothers, sisters, sons or daughters or 
in some cases widow of a pre­deceased son or the  
issues   of   the   pre­deceased   sons   but   by   no 
stretch   of   imagination   it   can   be   held   that   he 
distant   nephews   would   be   the   family   members  
howsoever   broad   meaning   is   given   to   the   word 
“family”.   Hence   the   contention   of   the   learned  
Advocate   for   the   appellants   cannot   be   accepted  
that eh appellants are the family members of the  
deceased Jamnadas who was a tenant of the suit  

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room”

13.1 He further relied on a decision  of the Hon’ble 

Supreme   Court   in   the   case   of  Jaspal   Singh     Anr., 

vs.   Additional   District   Judge,   Bulandshahar.,  

reported in AIR 1984 pg 1880. He drew my attention to 

the   Head   Note   B   of   the   judgment   which   says   that   a 

nephew cannot be said to be a member of the tenant’s 

family. The relevant paragraph of the said judgment 

reads as under:

“9 From a survey of these provisions, it will  
be clear that if a tenant parts with possession 
of   the   premises   in   his   possession,   the   same  
would   be   treated   as   vacant.   There   are  
restrictions   in   the   case   of   a   residential  
building that the tenant will live only with the  
members of his family and after he was allowed  
the same to be occupied by any person who is not 
a   member   of   his   family,   the   tenant   shall   be 
deemed to have ceased to occupy the building. In  
the   case   of  a  non­residential  building,  when   a 
tenant is carrying on business in the building,  
admits   a   person   who   is   not   a   member   of   his 
family   as   a   partner   or   a   new   partner,   as   the 
case may be, the tenant shall be deemed to have 
ceased   to   occupy   the   building.   It   a   tenant  
sublets the premises, he is liable to ejectment.  
Obviously,   therefore,   there   are   restrictions  
placed by the Act on the right of the tenant to  
transfer or sublet the tenancy rights and he can  
keep possession of the building or premises for  
himself and for the purpose of his family, for  
his business and for the business of his family 
members.   He   obviously   cannot   be   allowed   to  
transfer a tenancy right. A fortiori, the Scheme  
of the Act does not warrant the transfer of the 
tenancy   right   to   be   effective   after   his  
lifetime.   Thus,   the   appellant   was   neither   a 

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tenant of the disputed shop nor he was an heir  
of   Naubat   Singh,   the   original   tenant.   Besides,  
on a plain reading of the will it is evident in  
respect   of   other   properties   including   his 
business   but   not   in   respect   of   the   tenancy  
rights.   The  High   Court   also   recorded   a  finding  
to the effect that there was no will in respect 
of the tenancy rights of the disputed shop.”

13.2 In   short,   Shri   Shah   supported   the   findings   of 

the first Court which decreed the suit in favour of 

the applicant.

14 Mr.S.P.Majmudar,   appeared   for   the   respondent   – 

defendant.   He   drew   my   attention   to   the   judgment   of 

the Appellate Court particularly paragraph 21 thereof 

and suggested that, though, the respondent may have 

been   unable   to  prove   that   he  was   a  legally   adopted 

son, but from the evidence on record it was rightly 

observed   by   the   Appellate   Court   that   the   fact   that 

the   marriage   of   the   defendant   was   held   at   Vadodara 

where   the   deceased   tenant   was   living,   and   that   the 

daughter   and  the   son  of  the   defendant   were   born  at 

that place on 07.09.1978 and 19.05.1981 respectively 

and   certificates   were   produced   at   Exhs.60     61 

respectively,   the   Appellate   Court   was   right   in 

observing     that   the   respondent   was   living   with   the 

deceased   tenant   up   to   the   death   of   the   tenant   on 

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22.11.1983. 

14.1 On   the   question   whether   the   respondent   was 

carrying on business at the time of the death of the 

deceased   tenant   with   him,   Mr.   Majmudar,   invited   my 

attention to the observations of the Appellate Court 

particularly   Exh.62   which   showed   that   the   shop   was 

registered in the name of the deceased tenant since 

1964, that the present respondent was doing job work 

with   him   since   1975   and   that   the   plaintiff   himself 

had   admitted   in   his   deposition   at   Exh.15   that   the 

present respondent was doing business in the shop in 

October,   1985   when   he   had   taken   objection   to   the 

respondent   doing   business.   That   the   plaintiff­

applicant had accepted the rent of the suit shop as 

is evident from the rent receipts at Exhs.39 to 50. 

