Tenant Can’t Be Evicted On the Ground of Defaulting Rent without Determination of ‘Provisional Rent’ By Court: SC

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Regarding the rent control laws in Rajasthan, the SC held that, in a petition seeking tenant eviction on the ground of defaulting rent, the provisional determination of the rent by the court is mandatory and without such determination of the rent by the court is mandatory and without such determination of rent, no decree of eviction on the ground of default can be passed.

In this case, the trial court, without determination of provisional rent under Section 13(3) of the Rajasthan Premises (Control of Rent and Eviction) Act, 1950, decreed the suit.  

When the matter reached the high court, it held that Section 13(3) of the Rent Act is mandatory in nature so far as provisional determination of the rent is mandatory in nature so far as provisional determination of the rent is concerned and without determination of rent no decree of eviction on the ground of default can be passed.

The issue before the apex court bench of Justice NV Ramana and Justice S Abdul Nazeer (In Ram Pratap vs. Anand Kanwar) was whether fixation of provisional rent by the trial court under Section 13(3), where eviction of a tenant is sought under Section13(1)(a), is mandatory or directory. The bench, referring to various provisions of Section 3 of the Act, observed: “It is evident from Section 13(3) of the Rent Act that the use of the word ‘shall’ puts a mandatory obligation on the court to fix provisional rent within three months of the filing of the written statement but before framing of the issues. The language of the Section is mandatory and places a duty on the court to determine the provisional rent irrespective of any application or not. If the rent so determined by the court is paid by the tenant as provided under Section 13(4), no decree for eviction of the tenant can be passed on the ground of default under Section 13(1)(a) in view of Section 13(6) of the Act.”

Judgment

Upholding the High Court’s view, it also added that unless the determination under Section 13(3) takes place, Section 13(6) cannot be complied with and a valuable right given to a tenant would be lost.

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