The Delhi High Court held that when there are various co-owners/co-landlords, only one co-owner/co-landlord cannot terminate the tenancy for seeking possession of the tenanted property and/or mesne profits.
The observation was pronounced by an order in the matter Navin Chander Anand v. Union Bank of India & Ors RFA No. 544/2018 on July 17, 2018.
In the matter before the Court was a Regular First Appeal under Section 96 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (CPC) was filed by the plaintiff in the suit impugning the judgment of the Trial Court by which trial court has dismissed the suit for possession and mesne profits filed by the appellant/plaintiff.
The suit was filed for recovery of possession and mesne profits with respect to a property under co-ownership, which was under the occupation of a tenant. One of the co-owners instituted the suit. However, other co-owners did not support him, and they stated that the tenancy was unilaterally terminated by the plaintiff without consent of other co-owners.
The trial court dismissed the case on the ground that the appellant/plaintiff, being only one co-owner/co-landlord cannot claim possession and recovery of damages once the other co-owners have not supported him and have in fact opposed the termination of tenancy by him.
The Court concurred with the conclusions of the trial court which held that the suit could not have been maintained by one co-owner alone. Reference was made to the Supreme Court decisions in Sk. Sattar Sk. Mohd. Choudhari v. Gundappa Amabadas Bukate (1996) 6 SCC 373 and Jagdish Dutt and Anr. v. Dharam Pal and Ors (1999) 3 SCC 644.
In Sk. Sattar Sk. Mohd. Choudhari v. Gundappa Amabadas Bukate, it was held that a co-sharer cannot initiate action for eviction of the tenant from the portion of the tenanted accommodation nor can he sue for his part of the rent. The tenancy cannot be split up either in estate or in rent or any other obligation by unilateral act of one of the co-owners.
Based on these observations, the High Court held that when there are various co-owners/co-landlords, only one co-owner/co-landlord cannot terminate the tenancy for seeking possession of the tenanted property and/or mesne profits.