The Supreme Court’s recent ruling emphasizes that tenants must adhere to tenancy laws by paying rent promptly and following specified timelines for filing applications. The Court clarified that Section 5 of the Limitation Act cannot be used to extend these deadlines. The case in question involved a tenant who filed an application under the West Bengal Premises Tenancy Act, seeking protection against eviction. However, the application was rejected due to a ten-month delay in filing. The High Court had granted the tenant the opportunity to file an application under Section 5 of the Limitation Act, citing improper legal advice as the reason for the delay.
A two-judge Bench, comprising Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice Sudhanshu Dhulia, emphasized that while the Limitation Act generally applies to tenancy laws, if the tenancy law specifies a shorter time limit, the provisions of the Limitation Act cannot be used to extend it. The Court underlined the importance of tenants paying rent and adhering to tenancy laws, making it clear that the delay in this case could not be excused by claims of incorrect legal advice.
The Court ruled In favor of the landlords, setting aside the High Court’s decision, and allowing them to proceed with eviction proceedings. The tenant was directed to pay the outstanding rent of Rs. 78,144. The appeal was allowed with costs in favor of the landlords.