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The High Court Of Punjab And Haryana Widens The Scope Of Section 13a Of The East Punjab Urban Rent Restriction Act, 1949

By - Shilpi Pandey on January 9, 2023

The High Court of Punjab and Haryana in the matter of Pritpal Singh v. Aman Kumar[1] has elaborated on the extent of the right of a retired landlord to the recovery of property under Sections 13A and 18A of the East Punjab Urban Rent Restriction Act, 1949 (“The Act”). 

The demised premises in the concerned case had been let out by the Father of the Respondent in favour of the Petitioner for running the business of electrical spare parts. Eventually, a rent petition under Section 13A of the Act had been filed by the Respondent before the Rent Controller, Amritsar for the eviction of the Petitioner from the demised premises on the ground of bona fide need of the property. The Petitioner filed an application for leave to defend upon issue of notice by the Rent Controller. However, the same was dismissed by the Rent Controller on the grounds that there were no arguable points raised by the Petitioner against the Petition filed under Section 13A. It is pertinent to note that as per the aforementioned section, a landlord within one year prior to retirement or one year after retirement has the right to recover immediate possession of any residential or scheduled premises let out by him on rent. 

Being aggrieved by the Order passed by the Rent Controller, Amritsar, the present Review Petition was filed before the Hon’ble High Court. It was contented by the Petitioner that Section 13A of the Act will not be applicable in the present case since the property was not residential in nature and was not a part of the scheduled properties. However, it was held by the Court that the Petitioner cannot contend the same since it was not part of his pleadings before the Rent Controller, Amritsar. 

The Court stated that the only document that is to be looked upon by the Rent Controller is the Affidavit filed by the Tenant and a leave to defend is granted only in cases wherein the Affidavit discloses such facts which would disentitle the landlord from obtaining recovery of the demised premises. 

The Court reiterated that only three elements were required to make a case under Section 13A of the Act. Firstly, the Petitioner must file a petition within a year before or after the retirement, secondly, there must be a certificate evidencing retirement, and finally, the Petitioner must prove that the property sought to be restored into possession is for the own use of the Petitioner. 

The bench comprising Justice Nidhi Gupta further added that when Section 13A is read with Section 18A of the Act, the scope of the former is widened manifold as it includes 'Any residential building' and 'non- residential building' within the ambit of it. 

While dismissing the Revision Petition it was held by the court that the requirement of the landlord must be given primacy regardless of the type and nature of the property in question and that selective application of the provision would go against the purpose of it entirely. Consequently, the decision of the Rent Controller had been upheld and the possession of the property was restored in favour of the Respondent.


[1] CR. No. 5063/2022 (O&M)


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