Question: “Agent and tenant may not institute interpleader suits.” Discuss. Find the answer only on Legal Bites.  [“Agent and tenant may not institute interpleader suits.” Discuss.] Answer Rule 5 Order XXXV of the Code of Civil Procedure 1908 lays down provision for “Agents and tenants may not institute interpleader suits. The provision under rule 5 simply states that… Read More »

Question: “Agent and tenant may not institute interpleader suits.” Discuss. Find the answer only on Legal Bites. [“Agent and tenant may not institute interpleader suits.” Discuss.] Answer Rule 5 Order XXXV of the Code of Civil Procedure 1908 lays down provision for “Agents and tenants may not institute interpleader suits. The provision under rule 5 simply states that Order XXXV will not apply to enable two classes of persons to file an interpleader suit i.e. a) agents...

Question: “Agent and tenant may not institute interpleader suits.” Discuss.

Find the answer only on Legal Bites. [“Agent and tenant may not institute interpleader suits.” Discuss.]

Answer

Rule 5 Order XXXV of the Code of Civil Procedure 1908 lays down provision for “Agents and tenants may not institute interpleader suits. The provision under rule 5 simply states that Order XXXV will not apply to enable two classes of persons to file an interpleader suit i.e. a) agents against principals or b) tenants against their landlords.

Rule 5 runs as: “Nothing in this Order shall be deemed to enable agents to sue their principals, or tenants to sue their landlords, for the purpose of compelling them to interplead with any persons other than persons making claim through such principals or landlords.”

Illustrations

(a) A deposits a box of jewels with B as his agent. C alleges that the jewels were wrongfully obtained from him by A, and claims them from B. B cannot institute an interpleader-suit against A and C.

(b) A deposits a box of jewels with B as his agent. He then writes to C for the purpose of making the jewels security for a debt due from himself to C. A afterward alleges that C s debt is satisfied, and C alleges the contrary. Both claim the jewels from B. B may institute an interpleader suit against A and C.

Rule 5 is giving us a general rule which prevents the tenants from questioning the ownership or title of their landlords while their tenancy period is in effect. However, this is contrary to certain circumstances in which the tenant gets the right to file an interpleader suit even during the subsistence of the tenancy period. These exceptional circumstances have been carved out as a right to be given to the tenant from various judicial pronouncements.

In Bharat Bhushan Vij v. Arti Techchandani, 2008 (153) DLT 247, in which a fight arose between the legal heirs of the deceased landlord over the ownership of the property, the court allowed the tenant to file an interpleader suit to determine who is the actual owner of the property and therefore the rightful recipient of the rent to be paid.

It was held in Neeraj Sharma v. District Sangpur Khadi Gram, [(2006) 142 PLR 791] that an interpleader suit by a tenant will be maintainable if the other person claiming a right over the disputed property is doing so through the original landlord and such suits will not be maintainable if the person independently claims ownership over the property and rent from the tenant.

Thus, it can be said that the prohibitive rule of Rule 5 to not allow the tenants to file an interpleader suit against the landlord doesn’t include the cases in which someone, other than the real owner has by a misrepresentation made the tenant believe him or her to be the owner. Therefore, in a state of confusion over the identity of the true owner of the property to whom rent is to be paid, the tenant can be permitted to institute a suit.


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Updated On 2022-04-03T07:27:27+05:30
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