Service of summons in the suit will be taken as the receipt of notice .. ..Order 7 Rule 7 CPC can then be applied

M/S. Jeevan Diesels & Electricals … vs M/S. Jasbir Singh Chadha (Huf) & ANR. (Delhi High Court )

  1. The second argument that the legal notice dated 15.7.2006 was not received by the appellant, and consequently the tenancy cannot be said to have been validly terminated, is also an argument without substance and there are many reasons for rejecting this argument. These reasons are as follows:-

(i) The respondents/plaintiffs appeared in the trial Court and exhibited the notice terminating tenancy dated 15.7.2006 as Ex.PW1/3 and with respect to which the registered receipt, UPC and AD card were exhibited as Ex.PW1/4 to Ex.PW1/6. The notice admittedly was sent to the correct address and which aspect was not disputed before the trial Court. Once the respondents/plaintiffs led evidence and duly proved the service of legal notice, the appellant/defendant was bound to lead rebuttal evidence to show that the notice was not served although the same was posted to the correct address. Admittedly, the appellant/defendant led no evidence in the trial Court. In fact, even leading of evidence in rebuttal by the appellant would not have ordinarily helped the appellant as the notice was sent to the correct address. In my opinion, therefore, the trial Court was justified in arriving at a finding that the legal notice dated 15.7.2006 was duly served upon the appellant resulting in termination of the tenancy.

(ii) The Supreme Court in the case of Nopany Investments (P)Ltd. Vs.Santokh Singh (HUF) 2008 (2) SCC 728 has held that the tenancy would stand terminated under general law on filing of a suit for eviction. Accordingly, in view of the decision in the case of Nopany (supra) I hold that even assuming the notice terminating tenancy was not served upon the appellant (though it has been served and as held by me above) the tenancy would stand terminated on filing of the subject suit against the appellant/defendant.

(iii) In the suits for rendition of accounts of a dissolved partnership at will and partition of HUF property, ordinarily it is required that a notice be given of dissolving the partnership at will or for severing the joint status before the filing of such suits because such suits proceed on the basis that the partnership is already dissolved or the joint status of an HUF stands severed by service of notices prior to the filing of such suits. However, it has been held in various judicial pronouncements that the service of summons in the suit will be taken as the receipt of notice of the dissolution of the partnership or severing of the joint status in case of non service of appropriate notices and therefore the suits for dissolution of partnership and partition of HUF property cannot be dismissed on the technical ground that the partnership was not dissolved before filing of the suit or the joint status was not severed before filing a suit for partition of the HUF property by serving of appropriate notices. In my opinion, similar logic can be applied in suits for possession filed by landlords against the tenants where the tenancy is a monthly tenancy and which tenancy can be terminated by means of a notice under Section 106 of the Transfer of Property Act. Once we take the service of plaint in the suit to the appellant/defendant as a notice terminating tenancy, the provision of Order 7 Rule 7 CPC can then be applied to take notice of subsequent facts and hold that the tenancy will stand terminated after 15 days of receipt of service of summons and the suit plaint. This rationale ought to apply because after all the only object of giving a notice under Section 106 is to give 15 days to the tenant to make alternative arrangements. In my opinion, therefore, the argument that the tenancy has not been validly terminated, and the suit could not have been filed, fails for this reason also. In this regard, I am keeping in view the amendment brought about to Section 106 of the Transfer of Property Act by Act 3 of 2003 and as per which Amendment no objection with regard to termination of tenancy is permitted on the ground that the legal notice did not validly terminate the tenancy by a notice ending with the expiry of the tenancy month, as long as a period of 15 days was otherwise given to the tenant to vacate the property. The intention of Legislature is therefore clear that technical objections should not be permitted to defeat substantial justice and the suit for possession of tenanted premises once the tenant has a period of 15 days for vacating the tenanted premises.

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