In a recent judgment, the Delhi High Court, held that enjoyment of a property without payment of any charges by the occupier who is not an owner is impermissible.
The said ruling was delivered in the matter of Jaswinder Kaur & Anr. vs. Anil Ahuja, FAO No. 528 of 2018 decided on 16.11.2018.
The Respondent/Plaintiff had rented the subject property to the Appellants/Defendants for a period of 11 months vide agreement dated 11.02.2014 at a rent of Rs. 16,500/- per month. The tenancy was later renewed orally. However, after March 2017, the Appellants failed to pay the rent. The Plaintiff sent a letter dated 07.05.2017 followed by a reminder dated 26.09.2017, asking the Appellants to vacate the property and pay arrears. Later, a legal notice dated 26.09.2017 was also sent to the Appellants for the same. As the Appellant failed to deliver possession of the subject property, the Plaintiff had filed a suit for possession, recovery of rent and damages and permanent injunction against the Appellants. The Appellants had, in their written statement, stated that it was their defense that they discovered that the Plaintiff was not the rightful owner of the subject property, hence they stopped paying the rent after April 2017 onwards. That Plaintiff filed an application under Order XXXIX Rule 10 read with Section 151 of the Civil Procedure Code,1908 for directions to the Appellants to either deposit the admitted rent in court or to pay the amount to the Plaintiff himself. The Trial Court allowed the said application of the Plaintiff and the Appellants/Defendants were directed to pay rent at the decided rate of Rs. 16,500/- per month from April 2017 onwards till the pendency of the suit. Hence, the Appellants filed the present appeal.
It was held that Order XXXIX Rule 10 of CPC is attracted where the subject matter of a suit is money or some other thing that is capable of delivery and any party to the suit admits that he holds such money or other thing as a trustee for another party, or that it belongs to or is due to another party. In such a case, the Court is empowered to direct the same to be deposited in the court or deliver such last-named party, with or without security, subject to further directions. Further, it was observed that Section 151 of the CPC empowers the court to make such orders as may be necessary to meet the ends of justice and to prevent the abuse of the process of the Court.