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|Case Number:||civ case 1033 of 94|
|Parties:||DR. FREDRICK S. MASINDE & OTHERS vs EVANSON KAMAU & 4 OTHERS|
|Date Delivered:||08 Jan 2003|
|Court:||High Court at Nairobi (Milimani Law Courts)|
|Judge(s):||Gideon P Mbito|
|Citation:||DR. FREDRICK S. MASINDE & OTHERS vs EVANSON KAMAU & 4 OTHERS eKLR|
|Disclaimer:||The information contained in the above segment is not part of the judicial opinion delivered by the Court. The metadata has been prepared by Kenya Law as a guide in understanding the subject of the judicial opinion. Kenya Law makes no warranties as to the comprehensiveness or accuracy of the information|
DR. FREDRICK S. MASINDE & OTHERS …………………………………………………..PLAINTIFFS
EVANSON KAMAU & 4 OTHERS………………………................………………………DEFENDANTS
R U L I N G
By this application filed on 22nd October, 2002 brought under the provisions of S.3A of the Civil Procedure Act and all enabling provisions of law, the defendants applicants seeks order that:-
“1. A declaration do issue that to applicant and have duly proved title to plot number L.R. No. 209/4527, known as Air India house and are entitled to all rent proceeds from the suit premises.
2. A declaration do issue that the applicants have satisfied the conditions set out by Justice A.B. Shah on 29th November, 1994 and are entitled to all rent proceeds from the 2nd respondent in respect of plot number L.R. No.209/4527, known as Air India house.
3. An order that the 2nd respondent do pay to the applicant all rent arrears since 1994 todate with interest at commercial rates as ordered by the said Judge and in default execution do issue.
4. The costs be borne by the 2nd plaintiff/respondent.
The grounds on which the application is based are said to be inter alia that the applicants are the owners of the suit premises as evidenced by a certificate of title number L.R. 10785/22 of 28th December, 1993; that the court had on 29th November, 1994 ordered to respect to deposit due rents in an interest earning account pending applicants showing title to the suit premises and taking stops to make the respondent its direct tenant and that this had been done by terminating the hearing tenants tenancy to landlords of the respondent. In respect, however, opposed the application on the grounds, inter alia, that one of the joint owners had passed away and as such remaining owner had no authority to bring this application for benefits accruing to the estate of the deceased joint owner. They also continued that the respondent’s substenancy to the head tenant, Odd Jobs, still subsisted as it had not been terminated by that tenant and that the head tenant passed away on 28th January, 2000 and that the administrators of the said “odd jobs” should be joined to the proceedings by the applicants.
The facts giving rise to this application are not in dispute. As from 19th April, 1973, the suit premises were owned by one Samuel Nutuahoro Wurungi and was occupied by many tenants including the respondent herein. As the registered owner had failed to pay rates, the suit premises were sold by the Nairobi City Council to recover same and the applicants purchased it on auction in 1993. He was duly registered as the owner thereof on 28th December, 1993 but was not issued with title until 23rd May 1996 as number L.R. No. 1085/25.
Soon after the suit premises were vested in the applicants in 1993, they tried to evict the tenants. The tenants who were four including the respondents however ganged up and filed this suit on 16th March 1994 to stop the applicants from evicting them therefrom. The third defendants, Odd Jobs filed an affidavit contending that he was an adult and had been tenants of the suit premises for 40 years and the tenants of the suit premises were, the first plaintiff and the correct respondents, adding but the respondent had began occupying the premises for over 20 years. Nowhere did “odd jobs” say that they were the head tenants of the respondent: Acting on the above application at 7.05 on 15th March 1994, on his personal judges letter head, A.B. Shah, J (as he then was) before the suit had even been filed and on these undertaking of Dr. John Khaminwa that he would file the application on the following day and at his home, on a public holiday, the learned Judge granted orders restraining the applicants from evicting the respondent and others for the suit premises. The Judge also wrote a letter in his own handwriting to the police to enforce the order he had given on the 10th March, 1994. After the matter had been heard for several adjournments, on 29th November, 1994, after the respondent had changed his stay from being a tenant and being a substenant of the third defendant, “odd jobs”, the learned judge made the following orders in favour of the respondent done as the others had apparently left the suit premises:-
“Let the applicant deposit a sum of Shs.26,000/= in an interest bearing account (that covers rent 1994) as payable by the applicant to third plaintiff until the next 15 days and continue depositing the Shs.3,000/= per month until the first 2 defendants shown their title to suit property and follow the procedur e for making the second plaintiff their direct tenant.”
