[dropcap]L[/dropcap]EGAL heirs or representatives of a deceased-tenant have the right to substitute themselves in a statutory application seeking re-entry to a commercial property that has been reclaimed by the landlord for purposes of reconstruction, according to a recent decision of the Allahabad High Court.
The case before the high court related to a dilapidated commercial property, occupied by the original tenant, who was evicted by his landlord under Section 21 (1)(b) of the Uttar Pradesh Urban Building (Regulation of Letting, Rent and Eviction) Act 1971 (U.P. Act, 1972) to allow for the reconstruction of the building.
The original tenant filed an application under Section 24(2) of the U.P. Act, 1972 for re-entry, but died during the pendency of his case. The landlord, also a petitioner in the plea before the high court, contended that the right to re-entry being personal to the original tenant would fade away with his demise, and hence the pending proceedings would lose their efficacy.
The question before the court was “whether the legal heirs and representatives of the deceased “original tenant” are entitled to get themselves substituted to pursue the application moved by the original tenant seeking re-entry under Section 24(2) of the U.P. Act, 1972”.
Referring to the Supreme Court’s decision in Smt Gian Devi Anand vs Jeevan Kumar & Ors which upheld the rule of heritability extending to statutory tenancies of commercial premises as well as to residential premises, a single-judge bench dismissed the petition filed by the landlord and upheld the order of the district magistrate in favour of the heirs of the deceased tenant.