The case Shankarlal Nadani v. Sohanlal Jain
has been decided by
Supreme Court justices Hemant Gupta & v. Ramasubramanian
on 12 April, 2022. The
case is concerned with the power of the civil court to decide and pass a decree
(in the matter of transfer of property) prior to any legal bodies. In Instance
Appellant filed appeal in the apex court against the Rajasthan HC judgment which
upheld decree passed by a civil court in a suit for possession filed by
landlord, dismissed on the ground the suit was filed before the act has come
into force in respect of the premises.
Legal provisions Involved
- Section 106 in The Transfer of Property Act, 1882:
In absence of a contract, local law, or custom to the contrary, a lease of
real estate for industrial, commercial, or agricultural use shall be deemed
to be a lease from year to year, terminable by either party with six months'
notice. A lease of real estate for any other use shall be deemed to be a
lease from month to month, terminable by either party with fifteen days'
- The Rajasthan Rent Control Act 2001 Section 1(2):
- Brief title, scope, and start. The Rajasthan Rent Control Act, 2001 is
another name for this legislation.
- It shall initially apply to those municipal areas in the State that make
up the District Headquarters, and later, to those other municipal areas that
the State Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, specify
from time to time and have a population greater than 50,000 as of the 1991
- The Rajasthan Rent Control Act 2001 Section 18:
Provides for the jurisdictional Rent Tribunal to decide on all landlord-tenant
- The Rajasthan Rent Control Act 2001 Section 32:
If a landlord evicts a tenant from rented property without the tenant's
agreement and without following due process, the tenant may petition the Rent
Tribunal for the return of possession of the property within 30 days of learning
of the eviction.
- The property was not in the urban area when the suit for possession was
filed. When a notice of termination of tenancy served under section 106 of
the transfer of property act, 1882, the suit for possession was filed on
April 18, 2013.
- The state government issued a notification on 11 July, 2014 regarding
extending the provisions of the Rajasthan rent control act, 2012.
- Even though the act will be started to apply on 11 may, 2015, the civil
court passed the decree for possession against the appellant on 28 may,
- The appellant filed appeal before the additional district judge of suratgarh,
against the aggrieved decree. But then the appeal was dismissed on 5 October
- In the second appeal before the Rajasthan High Court, the appellant
cited the judgment of K. Ram Narayan Khandelwal V. Shri Pukhraj Banthiya, where it was
held that the civil suit decree could not passed after the act had become
applicable to the relevant territory. The high court concluded that the judgment
is not binding because it was stayed by this court in a special leave petition.
- The high court dismissed the appeal on the ground that the decree in the
civil suit could be passed as same view was adopted by another co-ordinate
bench of the high court in another case.
Arguments by Parties
- Whether the order passed by the civil court against the appellants even
though the act became applicable to the area in question?
- Whether decree for possession against the Appellants is sustainable?
The appellant argued that the present appeals should be heard simultaneously
with the SPL arising out in the case of K. Ram Narayan khandelwal and other
cases because it is still pending final disposition before the court. He argued
that all matters which are pending in varying stages will follow suit after the
legal question in one matter has been resolved. Further he argued that this
petition before the court is preferred on the behalf of the landlord.
According to section 1(2) of the transfer of property act was applied to the
municipal area that included the district headquarters in the state later on to
those other municipal area which had a population greater than 50,000 as per
1991 census. It was the rent tribunal alone that would have jurisdiction to hear
and decide the petitions connected to disputes between landlord and tenant after
the state government announcement issued on July 11th, 2014 and it became
effective on May 11th 2015.
As the result of that, the civil court was not able to issue the decree of
possession because the rent tribunal is the only entity authorized to so.
Reliance was placed upon with sub section (1) of the section 18 of the act to
grand the overriding effect.
Moreover he argued that only rent tribunal would be able to hear and decide the
petitions. So the civil court lost it authority to do so. However the rent
tribunal does not deal with lawsuits that were already pending when the act
began to apply to municipal area. They believe that the statute's text will
determine whether or not an eviction decree can be issued after the act became
On the other hand, respondent argued. The Landlord Appellant had filed an
eviction action on behalf of the Tenant Respondent. A civil court accepted the
lawsuit. On the date the lawsuit was filed, the property in dispute was not
subject to rental law. However, the area in question was brought within the
Tenancy Act through necessary communications during the process, prior to any
final determination, and the matter was determined at the expense of the tenant.
Appellant in the above case stating that the statute cannot be enforced after
the Haryana Rent Act has been implemented. However, current law does not contain
such or similar provisions. As a result, the court ruled in the above decision
that the eviction order could be enforced even though the lawsuit was filed when
the law did not apply to the facility in question.
