The Battle Royale between Mr. Jaideep Gupta and Mr. Harish Salve on the subject of “Thika Tenancy Laws” now stands concluded in Mr. Gupta’s favour. Congratulations, Sir. Saw it all.
In Nemai Chandra Kumar v. Mani Square Limited, 2015 (2) SCALE 657 – the Respondents, led by Mr. Salve, contended that under The Calcutta Thika Tenancy Act, 1949, by a reason of a series of judgments, it has been settled that the expression “Any Structure”, used within the definition of “Thika Tenant” under Section 2(5), would mean “Kutcha Structures” only.
The SC rejected the contention and held, “The language of Section 2(5) of 1949 Act defining ‘Thika Tenant’ is fairly and reasonably clear. ‘Any Structure’ mentioned therein has a direct relationship with the purpose for which the structure is erected or acquired i.e. for a residential, manufacturing or business purpose. The words ‘Any Structure’ has no bearing with the nature of structure i.e. whether it is ‘Kutcha’ (temporary) or ‘Pucca’ (permanent)…the insertion of Section 2(4a) and Section 10A by the West Bengal Act XXIX of 1969 also makes the intention of the legislature clear that for the purpose of Thika Tenancy, ‘Any Structure’ includes both ‘Kutcha’ (temporary) or ‘Pucca’ (permanent) structure.”
Justice S.J. Mukhopadhaya’s prescription shall reverberate through the Courts of West Bengal now.