The Rent Controller considered the rival submissions and noted that the three necessary ingredients for initiating proceedings under Section 13B of the Act were satisfied by the appellants. Firstly the landlord is NRI, secondly, the landlord has returned to India; and thirdly, the landlord has been the owner of the property for five years. The relationship of landlord and tenant was also found between the contesting parties.
The Rent Controller rejected the objection of the tenants that a portion of the premises would be sufficient for the proposed business.
Aggrieved by the decision of the Rent Controller refusing leave to contest, the tenants filed separate Revision Petitions before the High Court to challenge the orders of the Rent Controller and it held that right to contest should be granted to the tenants.
The SC held the Rent Controller in denying right to contest to the tenants and ordering handover of vacant possession to the landlord had noted that the landlord had returned to India and required the premises for his bona fide need and accordingly, the summary proceedings under Section 13B for recovery of possession of the entire building was found to be justified.
On consideration of the above aspects, the genuine need of the appellants to secure vacant possession of the premises for the proposed business is found to be established. According to us, the adequacy or otherwise of the space available with the landlord for the business in mind is not for the tenant to dictate.
The special procedure for NRI landlord was deliberately designed bythe Legislature to speedily secure possession of tenanted premises for bona fide need of the NRI landlords and such legislative intent to confer the right of summary eviction, as a one time measure cannot be frustrated, without strong reason.
The tenants have failed to provide adequate reason to secure the right to contest the summary proceedings and they should not be allowed to widen the scope of the limited defense under Section 13B. To fulfil their bona fide requirement, the landlords have availed only one opportunity under the summary procedure of Section 13B and their business requirement is not seriously contested
by the tenants.