All   these   circumstances   clearly   establish   that   the 

defendant was doing business with the original tenant 

and also after the death of such tenant.

14.2 Mr.   Majmudar,   further   invited   my   attention   to 

paragraph 27 of the judgment of the Appellate Court 

which   considered   the   fact   that   the   respondent   – 

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defendant was not a stranger person, but he was son 

of  the   nephew   of  the   original  tenant   and  the   trial 

Court,   therefore,   had   committed   an   error   in   not 

believing the fact that the present respondent was a 

family   member   even   though   he   was   not   a   legally 

adopted son. The Appellate Court, therefore, had not 

committed any error in construing the provisions of 

Section   5(11)(c)(ii)   of   the   Bombay   Rents,   Hotel    

Lodging House Rates Control Act, 1947 in his favour. 

The Appellate Court, therefore, committed no error of 

jurisdiction   and   therefore   in   exercise   of   powers 

under   Section   29(2)   of   the   Bombay   Rents,   Hotel    

Lodging House Rates Control Act, 1947, the judgment 

and order of the Appellate Court was not perverse to 

deserve   any   interference.   According   to   Mr.Majmudar, 

merely   because   the   Appellate   Court   had   taken   a 

different view, the judgment of Appellate Court would 

not become vulnerable.

14.3 In   support   of   this   submission,   Mr.Majmudar 

relied on a decision of the Hon’ble Supreme Court in 

the   case   of  Hindustan   Petroleum   Corporation   vs.  

Dilbahar   Singh.,  reported   in  (2014)   9   scc   78.  He 

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invited   my   attention   to   paragraphs   32     33   of   the 

judgment   to   suggest   that   when   the   findings   of   fact 

recorded by the subordinate Court is according to law 

and  which  is   based   on  some   legal   evidence,   it  does 

not warrant interference.

14.4 Mr.Majmudar,   also   relied   on   a   decision   in   the 

case   of  Nanumal   Rijumal   vs.   Lilaram   Vensimal   And  

Anr.,  reported   in  1977   GLR   858,  in   support   of   his 

submission that the law of inheritance would prevail 

and that no restrictive meaning to the word tenancy 

can be given. Tenancy rights speaking loosely devolve 

not   in   the   strict   sense   of   succession   but   in   the 

sense of right to occupy and to possess the tenancy 

right. Therefore, the Appellate Court did not commit 

any   error   of   law   in   holding   that   the   present 

respondent   being   the   son   of   the   nephew   of   the 

deceased tenant was a family member. He specifically 

relied   on   para   13   of   the   judgment.   Mr.   Majmudar, 

further   submitted  that   considering   the   overall   view 

of   the   matter,   even   if   the   Appellate   Court’s   view 

that he was not legally adopted is believed, in view 

of the undisputed proposition that he was the son of 

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the nephew of the deceased tenant, he was entitled to 

the   protection   of   the   Rent   Act   being   the   family 

member. 

14.5 In support of this submission, Mr.Majmudar, also 

relied on a decision of the Supreme Court in the case 

of  Vasant   Pratap   Pandit   vs.   Dr.   Anant   Trimbak  

Sabins.,  reported   in  (1994)   3   SCC   481.  Relevant 

paragraph of the said judgment reads as under:

“14 From   a   plaint   reading   of   Section   5(11)(c)