Almost eight years after the above order was made in an interlocutory application for an interlocutory injunction, the applicants are yet to receive anything for use of their property by the respondent, now does not deny her it is a tenant or sub-tenant. The suit has not also been proceeded into by the respondent nor have the summary been served. Despite the fact that the applicant had got himself registered as the owner of the suit premises and had also terminated the tenancy of the head tenant, “odd Jobs” by a notice dated 16th January 1999, which notice had taken effect as no reference had been made by the said “Odd Jobs” to the Business Premises Tribunal and thereby constituting the respondent its tenant in law, the respondent still contends that it is not yet a direct tenant of the applicant. In a letter dated 31st January 2002 by Messrs Shah and Parakh Advocates for the respondent nor the initial of one “H.M.P” who may or may not be the same person as one “Harshadrai Mahilal Parakh”, a director of the respondent, who swore the replying affidavit to this application, the respondent still contended that the applicant had not made it its direct tenant. He also disclosed for the first time that “Odd Jobs”, who had sworn an affidavit on 15th March, 1994, wherein he had described himself as “an adult” of P.O. Box 42628 Nairobi, was it actually a person in law and that the rich person behind the said name was one “Mohamed Anwar Mohamed Hafiz Allah Ditta” who had been practicing as “Odd Jobs” had since passed away on 28th January 2000 and that the matter could not proceed any further until letters of administration are obtained. Although the said “H.M. Parakh” attached a copy of the “Death Certificate”, he does not attach a copy of the certificate of Registration of the business name in the absence of which it was unlawfully for the said “Odd Jobs” to carry on its business under that name. The issurer in his application raised are therefore many and include whether or not the terms of this court’s order have been satisfied, later the suit by “Odd Jobs” is still subsisting; whether the whole suit is liable to be struck out and/or whether there is a conflict of interest if the director is also the same as the counsel said to be advising the director.
I have no doubt that the applicant has satisfied the terms of the order made by this court on 29th November, 1994. The applicant is now the registered owners of the suit premises and as the “head tenants” tenancy was terminated way back in 2000, by force of the provisions of Landlord and Tenant (Shops etc) Act, the respondent is now a protected tenant of the applicant. This does not require any future agreement and the contention of the respondent to the contrary is in my view intended to avoid payment of rent nor would this court be sitting on appeal is entertaining his application as the court can vary its order under O.39 Rule 4 of the Civil Procedure Rules at any time.
The next issue which this application has brought out, is the legal position of “Odd Jobs” as it has been shown but it was not a body corporate or a person capable of being sued or to sue. It was an unregistered business name which in law could not be capable of filing suit. The suit by it or any reliance on acted by it are therefore of no effect and cannot be relied upon in suits by third parties. Even if the said “Odd Jobs” was truly the business name of the now deceased Mr. Mohamed, as he passed away over 20 years ago, a fact which the respondent did not disclose to the applicant before the current application, as no application has been made for over 2 years, for substitution under O.23 Rule 3(2) of the Civil Procedure Rules, the suit by “Odd Jobs” has now abated. The respondent cannot now rely on the rights of the said “Odd Jobs” in his case nor is it necessary for the applicants to join the legal representatives of the said “Odd Jobs” as his suit is now abated and is no longer a party to this suit. What remaining is for the applicants to apply for costs to be recovered from the estate of the said “Odd Jobs”.
Finally, should the court strike out this suit as being an abuse of the process of the court as the summons have not been served for over 24 months? According to O.V Rule 1(1), 1(2) and 1(7) of the Civil Procedure Rules,
“(7) where no application has been made under sub-rule (2) (for extension of validity of the summons after 12 months from the date of issue) the court may without notice dismiss the suit at the expiry of twenty-four months from the issue of the original summons”.
It is therefore within the powers of this court to dismiss a suit whose summons have remained unserved for over 24 months on its own motion. As the summons herein have remained unserved for over 7 years having been issued on 27th February 1995 merely being used to frustrate the applicant’s right by the constitution of his country, I find that the interest of justice requires that it be struck out as provided to Civil Procedure Rules.
In the event and for the aforesaid reasons I hereby grant prayers 1,2,3 and 4 as prayed in the notice of motion dated 23rd October, 2002. I also dismiss the suit with costs under the provisions of O. v. Rule (7) of the Civil Procedure Rules as to summons have remained unserved for over 24 months from the date they were originally issued on 27th February 1995.
Dated and delivered at Nairobi this 8th day of January, 2003.
Mr. Tiego :
1. I apply for copies of proceedings of the application and ruling of the court.
2. I also apply for leave to appeal.
3. I also apply for stay.
No difficulties with 1st and 2nd application for proceedings and leave. With regard to stay, I object to the stay. Should make a formal application within 2 days.
Mr. Tiego :
I need proceedings for file instructions.
1. Copies of proceedings to be provided on payment of usual fees.
2. Leave to appeal granted if necessary.
3. As regards stay, I find that as the money is supposed to be in an interest earning account, I see no need to grant an formal stay. I however order that the money be withdrawn from the account and paid to the applicant within 7 days hereof.