Allowing your brother or kin to stay in your tenanted flat while you stay elsewhere may cost you your tenancy and get you evicted on grounds of sub-letting. This is what the Bombay high court held recently in a case that was fought for over 30 years.

Exactly 33 years after a tenant and his landlord went to court and initiated a legal battlethe former to be declared a lawful tenant and the latter to have the tenant evicted it was the landlord who finally won.

The judgment passed by Justice Nishita Mhatre held that allowing ones brothers to be in exclusive possession of the tenanted flat without the consent of the landlord could be presumed to be a case of subletting and attract eviction.

The fight before the court was between the tenant Harakchand Shah and his landlord V V Relan in Mumbai.In 2000,the small causes court had ordered that Shah be evicted for having sub-let his flat as he had acquired alternate premises for himself in London and was living there,visiting Mumbai and his flat only infrequently.

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