(i)   it   is   obvious   that   the   legislative  
prescription   is   first   to   give   protection   to 
members   of   the   family   of   the   tenant   residing 
with him at the time of his death. The basis for 
such prescription seems to be that when a tenant  
is   in   occupation   of   premises   the   tenancy   is  
taken   by   him   not   only   for   his   own   behalf   but 
also   for   the   benefit   of   the   members   of   the  
family   residing   with   him.   Therefore,   when   the 
tenant   dies,   protection   should   be   extended   to 
the members of the family who were participants  
in   the   benefit   of   the   tenancy   and   for   whose  
needs  as   well  the   tenancy  was   originally   taken  
by the tenant. It is for this avowed object, the  
legislature   has,   irrespective   of   the   fact 
whether   such   members   are   ‘heirs’   in  the   strict  
sense of the term or not, given them the first  
priority   to   be   treated   as   tenants.   It   is   only 
when such members of the family are not there,  
the   ‘heirs’   will   be   entitled   to   be   treated   as 
tenants as decided, in default of agreement, by  
the   court.   In   other   words,   all   the   heirs   are  
liable to be excluded if any other member of the  
family was staying with the tenant at the time  
of   his  death.  When   Section   15,  which   prohibits  
sub­letting, assignment or transfer, is read in 
juxtaposition   with   Section   5(11)(c)(i)   it   is 

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patently clear that the legislature intends that 
in case no member of the family as referred to 
in   the   first   part   of   the   clause   is   there   the 
‘heir’,   who   under   the   ordinary   mode   of  
succession   would   necessarily   be   a   relation   of 
the deceased, should be treated as a tenant of  
the   premises   subject,   however,   to   the   decision  
by the Court in default of agreement. The words 
“as   may   be   decided   in   default   of   agreement   by 
the   Court”   as   appearing   in   Section   5(11)(c)(i)  
are not without significance. These words in our  
view have been incorporated to meet a situation  
where there are more than one heirs. In such an 
eventuality the landlord may or may not agree to  
one or the other of them being recognised as a 
‘tenant’.  Therefore,   if  ‘heir’   is  to   include   a 
legatee of the will then the above­quoted words  
cannot be applied in case of a tenant who leaves  
behind   more   than   one   legatee   for   in   that   case 
the   wishes   of  the   testator   can  get   supplanted,  
on   the   landlord’s   unwillingness   to   respect   the 
same, by the ultimate decision of the Court. In 
other   words,   in   case   of   a   testamentary  
disposition,   where   the   wish   or   will   of   the  
deceased has got to be respected a decision by  
the   court   will   not   arise   and   that   would  
necessarily   mean   that   the   words   quoted   above  
will   be   rendered   nugatory.   What   we   want   to  
emphasis   is   it   is   not   the   heirship   but   the  
nature   of   claim   that   is   determinative.   In   our  
considered   view   the   legislature   could   not   have 
intended   to   confer   such   a   right   on   the 
testamentary   heir.   Otherwise,   the   right   of   the 
landlord   to   recover   possession   will   stand 
excluded   even   though   the   original   party(the  
tenant) with whom the landlord had contracted is  
dead.   Besides,   a   statutory   tenancy   is   personal  
to   the   tenant.   In   certain   contingencies   as  
contemplated   in   Section   5(11)(c)(i)   certain  
heirs are unable to succeed to such a tenancy.  
To   this   extent,   a   departure   is   made   from   the  
general law”.

14.6 Reliance   was   also   placed   on   a   decision   in   the 

case of  Hirak Chowdjury vs. Dulal Chowdhury  Ors.,  

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of   the   Kolkata   High   Court   reported   in  2001   SCC 

Online Cal 391, in support of his stand that the son 

of   the   nephew   of   the   deceased   tenant   is   a   family 

member.

15 Based   on   these   rival   submissions,   we   have   to 

consider whether the defendant­respondent could claim 

the benefit of transmission of tenancy right on the 

basis of he being the son the nephew of the deceased. 

Before   we   dwell   into   the   facts   of   the   case,   the 

provisions of the Bombay Rents, Hotel  Lodging House 

Rates Control Act, 1947 defines the word tenant. The 

word “tenant” is defined in Section 5 sub­section 11 

Clause C(ii) of the same, which reads as under:

“in relation to premises let for business, trade  
or   storage,   any   member   of   the   tenant’s   family  
carrying on business, trade or storage with the  
tenant in the said premises at the time of the  
death of the tenant as may continue, after his  
death,   to   carry   on   the   business,   trade   or 
storage as the case may be, in the said premises  
and as may be decided in default of agreement by  
the Court”

16 On   reading   the   said   section,   what   becomes 

evident is that for claiming tenancy in the business 

premises   by   succession,   not   only   has   one   to   be   a 

member of the tenant’s family, but also run business 

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with   the   tenant   at   the   time   of   the   death   of   the 

tenant and may continue to do so after his death. In 

other   words,   the   provision   is   categorically   clear 

that both the conditions i.e. he has to be a member 

of the family and should be carrying on business at 

the time of his death in the same premise need to be 

simultaneously satisfied.

