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Court pulls up tenant for questioning landlord’s social status


New Delhi : The Delhi High Court has pulled up a tenant for questioning the social status of the owner of the property in which he was residing and asked him to vacate the house immediately.

Mohammad Shamim Siddiqui had rented out his house in Baljit Nagar to Gurdayal Wadhwa in Novemeber 1998 on a monthly payment of Rs.650. In 2007, Siddiqui asked Wadhwa to vacate the house since his son was getting married and the expanding family would require extra living space.

Since Wadhwa refused to vacate the house despite repeated requests, Siddiqui moved a city court and filed an eviction petition, which was dismissed. He then approached the high court.

Siddiqui submitted that his married son required at least two rooms for himself, his wife and their child. The petitioner himself required one room for himself and his wife and one drawing room. He required another room for his other son who was working as a manager and one room was a minimum requirement to house the family’s guests.

However, Wadhwa objected to this submission. He alleged that Siddiqui was using his son’s marriage as an excuse to get the house vacated and had a better house to live in.

Wadhwa also questioned Siddiqui’s social status and accused him of not loving his elder son.

Delivering the judgement earlier this month, Justice S.N. Dhingra asked Wadhwa to immediately vacate the house and criticised his plea as “not only scornful but contemptuous”.

“The landlord and his family have a status in life and their present accommodation is highly insufficient to meet their requirement,” the judge said.

“I consider that social status of a person cannot be determined by his earnings and job only. The status of the petitioner is at least much more than the status of the tenant since the petitioner is the owner of the premises where the tenant is living on rent,” he added.

The court also criticised the Additional Rent Controller (ARC) in the lower court that dismissed the petition by not seeing the merits of the case.

“The court must keep in mind that it has to arrive at a conclusion only in respect of issues regarding the suit and not in respect of those issues which never arose,” Dhingra said.

The judge also observed that the sons of the petitioner were young at the time when he gave his house on rent. With his sons becoming adults of marriageable age and the growth in the family, the requirement of the petitioner was to be considered by the ARC keeping in view all these facts and circumstances.