Dispute with landlord: Ferozepur tenant fined ₹1 lakh for concealment of facts
The court observed that it was clear that shopkeeper has concealed this very important fact from the court and initially succeeded in getting an interim order
The Punjab and Haryana high court has imposed a fine of ₹1 lakh on a Ferozepur shopkeeper, who in eviction proceedings with his landlord had “concealed some vital facts” about the case from the court.
“On account of the petitioner having approached this court with unclean hands and on account of his having suppressed vital facts from this court, exemplary costs of ₹1 lakh are imposed upon the petitioner, which shall be deposited by the petitioner in the High Court Legal Services Committee within a period of four weeks,” the bench of justice Vikram Aggarwal said dismissing a plea from the shopkeeper, Sukhdev Singh.
As per the case, the dispute was about a shop in Ferozepur Cantt market. It was owned by one Bimla Devi from whom it was purchased by respondent Mulkh Raj and Kamal Kumar (who later withdrew from ownership) in July 2009. Eviction was sought on the grounds of non-payment of arrears of rent, personal necessity and the shop in dispute being unsafe and unfit for human habitation, which was allowed by the rent controller. However, appellate authority ruled against it holding that the landlord and tenant relationship had not been proved and under the circumstances, the landlord could file a civil suit and not an eviction petition under the Rent Act.
The matter reached high court and appellate court order was reversed. The shopkeeper went to apex court against the high court order but “unconditionally” withdrew the plea after a brief hearing.
In the meantime, the landlord filed the execution petition against which the shopkeeper had raised some objections. It was dismissed by the trial court. The current proceedings were against this order of the trial court. The shopkeeper had argued that decree holder was not the owner of the shop in dispute, the eviction proceedings instituted by him would not be maintainable.
On the other hand respondent-decree holder had told the court that it is not essential that a landlord should necessarily be the owner of the property from which he seeks eviction. The court was also told that shopkeeper concealed vital facts from the court at the time of preliminary hearing and obtained a stay order in August 2022.
The court found that the fact regarding the appeal filed in apex court was neither disclosed in the high court nor before the trial court but the same issues were raised in that plea filed in Supreme Court which was “unconditionally withdrawn.”
The court observed that it was clear that shopkeeper has concealed this very important fact from the court and initially succeeded in getting an interim order. While imposing the fine, the court further directed that in case the costs are not deposited, the member secretary would take up the matter with the Ferozepur deputy commissioner for recovery of the amount as arrears of land revenue and after recovery of the same, a compliance report would be submitted to the court.