17 It is in the background  of this proposition  of 

law,   that   we   need   to   decide   the   question   raised 

before this Court. It was the case of the applicant 

before   the   trial   Court   that   on   the   death   of   the 

tenant Purshottamdas Soni, in 1983, since he had no 

son or heir carrying on any business in the premises, 

the landlord plaintiff was entitled to evacuation of 

the business premises. The suit was accordingly filed 

for such eviction. The present respondent who was the 

defendant filed a written statement before the trial 

Court claiming the benefit of Section5(11)(c)(ii) of 

the Rent Act on the ground that he was an adopted son 

of the deceased tenant Purshottamdas Soni. Since it 

was he who had come out with such a specific  case, 

the trial Court rightly put the burden to prove this 

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fact on him. Considering the provisions of Section 11 

of the Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act, 1956 and 

the evidence of the defendant at Exh.56 and that of 

one Natwarlal Fakirchand Khatri at Exh.92, the trial 

Court found that except bare recitals in his evidence 

that he had photographs to prove the adoption, he had 

not produced any such photograph. In fact, even the 

adoption deed which was produced on record at Exh.59, 

the   Court   rightly   found   that   in   the   document   so 

executed   between   the   deceased   tenant   Purshottamdas 

Soni and the parents of the defendant, there was no 

signature of the giving parents i.e. the parents of 

the defendant, and therefore, the mandate of Section 

11 of the Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act, 1956, 

was not satisfied. There was no giving and receiving 

ceremony   which   was   undertaken,   and   therefore,   the 

adoption was held to be invalid. The trial Court did 

not   believe   the   story   that   the   defendant   was   an 

adopted son of the deceased tenant.  The trial Court, 

therefore, held that the defendant could not be held 

to be a member of the tenant’s family in view of the 

failure   to   prove   his   case   that   he   was   a   legally 

adopted son. The trial, therefore, held that it can 

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safely   be   said   that   there   was   no   adoption   deed   in 

eyes   of   law   because   the   mandatory   condition   i.e. 

signing of the adoption deed by the person giving and 

taking the child in adoption were not satisfied. The 

contention   of   the   defendant­respondent   herein   that 

the term “family” has to be given a wider meaning was 

in my opinion rightly accepted.

18 I am fortified in taking this view particularly 

in view of the fact that even in the appeal, at the 

instance   of   the   respondent   herein,   the   Appellate 

Court affirmed the findings of the trial Court that 

the   respondent­defendant   was   not   a   legally   adopted 

son. Be it noted that, as against this finding, the 

defendant   has   not   challenged   the   same   by   way   of 

revision before this Court, and therefore, the same 

has to be accepted to have become final and binding.

19 Curiously,   though   the   Appellate   Court   approved 

such a finding that the respondent herein was not a 

legally   adopted   son,   it   held   that   since   the 

respondent was the son of the nephew of the original 

tenant, he could be described as a family member of 

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the   deceased   tenant­Purshottamdas   Soni.   From   the 

judgment of the trial Court, it is evident that the 

issue   whether   the   defendant,   respondent   herein   can 

claim transmission of tenancy by virtue of being the 

son of the nephew of the deceased tenant was not at 

all raised before the Court. It was not the case of 

the defendant in the written statement so filed that 

he claimed transmission of tenancy on the basis of he 

being a nephew of the son of the deceased. The only 

case   pleaded   by   him   to   claim   protection   and 

transmission   of   tenancy   was   that   he   was   a   legally 

adopted   son,   and   therefore,   fell   within   the   first 

condition of Section 5(11)(c)(ii) of the Act, “being 

members of the tenant’s family”. Obviously, when both 

the   Courts   below   held   that   he   was   not   a   legally 

adopted   son,   and   in   absence   of   the   claim   of   the 

defendant­respondent of tenancy on the ground of he 

being   a   nephew,   it   was   not   a   matter   in   issue   and 

therefore   the   Appellate   Court   clearly   exceeded   the 

jurisdiction vested in it.

