NRI land­lord needn’t prove ti­tle to evict ten­ant: SC

Accommodation Times - - News - By Staff Re­porter

Over rul­ing the High Court or­der Supreme Court has said that non- res­i­dent In­di­ans (NRIs) can­not be asked to prove the own­er­ship of their prop­erty to get their ten­ants evict. A Supreme Court bench said, “If or­di­nar­ily a land­lord can­not be asked to prove his ti­tle be­fore get­ting his ten­ant evicted on any one of the grounds stip­u­lated for such evic­tion, we see no rea­son why he should be asked to do so only be­cause he hap­pens to be an NRI.” Sec­tion 13- B is a ben­e­fi­cial pro­vi­sion in­tended to pro­vide a speedy rem­edy to NRIs who re­turn to their na­tive places and need prop­erty let out by them for their own re­quire­ment or the re­quire­ment of those who are liv­ing with and eco­nom­i­cally de­pen­dent upon them. Their po­si­tion can­not, there­fore, be worse off than what it would have been if they were not NRIs, “it said. Jus­tices TS Thakur and C Na- gap­pan said that the law en­ti­tles an NRI who re­turns to In­dia to de­mand evic­tion of any res­i­den­tial or non-res­i­den­tial build­ing let out by him, if it is re­quired for his use or his de­pen­dant. How­ever, the right to seek the ten­ant's evic­tion is avail­able only after five years from the date of such NRI be­com­ing owner of any build­ing. This is also sub­ject to the con­di­tion that any such right shall be avail­able to an NRI owner of the premises only once dur­ing his life time. “The courts be low fell in man­i­fest er­ror in hold­ing that the ap­pel­lant land­lord was obliged to prove his ti­tle to the prop­erty, no mat­ter the ten ant clearly ad­mits ex­is­tence of re­la­tion­ship of land­lord and ten­ant be­tween him and the ap­pel­lant (NRI). We have... no hes­i­ta­tion in rev­ers­ing the view taken by the courts be­low and in de­cree­ing the evic­tion pe­ti­tion, “the bench said in its or­der.

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