Karnataka HC makes time for 44 sqft shop under staircase

A shop measuring all of 4ftx11ft and situated below a staircase has become the reason for a case that went up to the High Court. The space had two owners and a tenant who runs a shop since 1978. When one of the owners managed to get an eviction notice, the tenant approached the HC contending that just one of the owners cannot throw him out. Kutti Krishna has been running a petty shop below the stairs next to Hotel Shalimar on BVK Iyengar Road for nearly 40 years now.

Narayanamma was a co-owner of this property along with her sister. The property was rented out to Kutti Krishna by their mother Narasamma for a monthly rent of Rs 110 in 1978. Narayanamma is now dead and represented by her two sons. If the Rent Act 1999 is applied, the rent at current rates is Rs 700 per month. The effort to evict Kutti Krishna started in 1994 when Narasamma died.

The suit for eviction was filed by Narayanamma because he had failed to vacate the premises or pay the rent. Krishna filed for an injunction against both sisters. Krishna contended that Narayanamma was only a part owner of the property and could not evict him. Only after there is a division of property can an ejectment suit be filed against him. He also denied that he had arrears of rent of Rs 85,200.

The trial court ruled in favour of Narayanamma and ordered Krishna to move out of the property in 2012. The advocate for Narayanamma’s legal heirs contended that a partition of the property had been made with his client being granted half of it. The HC in its judgement said that Kutti Krishna had not raised the question of maintainability of the case in the initial stages.

But he was now contending that it was a non-residential premises with plinth area not more than 14 square meters and rent not exceeding Rs 3,500 so the case cannot be filed in the small causes court. Justice L Narayana Swamy dismissed Krishna’s petition saying “The court below has rightly held that suit for eviction filed by one co-owner is maintainable. It is borne from the records that the respondent is making her effort to get possession since 1994.” The court gave Krishna one month “to quit, vacate and handover the vacant possession of the suit schedule premises.”

Credits Bangalore Mirror

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