A modification of the judgment and decree is required to be made in the interest of justice so as to limit the decretal amount to a reasonable quantum.
[Case brief]: PERIYAR DISTRICT CONSUMER CO-OPERATIVE WHOLESALE STORES LTD. V/s B. BALAGOPAL THROUGH LEGAL REPRESENTATIVES AND ORS.
Case name: Periyar District Consumer Co-operative wholesale stores ltd. V/s B.Balagopal (dead) through legal representatives and ors.
Case number: Civil appeal 1893 of 2020
Court: Supreme Court of India
Bench: R. Banumathi and A.S. Bopanna
Decided on: 2nd March, 2020
Relevant Act/ Sections: Tamil Nadu (Lease and rent) control Act, 1960
Brief Facts and Procedural History:
1. The plaintiffs were the owner of the disputed land where the defendants were tenants under a lease agreement for a period of three years with a monthly rent of Rs. 6,500 and an advance of Rs. 20,000/- was paid by the defendant. The plaintiff filed a suit for eviction of defendant which was allowed with a compensation of Rs. 15,000/- in sessions court.
2. The defendant being an aggrieved filed an appeal in Madras high court under section 96 of Civil Procedure Code in which he agreed to vacate the premises after six months and will compensate with Rs. 50,000 for the given time. The defendant vacated the premises during November 2003.
3. The court dismissed his appeal and awarded the monthly compensation of Rs.89,000/- which, in all, was decreed for a sum of Rs.26,98,367/- (at the rate of Rs. 89,000 per month). Further sum of Rs.3,56,000/- was ordered towards future loss and cost of the suit.
4. The appellant is before this Court in this appeal assailing the judgment dated 14.11.2017 passed by the High Court of Judicature at Madras in A.S.No.811 of 2009. Through the said judgment the High Court has dismissed the appeal filed by the appellant against the judgment and decree dated18.08.2008 passed by the Additional District and Sessions Court (Fast Track Court), Erode in O.S.No.37 of 2007.
Issue before the Court
1. Whether the claim as put forth by the plaintiffs and awarded by the Trial Court is justified?
Ratio of the Court
1. The counsel on the behalf of appellant contended that the plaintiff and defendant reached to an understanding during the proceedings when defendant (appellant in present matter) agreed to vacate the premises in 6 months and accordingly did so.
2. In a normal circumstance if the tenant had not voluntarily vacated, a claim for such damages would be very much justified. In such an event, instituting a suit for higher damages is not justified. In addition, the defendant is a Consumer co-operative society and would not be able to bear more financial burden after already paying Rs. 10 lakhs.
3. The court observed that a modification of the judgment and decree is required to be made in the interest of justice so as to limit the decretal amount to a reasonable quantum.
4. If substantial unplanned expenditure is heaped on them for the retrospective period it would be put in a financially precarious position. At the same time for having used the premises and considering the fact that the premises was taken in the year 1980 and the enhancement in such cases will be gradual, the drastic application of the prevailing rent though not justified in the present facts and circumstance, the plaintiffs would be entitled to a reasonable compensation.
1. Judgment and decree dated 18.08.2008 passed in Suit No.37/2007 affirmed by the High Court in AS No.811/2009 stands modified holding that the defendant shall pay to the plaintiff the sum of Rs.17,50,000/- being the lumpsum damages for the periods 14.07.2000 to 17.07.2003.
2. Since the sum of Rs.10 lakhs has been paid by the defendant to the plaintiffs on 27.04.2010, the balance of sum of Rs.7,50,000/- shall be paid within a period of three months from this date.
3. On payment of the amount ordered herein the same will stand in full and final quit of all claims between the parties and all litigations shall come to an end.
4. The appeal is allowed in part. The parties shall however bear their own costs in this appeal.
5. All applications stand disposed of