A tenant has no right to file frivolous applications without a substantial cause before the Rent Tribunal

Rajasthan High Court: The landlord-petitioners filed an eviction petition on the ground of personal and bona fide necessity before the Rent Tribunal, Jaipur in the year 2010 which continues to languish despite the lapse of 7 years at the stage of the landlord’s evidence for reason of stalling tactics by the respondent-defendant, the tenant.

The Court, while adjudicating the matter opined that the Rajasthan Rent Control Act, 2001 was intended to expedite the adjudication of landlord-tenant disputes. Section 15(5) of the Act of 2001, even though directory in nature, requires that the eviction petition be disposed of within 240 days of the service on the opposite party. The Court was of the opinion that even the directory provisions of Act of 2001 cannot be reduced to a dead letter and eviction petitions be allowed to remain pending for years, as in the instant case wherein an eviction petition filed under the Act of 2001 has remained pending for about 7 years.

The Court, directing that the eviction petition laid by the landlord before the Rent Tribunal be finally disposed of within a period of three months, held that, “Such delay destroys the confidence of the litigating public in the administration of injustice and belittles the rule of law. No doubt that the tenant has a right to file applications but has no right to file frivolous applications. The Code of Civil Procedure except to the very limited extent set out in the Act of 2001, does not attract to proceedings before the Rent Tribunal. Only principles of natural Justice have to be complied with by the Rent Tribunal/Appellate Rent Tribunal. There is thus no conceivable reason as to why repeated applications without a substantial cause should be filed before the Rent Tribunal to defeat the object and purpose of the Act of 2001.” [Kamla Devi Bohra v. State of Rajasthan, 2017 SCC OnLine Raj 2570, decided on 3.10.2017]

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