Rashid Paul

Tearing through ‘cover of lengthy litigation’, HC orders tenants to hand-over disputed shops to landlord within two weeks

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Srinagar: J&K High Court on Monday expressed dismay at the possession of a property in the city under the cover of a lengthy judicial process by some tenants for almost half-a-century.

The two tenants possessed the shops at Jawaharnagar by “using the judicial process” although the landlord had approached the courts for their eviction four decades ago.

The landlord, who had come to the court almost four decades back, is exactly where he was at that point of time, observed Justice A M Magray, adding that need to use and occupy his personal property is still being debated because of the lengthy litigation.

Justice Magray said the landlord’s need must accumulated dust during the long interregnum and directed “the dust needs to be removed to save it from getting completely buried underneath”.

He dismissed a civil (second appeal) by the tenants (shopkeepers) against the trial court as also the appellate court which had ordered eviction.

The parties have been in a long-lasting litigation over the property since 1983 when the landlord filed a suit for ejection of the tenants before a court which was allowed after a long period of 30 years in 2014.

Subsequently, the shopkeepers filed an appeal which came to be decided after half-a-decade in 2019.

“The instant appeal is filed by the appellants on 31st July, 2019, and this court (High Court) in terms of order dated 24th December, 2019, stayed the operation of the judgment and decree dated 28th July, 2014 which is continuing as on date,” Justice Magray noted.

“For the last almost four decades, the litigation has not yielded any fruitful results for the party who first approached the court with a suit for ejectment and succeeded,” he said.

The judge expressed pain that despite the trial and the appellate courts passing the judgment, they have not granted any specific time to the tenants to vacate the shops.

“Since the appellants (tenets) are in use and occupation of the suit property for almost half-a-century, therefore, they do not deserve any further premium in vacating the suit property,” ordered Justice Magray.

He ordered the tenants to vacate and handover the possession of the suit property (shops) to the landlord within two weeks.

The landlord, the court said, shall be free to take recourse of execution proceedings if the shopkeepers fail to vacate and handover the possession of the shops within the allotted time.

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