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