Recovery of the possession under West Bengal Premises Tenancy Act 1997

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West Bengal Premises Tenancy Act-1997

6. Protection of tenant against eviction – (1) Notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in any other law for the time being in force or in any contract, no order or decree for the recovery of the possession of any premises shall be made [by the Civil Judge having jurisdiction] in favour of the landlord against the tenant, [except on a suit being instituted by such landlord] on one or more of the following grounds :-

(a) where the tenant has sublet, assigned or otherwise parted with the possession of whole or any part of the premises without obtaining the consent in writing of the landlord or the tenant has used the premises for a purpose other than that for which it was let out without obtaining the consent in writing of the landlord;

(b) where the tenant has made default in payment of rent for three months within a period of twelve months, or for three rental periods within a period of three years where the rent is not payable monthly;

(c) where the premises is required by the landlord for the purpose of building or rebuilding or for making substantial addition or alteration thereto and such building or rebuilding or substantial addition or alteration cannot be carried out without the premises being vacated;

(d) where the landlord or any person, for whose benefit the premises is held, reasonably requires the premises for his own occupation and the landlord or such person is not in possession of any suitable accommodation within the same Municipal Corporation or Municipality or in any other area within ten kilometres from such premises where this Act extends;]

(e) where the tenant has given notice to quit but has failed to deliver vacant possession of the premises to the landlord in accordance with such notice;

(f) where the tenant or any person residing in the premises let out to the tenant has done any act contrary to the provisions of clause (m), clause (o) or clause (p) of section 108 of the Transfer of Property Act, 1882;]

(g) where the tenant has been using the premises or any part thereof or allowing the premises or any part thereof to be used for immoral or illegal purpose;

(h) where the tenant is guilty of any act of waste or of any negligence or default resulting in material deterioration of the condition of the premises;

(i) where the tenant or any person residing in the premises let out to the tenant has been guilty of conduct which is a nuisance or causes annoyance to the neighbours including the landlord;

(j) where the tenant has acquired or constructed, or has been allotted, a house or flat, provided a moratorium for one year is allowed for vacating the premises.

[Explanation. – This clause shall not apply to premises let out for non-residential purpose and used for commercial purpose;]

(k) where the landlord is a member of the Armed Forces of the Union of India and requires it for occupation of his family and produces a certificate of the prescribed authority referred to in section 7 of the Indian Soldiers (Litigation) Act, 1925, that he is serving under special conditions within the meaning of section 3 of that Act or is posted in a non-family area;

(l) where the tenant, or his spouse, or son, or daughter, or parent, or the widow of his predeceased son, who is dependent on him, does not reside in the premises [ten months] and keeps the premises under lock and key.

(2) Where a landlord has acquired his interest in the premises by transfer, no [suit] for the recovery of possession of the premises on the ground of requirement for building or rebuilding or addition or alteration or requirement for own occupation shall be instituted by the landlord before the expiration of a period of one year from the date of acquisition of such interest.

(3) Where the landlord requires the premises on the ground of building or rebuilding or addition or alteration or for his own occupation and [the Civil Judge] is of the opinion that such requirement may be substantially satisfied by ejecting the tenant or a sub-tenant from a part of the premises and allowing the tenant or the sub-tenant to continue in occupation of the rest of the premises, then, if the tenant or the sub-tenant agrees to such occupation, [the Civil Judge] shall pass a decree accordingly and fix the proportionate rent for the portion remaining in the occupation of the tenant or the sub-tenant. The rent so fixed shall be deemed to be the fair rent for the purposes of this Act. If the tenant does not agree, but the sub-tenant agrees, to such occupation, no decree or order for ejectment shall be passed against the sub-tenant who shall become, with effect from the date of the decree or order, a tenant directly holding under the landlord.

(4) Notwithstanding anything in any other law for the time being in force, no [suit] for the recovery of possession (of any premises on any of the grounds as aforesaid, except on the ground mentioned in clause (e) of sub-section (1), shall be instituted by the landlord unless he has given to the tenant one month’s notice expiring with a month of the tenancy.

(5) Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act or in any other law for the time being in force, no suit or proceeding shall be instituted by the landlord within two years from the date of commencement of this Act for recovery of possession of any premises to which the provisions of the West Bengal Premises Tenancy Act, 1956 did apply but the provisions of this Act do not apply.

7. When a tenant can get the benefit of protection against eviction – (1) (a) On a suit being instituted by the landlord for eviction on any of the grounds referred to in section 6, the tenant shall, subject to the provisions of sub-section (2) of this section, pay to the landlord or deposit with the Civil Judge all arrears of rent, calculated at the rate at which it was last paid and upto the end of the month previous to that in which the payment is made together with interest at the rate of ten per cent per annum.

(b) Such payment or deposit shall be made within one month of the service of summons on the tenant or, where he appears in the [suit] without the summons being served upon him, within one month of his appearance.

(c) The tenant shall thereafter continue to pay to the landlord or deposit with [the Civil Judge] month by month by the 15th of each succeeding month, a sum equivalent to the rent at that rate.

(2) If in any [suit] referred to in sub-section (1), there is any dispute as to the amount of the rent payable by the tenant, the tenant shall, within the time specified in that sub-section, deposit with [the Civil Judge] the amount admitted by him to be due from him together with an application for determination of the rent payable. No such deposit shall be accepted unless it is accompanied by an application for determination of the rent payable. On receipt of the application, the Civil Judge shall, having regard to the rate at which rent was last paid and the period for which default may have been made by the tenant, make, as soon as possible within a period not exceeding one year, an order specifying the amount, if any, due from the tenant and, thereupon, the tenant shall, within one month of the date of such order, pay to the landlord the amount so specified in the order:

Provided that having regard to the circumstances of the case, an extension of time may be granted by [the Civil Judge] only once and the period of such extension shall not exceed two months.

(3) If the tenant fails to deposit or pay any amount referred to in sub-section (1) or sub-section (2) within the time specified therein or within such extended time as may be granted, [the Civil Judge shall order the defence against delivery of possession to be struck out and shall proceed with the hearing of the [suit].

(4) If the tenant makes deposit or payment as required by sub-section (1) or sub-section (2), no order for delivery of possession of the premises to the landlord on the ground of default in payment of rent by the tenant, shall be made by [the Civil Judge], but he may allow such cost as he may deem fit to the landlord:

Provided that the tenant shall not be entitled to any relief under this sub-section if, having obtained such relief once in respect of the premises, he again makes default in payment of rent for four months within a period of twelve months or for three successive rental periods where rent is not payable monthly.