20 Even   otherwise,   as   rightly   contended   by   Shri 

Jenil Shah, learned counsel for the applicant and as 

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held by this Court in the case of Madhuben Natwarlal 

(supra),  that the term family though may not have a 

restricted   meaning,   the   distant   nephews   or   cousins, 

cannot   be   considered   as   family   members   as   normally 

“family includes parents, spouse, brothers, sisters, 

sons or daughters or in some cases widow of a pre­

deceased son”.

21 The judgment relied by Shri S.P.Majmudar in the 

case of Vasant Pratap Pandit(supra), and in the case 

of  Nanumal Rijumal (supra),  would not be applicable 

to the facts of the case. In that case, the context 

was with regard to the law of succession. On facts, 

both the Courts below have held that the defendant­

respondent herein has failed to prove that he was a 

legally   adopted   son.   Therefore,   the   question   of 

heirship or bequeathment of tenancy was not an issue 

which can be pleaded by the respondent in absence of 

any   challenge.   Therefore   what   is   clear   and   evident 

from   the   perusal   and   close   scrutiny   of   the   orders 

below,   that   is   of   the   first   Court   and   that   of   the 

Appellate Court, is that first primary condition of 

claiming transmission of tenancy on the ground of the 

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defendant/respondent   being   a  member   of   the   tenant’s 

family has not been satisfied. 

22 This brings us to the second limb of the section 

which states that, in addition to being a member of 

the tenant’s family, such a tenant should be carrying 

on business in the said premises at the time of the 

death of the tenant and may continue to do so after 

his   death.   The   trial   Court   on   examination   of   the 

evidence has found that the registration of the shop, 

the   document   which   is   produced   at   Exh.62,   being   a 

certificate,   shows   that   the   shop   was   registered   in 

the year 1964. The name of the defendant was inserted 

in the year 1986 i.e. after three years of death of 

the   deceased   tenant.   No   plausible   explanation   came 

forth from the respondent­defendant to suggest as to 

why   his   name   was   not   inserted   immediately   on   the 

death  of   the   deceased  tenant­Purshottamdas   Soni.   In 

my opinion, therefore, the trial Court committed no 

error   in  observing   that   it  can   be  safely   said   that 

the respondent­defendant had failed to establish that 

he  was   continuously  doing  the   job  work   in  the   suit 

premises   after   the   death   of   the   deceased­

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C/CRA/174/2005 CAV JUDGMENT

Purshottamdas Soni. 

22.1 Merely   because   receipts   Exhs.   39   to   50   were 

produced on behalf of the respondent to suggest that 

it was the defendant who had collected rent on behalf 

of the deceased tenant would not support the case of 

the defendant that it was he who was the tenant and 

was   carrying   on   business   not   only   at   the   time   of 

death,   but   even   before   the   death   of   the   tenant­

Purshottamdas Soni. Merely making payment of rent or 

acceptance of such rent would not render and satisfy 

the second condition of the section. 

23 The   trial   Court   has   extensively   discussed   the 

case of the respondent as to whether he has been able 

to prove and establish that he was doing the business 

in   the   suit   premises   with   the   deceased   tenant   till 

his   death,   and   thereafter   continued   doing   the 

business in the demised premises. It was the case of 

the   respondent   that   he   was   doing   business   with   the 

deceased   tenant   of  job   work  of   gold  since  1975.  No 

documentary   evidence   has   been   brought   on   record   to 

show   the   fact   of   his   association   with   the   deceased 

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C/CRA/174/2005 CAV JUDGMENT

tenant.   Only   one   witness   Shri   Natwarlal   Fakirchand 

Khatri,   at   Exh.92   has   deposed   that   the   deceased 

tenant   and   the   present   defendant   were   staying 

together. This witness was a neighbouring shop owner. 

