The Hon’ble High Court of Delhi in the case titled Kailash Kumari Vs Shakuntala RC.REV. 6/2017 decided on 02.02.2018 held that in the application for leave to defend the tenant must set out the precise facts which would disentitle the landlord from obtaining an order of eviction for bona fide need as under Section 14(1)(e) of the Delhi Rent Control Act.
The Tenant, in his leave to defned, did not disclose any facts which would disentitle the respondent/landlady from obtaining an order of eviction on the ground of bonafide need and necessity, under Section 14(1)(e) of the Rent Control Act 1958. Thus the issue before the Court was whether the tenant is entitled to leave to defend.
The Hon’ble High court of Delhi opined that If it were to be held that a tenant, in the application for leave to defend, merely by denying the averments in the petition for eviction or making vague pleas, without any basis and without disclosing the requisite particulars, or producing any material, is entitled to leave to defend, then the same would defeat the legislative intent in providing for summary procedure with respect to petitions for eviction on the ground of personal requirement of the landlord.
The High court relied on Ram Saroop Vs. Viney Kumar Mahajan MANU/DE/3530/2017 which cited various judgments to state that a tenant, to be entitled to leave to defend must disclose facts which would disentitle the landlord from obtaining an order of eviction under Section 14(1)(e) of the Act. It is only such facts which when proved would so disentitle the landlord which can entitle the tenant to leave to defend. Evidence in proof of such facts has to be confined to the pleas and cannot be beyond the pleas. The court further held that if the tenant is unable to make specific pleas, the Court cannot grant leave to defend on the premise that he will improve his case during trial. Leave to defend is not to be granted to allow to the tenant time to improve his case.
The High court further relied on CR No.352/2017 titled Lalta Prasad Gupta Vs. Sita Ram which clarified that if the tenant seeks leave to defend controverting the requirement pleaded by landlord on the ground of the landlord, though at the time of requirement having alternate premises, having not used the same and instead having commercially exploited the same, the tenant must plead
(a) The particulars of such premises;
(b) The right / title of the landlord to the same;
(c) That the said premises were vacant and available for use at the time of the pleaded requirement of landlord;
(d) How the said premises were suitable for the pleaded requirement;
(e) How the landlord has deprived himself thereof i.e. by sale or letting and support the said pleas with material on the basis whereof such pleas will be proved.