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Accepting rent does not mean waiver of notice to quit: SC

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, Apr 4 (UNI) In a significant ruling on the landlord-tenant relationship, the Supreme Court, in a 27-year-old case has held that acceptance of rent does not amount to automatic waiver of notice to quit.

A bench comprising Justice B P Singh and Justice Altamas Kabir, in their judgement dated March 29, while dismissing the appeal of a tenant have ruled: ''It cannot be said that mere acceptance of rent amounts to waiver of notice to quit unless there be any other evidence to prove or establish that the landlord so intended.'' The court, while dismissing the appeal of tenant Sarup Singh Gupta against the Delhi High Court order dismissing his plea of waiver on the ground that the landlord Jagdish Singh kept on receiving rent from him even after issuing notice of termination of lease, ruled that in the present case, the landlord filed the eviction suit on June 2, 1979 after accepting the rent which showed that he had not waived the notice terminating the lease.

The appellant tenant had taken the plea that notice to quit was waived as per section 113 of the Transfer of Property Act, 1882 as the landlord continued to receive the rent even during the pendency of eviction proceedings.

The plea of lease subsisting after acceptance of rent was rejected and the apex court observed: ''We cannot ignore the fact that in any event, even if rent was neither tendered nor accepted, the landlord, in case of success, would be entitled to the payment of the arrears of rent.'' The landlord had given notice of termination of lease under section 106 of the Transfer of Property Act, 1882 on February 10 and March 17, 1979.

The plea of the tenant for waiver of the landlord's notices because he continued to accept the rent after expiry of the lease period, was rejected throughout the legal wrangle that began at the trial court.

UNI AKS/SC JN BS1932

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