was he staying with the tenant?
Legal heir of a person cannot inherit the tenancy of the latter in case of his death if the heir was not living with the latter at the time of the death.
The Gujarat High Court has held this recently while deciding a tenancy dispute between two persons for a residential property in a posh locality of Ellisbridge in Ahmedabad.
The property in question is situated at Bharti Co-operative Housing Society Limited, in front of Nagari Hospital. The parties involved in the dispute have been identified as Jagdish Bhatt, the owner of the property, and Nilesh Patel, nephew of one Mani Patel who was tenant of the property.
Mani and his wife, Kashi, were tenants for years at the monthly rent of Rs 23. The couple was already indulged in a legal fight with the property owners.
And in one such civil suit, Ahmedabad Civil Court had issued injunction to Mani against passing on his tenancy rights to his brother, Vithal, or his nephew, Nilesh.
However, after their death — first Kashi in 1975 and then Mani in 1986 — the issue of the inheritance of their tenancy rights cropped up, as the couple had no child.
Nilesh claimed legal rights to the tenancy under the provisions of the Bombay Rent Act, stating he was his only heir. However, the court and the appellate court had turned down his claim of tenancy rights, and ordered him to handover the possession of the property to Bhatt.
Following this, Nilesh approached the High Court with a revision petition.
He had claimed the inheritance contending that he was living with Mani only and produced certain letters sent to him by his customers to his address at the disputed property.
Though, Bhatt's lawyers had argued that Nilesh was staying at Navsari and the address of the disputed property was given to his customers to facilitate them and so, it cannot be considered as a conclusive evidence that he was living at the property when Mani died.