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Landlord Can Pursue Eviction Proceedings On Surviving Grounds Even After Taking Possession

Setting aside a Kerala High Court order, the Supreme Court, in Valiyavalappil Sarojakshan vs Sumalsankar Gaikevada, has held that merely because a landlord has taken possession on the basis of an order for eviction granted on one ground, that does not mean that the surviving grounds have become non-est.

The landlord had approached the Rent Control Court seeking eviction of tenant under Section 11(4) (iii) and Section 11(4) (iv) of the Kerala Buildings (Lease and Rent Control) Act, 1965.

The Rent Control Court allowed the petitions under Sections 11(4) (iv) on the ground of requirement for demolition and reconstruction, while declining eviction on the ground of tenant’s acquisition of alternate accommodation.

The landlord, aggrieved by the Rent Control Court declining eviction under Section 11(4) (iii), approached the appellate authority. However, he also took possession of the buildings on the strength of order passed by the Rent Control Court on the other ground. Later, the appellate authority ordered eviction under Section 11(4)(iii) also, which was challenged by the tenant before the high court.

For all practical purposes and legal consequences, the said grounds do survive to be considered under law, said the bench comprising Justice Kurian Joseph and Justice R Banumathi observed while setting aside the high court order which held that subject matter of eviction proceedings became non-est when landlord took possession on the strength of order passed by Rent Control Court on one ground.

The court observed that eviction on the respective grounds under the Act has different ramifications since the grounds being distinct and separate. Setting aside the high court order, the bench remanded the matter to high court for reconsideration.

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