The certificate at Exh.23 under the Bombay Shops and 

Establishment Act shows that the name of the deceased 

tenant   was   deleted   and   the   defendant’s   name   was 

inserted   on   28.11.1986   i.e.   three   years   after   the 

death   of   the   deceased   tenant.   The   certificate   on 

examination   was   found   to   contain   no   name   or   the 

figure   or   the   name   of   the   family   members   doing 

business   with   the   deceased   tenant.   In   my   opinion, 

therefore, the trial Court did not commit any error 

in   concluding  that   the   defendant,  respondent   herein 

was not doing the job work of gold in the disputed 

premises   after   the   death   of   the   deceased 

Purshottamdas Soni. The trial Court also has come to 

the   conclusion   that   merely   because   the   present 

defendant was receiving rent for which receipts from 

Exhs. 39 to 50 were produced, it would not make out a 

case   to   satisfy   the   second   condition   i.e.   5(11)(c)

(ii) of the Bombay Rents, Hotel  Lodging House Rates 

Control Act, 1947. 

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C/CRA/174/2005 CAV JUDGMENT

24 The   Appellate   Court,   while   holding   that   the 

benefit of the provisions of Section 5(11)(c)(ii) had 

to be granted to the defendant­respondent herein has, 

in   my   opinion,   travelled   into   the   provisions   of 

Section   5(11)(c)(i)   of   the   Bombay   Rents,   Hotel    

Lodging House Rates Control Act, 1947. Merely because 

evidence on record was produced that the marriage of 

the   defendant   was   held   at   Vadodara   and   that   there 

were birth certificates on record at Exhs.60 and 61 

of   07­09­1978   and   19­05­1981   of   the   defendants 

daughter and son respectively, would at best suggest 

that the defendant was living with Purshottamdas Soni 

at   the   time   of   his   death   in   November,1983.   The 

finding of the Appellate Court, therefore, that the 

address of the defendant­original tenant is the same 

because they were living together, would not in any 

way satisfy the second requirement of Section 5(11)

(c)(ii)   of   the   Bombay   Rents,   Hotel     Lodging   House 

Rates Control Act, 1947 of the respondent carrying on 

the business in the premises at the time of the death 

of   the   deceased   tenant.   Moreover,   nothing   was 

produced on record as observed by the trial Court and 

when the trial Court on appreciation of evidence came 

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C/CRA/174/2005 CAV JUDGMENT

to the conclusion that the insertion of the name of 

the defendant was three years after the death of the 

deceased   tenant,   and   merely   because   rent   receipts 

were   collected   by   the   defendant,   would   not 

substantiate   his   case,   it   was   not   open   for   the 

Appellate Court merely because a different view was 

possible   to   take   such   a   view   in   favour   of   the 

defendant.

25 I   do   not   agree   with   the   submissions   of 

Mr.Majmudar   that   the   judgment   and   order   of   the 

Appellate   Court   cannot   be   set   aside   because   a 

different view is possible.

26 For   the   reasons   stated   herein   above,   it   is 

obvious that the Appellate Court in exercise of its 

jurisdiction has not only taken a different view, but 

has   clearly   exceeded   it’s   jurisdiction   inasmuch   as 

has considered and decided the issues not only which 

were not raised before it, but has acted in a manner 

with   perversity   to   decide   contrary   to   the   evidence 

which was on record and it was rightly appreciated by 

the trial Court while deciding the suit and decreed 

the same in favour of the applicant.

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C/CRA/174/2005 CAV JUDGMENT

27 For   the   aforesaid   reasons,   therefore,   I   am   of 

the   opinion   that   the   learned   Appellate   judge   in 

deciding Regular Civil Appeal No. 282 of 2001 and in 

reversing   the   decree   dated   23.10.2001   in   Rent   Suit 

No. 136 of 1989 committed a serious error of law and 

of jurisdiction. I, therefore, deem it fit to quash 

and set aside the judgment and order dated 07.05.2005 

passed   by   the   Joint   District   Judge,   F.T.C   No.5, 

Vadodara in Regular Civil Appeal No. 282 of 2001 and 

restore   the   decree   of   the   trial   Court   dated 

23.10.2001.   The   present   Revision   Application   is 

accordingly   allowed.   Rule   is   made   absolute 

accordingly with no orders as to costs.

                    

(BIREN VAISHNAV, J)

After   pronouncement   of   the   judgment,   learned 

counsel for the respondent prays that the operation 

of   the   judgment   be   suspended.   Accordingly,   the 

request   is   granted.   The   operation   of   the   judgment 

shall be suspended till 12.10.2018.

(BIREN VAISHNAV, J)
Bimal

Page 36 of 36

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