The High Court of Delhi in a recent judgement held that even if the defense of the Defendant/Tenant has been struck off, the Written Statement filed by the said Defendant can be relied upon by the the Trial Court in favour of the Plaintiff while deciding the suit. In other words upon the striking of the defence the Defendant cannot rely on the said Written Statement, however, the Plaintiff can rely on the same to take benefits of admissions made therein.
This was held in the matter Torque Bikes (P) Ltd. v. Harsh Gupta., RFA No. 491 of 2018 on 6th July 2018.
The Appellant/Tenant/Defendant entered into a lease deed dated 26.05.2015 with the Respondent/Landlord/Plaintiff for commercial space admeasuring 4500 sq. feet for a period of five years, including a lock-in period. The Appellant failed to pay monthly rent of Rs.1,84,500/- from 01.03.2016; therefore the Respondent sent a notice for termination of tenancy on 15.04.2016 on account of non-payment of rent and hence filed a suit for possession, arrears of rent and damages. The trial court exercised its powers under Order XXXIX Rule 10 read with Order XVA of Civil Procedure Code, 1908 wherein the defense of Appellant/Tenant was struck off vide impugned order dated 27.10.2016. The Trial Court decreed the suit in favour of Plaintiff/Landlord by taking in account the facts admitted by the Tenant/Defendant in the written statement. The Hon’ble Appellate Court was to determine whether the written statement of the Defendant/Appellant could be read in deciding the suit since the defense of the of Defendant/Appellant has been struck off.
It was observed that the provision of Order XVA was specifically inserted by the legislature in spite of the existence of Order XXXIX Rule 10 in order to ensure that the tenant did not stay in the tenanted premises during the pendency of suit filed by landlord for possession without payment of rent. The Hon’ble High Court held that the Trial Court has not erred in deciding the suit in favour of the landlord. It was further held that it was only the defense of the Defendant/Appellant that had been struck off under Order XVA read with Order XXXIX Rule 10. Since the written statement was on record, the facts admitted in same could be considered in deciding the matter.