2020 APEX COURT – JAN-JUNE

  1. 2020 APEX COURT [7 ] – Suit for injunction and recovery of rents – when the appellants are in possession by the time of filing of the suit [without going in to the merits of taking possession ] and when the suit premises is not useful for running a school of the respondents – the appellants are entitled for injunction and any how he is not entitled for recovery of rents. – The appellants claimed to be owners of the property having purchased the same by the sale deed dated 17.04.1997. According to the appellants, the respondent has shifted the school from the said premises long ago and no longer running the school in the suit premises – the appellants took the possession [ disputed as forcibly  ] – Trial Court partly decreed the suit and held that the appellants are entitled to recovery of rent of Rs.391.84 only from the respondent. Insofar as the prayer for relief of permanent injunction, the Trial Court held that the appellants are not entitled for the relief of permanent injunction as they were required to file the suit for eviction. – The First Appellate Court held that the photographs of the suit premises showed that the property was not in a good condition and held that they were in possession of the premises since 1997. Referring to the evidence of PW-1, the First Appellate Court held that the keys of the suit premises available with the watchmen of the respondent were never handed over to the appellants. On those findings, the First Appellate  Court reversed the judgment of the Trial Court and granted relief of permanent injunction also in addition to the recovery of rent.- in second appeal The High Court held that merely because of the suit premises are in dilapidated state and not used would not mean that the tenancy of the suit premises would be abandoned and the High Court set aside the judgment of the First Appellate Court and restored the judgment of the Trial Court holding that the appellants are entitled only for recovery of Rs. 391.84 towards arrears of rent.- Apex court held that  it cannot be in dispute that it is not in use for the purpose for which it was let out. The manner in which the appellant came into possession looses relevance. Hence, without going into the merits of the rival contentions of the parties as to the abandonment, since the respondent – N.D.M.C. is no longer running the school, we deem it appropriate to set aside the judgment of the High Court and restore the judgment of the First Appellate Court. Taking note of the fact that the appellants are in possession of the property, the injunction as granted shall stand affirmed and the appellants would be entitled to retain the property without interference. Insofar as relief of decree for recovery of rent, in the facts and circumstances of the case, we hold that the appellants shall not seek to recover the amount ordered by the Trial Court nor shall there be any monetary claim against each other.