There is also a rule that the rights of the parties must be finalized on the day
of litigation, which is the official commencement date of litigation. Plaintiffs
have the right to settle on the day the proceedings commence, so the rights of
the parties must be considered from this point onwards
Since 1982, the respondent's father, who is now the appellant has been the
renter of shop no.4 at Jain Katla, Bikaner Road, Suratgarh, after the death of
his father. The property was let out of the lease for a monthly rent of
Rs.583.33, the appellant continued to rent the shop on a monthly rent of
Rs.583.33, and the appellant continued to rent the shop on a monthly basis.
Decision of the court
To address the question of jurisdiction, the Supreme Court referred to more than
enough judgments like:
- Atma Ram Mittal v/s Ishwar Singh Punia,
- Vineet Kumar v/s Mangal Sain Wadhera,
- Ram Saroop Rai v/s Lilavati,
- Shri Kishan v/s Manoj Kumar And
- Ramesh Chandra v/s Additional District Judge.
The court stated that it has been held in the aforesaid judgments
referred to suits filed within the exemption period. Even if the premises are
located within the urban to which the act is applicable, the civil court had the
authority to pass the decree. Moreover, the bench added that the decree can be
validly executed if the suit was filed within the exemption period, except
vineet Kumar's case which was explicitly held to be not laying good law.
Then the court observed section of the act is silent on the question of the
validity of a decree of a civil court. The act came into force on May 11, 2015,
after the civil suit was filed therefore the decree could be passed and
executed. After the applicability of the act to the area in question, the
landlord and tenant dispute can be raised only before the rent tribunal but not
before the civil court.
The Division Bench said:
"However, a suit filed before the civil court prior to the applicability of the
Act has to be decided by the civil court. A decree passed by the civil court is
valid and executable and is not interdicted by the applicability of the Act to
the area in question. The Act is applicable to the area in question from the
date the notification came into force and it does not bar the decree of the
civil court or the pendency of such civil suit."
Furthermore, the supreme court also mentioned one of the principles is the
rights of the parties have to be determined on the date when the suit has been
filed and the rights of the parties have to be examined on the said day when he
initiated the proceedings. Thus, the court evidently mentioned that we do not
find any error in the order passed by the high court of Rajasthan and dismissed
Ratio Decidendi & Obiter Dicta
The reason beyond the judgment, under the act in question, section 18 of the
Rajasthan rent control act, 1950 does not talk about the validity of any decree
of the civil court but only restricts the jurisdiction of the civil court from
the date the civil suit was filed therefore the decree could be passed and
executed. However, the applicability of the act can be raised only before the
rent tribunal, not the civil court. But in this instance, the suit was filed
before the applicability of the act.
Therefore, a suit filed prior to the applicability of the act has to be decided
by the civil court and it is executable and valid. Thereby appeals dismissed.
The bench made some remarks and reported ECGC Limited v.Mokul shriram EPC
JV,2022 SCC ONLINE SC 184 was examining the question as to whether the condition
of deposit while filing appeal under the Consumer Protection Act, 2019 would be
applicable or the provisions as it existed under the Consumer Protection Act,
1986 when the complaint was filed would be applicable.
This Bench considering the Constitution Bench judgments in Garikapati Veeraya
v. N. Subbiah Choudhry & Ors;
AIR 1957 SC 540, Vitthalbhai Naranbhai
Patel v. Commissioner of Sales Tax, M.P., Nagpur,
AIR 1967 SC 344 and
Hardeodas Jagannath v. The State of Assam
, AIR 1970 SC 724 held that the
provisions of the Consumer Protection Act, 2019 would not be applicable to the
complaints filed prior to the commencement of the 2019 Act. Therefore, the
Judgment and Decree passed in the suit for possession do not suffer from any
When the appellant filed suit for possession, the civil court passed a decree
against him on 28 May 2015. Then he went to an appeal under section 100 of CPC
before the additional district judge of suratgarh. However, it was also rejected
on October 5, 2012. Subsequently, he again appealed before the high court cited
Rajasthan High Court K Ram Narayan Khandelwal V. Shri Pukhraj Bathiya
judgment desperately dismissed the same.
Finally, he approached the apex court, his mention is section 18 of the act and
argued the former petition should not be dismissed, since the date of
applicability of the act in question the civil court does not have the authority
to decide the matter; the Jurisdiction of the civil court in the instance matter
was ceased from the date.
But the apex court held every civil court has the authority to decide on matters
before the applicability of the act in question. Moreover, section 18 does not
talk about validity but the restriction of the civil court. In the instance
case, the first suit was filed on April 18, 2013, and got decision On May 28,
2015 though the suit has been dismissed after the applicability of the act, the
proceedings of the suit has started for two years. The rights of the parties
have to be determined on the date when lis commences i.e., on the date of filing
of the suit. The plaintiff is entitled to decree on.
that day when he initiated the proceedings; therefore, the rights of the parties
must be examined as on the said day. so, he is entitled to decree on that day
when he initiated the suit for possession. Therefore, the first decree passed by
the civil court is valid and does not hold any illegality. The civil court and
apex court are precise in judgment and decree.