Client not bound by the lawyer’s statements or admissions as to matters of law or legal conclusions as per Lease and Rent (control) Act,1965
Beena Thiruvenkitam vs Central Bank Of India on 6 December, 2012
IN THE HIGH COURT OF KERALA AT ERNAKULAM
THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE P.B.SURESH KUMAR
TUESDAY, THE 13TH DAY OF JUNE 2017/23RD JYAISHTA, 1939
WP(C).No. 17866 of 2017 (G)
AGED 55 YEARS,
DAUGHTER OF SRI.T THIRUVENKITAM,
PROPRIETRIX, M/S SEEMATTI,
M.G ROAD, ERNAKULAM. KOCHI – 682035.
- CENTRAL BANK OF INDIA,
CHANDER MUKHI, NARIMAN POINT,
MUMBAI-400021, REPRESENTED BY
ITS CHAIRMAN & MANAGING DIRECTOR.
- ASSISTANT GENERAL MANAGER,
CENTRAL BANK OF INDIA, M.G ROAD,
ERNAKULAM, COCHIN. 682035.
Dated this the 13th day of June, 2017
J U D G M E N T
The petitioner is the owner of a building occupied by the first respondent Bank to house its Ernakulam M.G.Road branch. The lease arrangement entered into by the predecessor of the petitioner with the first respondent Bank expired on 31/12/2016. The case of the petitioner is that during February 2016, the first respondent Bank issued Ext.P4 communication to the petitioner to ascertain her willingness to renew the lease arrangement and in response to the said communication, the petitioner informed the first respondent that she is not interested in renewing the lease. Ext.P5 is the reply sent by the petitioner to Ext.P4 notice on 08/02/2016. In response to Ext.P5 reply, during November, 2016, the first respondent has informed the petitioner that since a Currency Chest is attached to the branch, a suitable place will have to be found out by the Bank to house its branch and as and when a suitable place is found out, they will surrender the tenanted premises. Ext.P8 is the communication issued by the Bank to the petitioner in this connection. Since the Bank had not vacated the premises even after the expiry of the lease, the petitioner, through her lawyer, called upon the Bank to vacate the premises, as per Ext.P9 lawyer’s notice. Ext.P9 lawyer’s notice has been replied by Ext.P10. In Ext.P10, the Bank has reiterated its earlier stand that they are in search of a suitable premises for shifting the branch and as and when a suitable premises is located, the leased premises will be surrendered. The writ petition is filed thereupon alleging that despite the undertaking made, the Bank is not taking any efforts to surrender the leased premises. The petitioner, therefore, seeks appropriate directions in this regard, in this writ petition.
- Heard the learned counsel for the petitioner as also the learned Senior Counsel for the first respondent Bank.
- The learned Senior Counsel for the Bank pointed out that the Bank has now located a suitable premises, and negotiations are on to fix the terms and conditions of the lease. It is also pointed out by the learned Senior Counsel that once the terms and conditions of the lease are finalized, permission of the Reserve Bank of India will have to be obtained for shifting the Currency Chest and the Currency Chest has to be constructed thereafter in the new premises. It is stated by the learned Senior Counsel that the premises will be surrendered immediately after the construction of the Currency Chest. To a pointed question put by the Court to the learned Senior Counsel as to the time limit within which they would complete the formalities for shifting, the learned Senior Counsel was evasive in his answer. According to the learned Senior Counsel, no commitment can be made as regards the time limit within which all the aforesaid formalities can be completed.
- As noted above, as early as on 08/02/2016, the petitioner had informed the Bank that she is not willing to renew the lease arrangement. Now, sixteen months have elapsed. The Bank is yet to locate and finalise an alternative place for shifting its branch. It is, therefore, evident that there has been no sincere efforts at all on the part of the Bank to find out an alternative location for shifting its branch. An attitude of this nature cannot be expected from a public sector Bank. Public sector banks have to be model tenants. The inaction on the part of the Bank in finding out an alternative premises for shifting its branch has now resulted in depriving the petitioner her right to enjoy her property. In the said circumstances, the writ petition is disposed of directing the first respondent Bank to surrender vacant possession of the premises to the petitioner, within four months from today.