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SC holds statutory notice sent under postal certificate to tenant is valid

The SC on April 24, 2020 {MOHD. ASIF NASEER v. WEST WATCH COMPANY} held that  there was clear admission of the respondent (tenant) that the appellant was his landlord (for which sale deed had been supplied to the tenant) and subsequent act of the respondent (tenant) depositing the rent under Section 30(1) of the Rent Control Act in the Court and other attending circumstances, as have been considered by the Prescribed Authority, would all clearly go to show that there was sufficient proof of service of notice, which finding of fact has been affirmed by the Appellate Authority, and it was held there is no reason for the Writ Court to have   unsettled   such concurrent findings of fact.

It was further held by the SC Bench, comprising of Justice R. Banumathi & Justice Vineet Saran, that it may be so that mere receipt of notice having been sent   under   certificate   of   posting,   in   itself,   may   not   be sufficient proof of service, but if the same is coupled with other facts and circumstances which go to show that the party had notice, the same could be held to be sufficient service on the party. In the present case, it was held that the law permits filing of a document (receipt of under certificate of posting in this case) to be filed along with an affidavit, which has been done so in this case. 

The case of the respondent (tenant) was that there was no notice issued   by   the   appellant   (landlord)   to   the respondent (tenant), which was mandatorily required under Section 21(1)(a) of the U.P.   Urban Building (Regulation of Letting, Rent and Eviction) Act, 1972. 

The appeal was filed by the landlord before the SC challenging the Judgment and Order of the High Court passed in Rent Control Writ Petition, whereby the release application filed by the appellant has been rejected, and the Orders   passed   by   the  Prescribed   Authority   and   the Appellate Authority, allowing the release application of the appellant­landlord, have been set aside.

It was held by the SC that service of notice sent under certificate of posting would be sufficient where there   are   materials   to   show   that   notices were   sent,   the   burden   is   on   the   addressee   to   rebut   the statutory presumption.

It was observed by the SC that similar is the case at hand, where the Act provides for that ‘the landlord has given a notice…’, without specifying the mode of such notice, and in the facts of the present case, notice sent under postal certificate has rightly been held to be proper service by the Prescribed Authority.

Resultantly,   the   appeal   was   allowed by the SC.   The judgment   of   the   Writ   Court   was   set   aside.   And   the judgment(s) by which  release application of the appellant (landlord) was allowed by the   Prescribed   Authority,   and   affirmed   by   the   Appellate Authority,  was  reinstated by the SC.   The   respondent   (tenant)   was directed by the SC to vacate the premises in question and hand over possession to the appellant (landlord) within six months.

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