The Supreme Court has held that a tenant can be evicted if he or she sublets the premises to another person without the consent of the landlord.
A bench of Justices Tarun Chatterjee and R M Lodha said the tenant may carry out a partnership business but the same cannot be a camaflouge to conceal the illegal act of subletting.
"Inducting a partner or partners in the business or profession by a tenant by itself does not amount to subletting. However, if the purpose of such partnership is ostensible and a deed of partnership is drawn to conceal the real transaction of sub-letting, the court may tear the veil of partnership to find out the real nature of transaction entered into by the tenant," the bench said.
The apex court made the remarks while upholding the appeal filed by the landlord Celina Coelho Pereira challenging a Bombay High Court.
In fact, the landlord-tenant disputes dates back to April 6, 1979, when the original landlord Abilio Coelho Pereirahad had filed a petition before the Rent Controller, Goa, for eviction of the tenant Mahabaleshwar Ramchandra Colcar who had sublet the premises to a travel agency.
As the original landlord and the original tenant died during pendency of the suit, the case meandered for 30 years with the legal heirs battling it out till the Supreme Court passed the judgement.