Due to the Covid-19 outbreak, there are many sectors which are affected by the Pandemic. Therefore, Plea has been filed before the Supreme Court raising concerns over the persistent demand for rent by the landlords from their students/ labour class tenants, amid lockdown.
PIL has been filed by Advocate Pawan Prakash Pathak and a Final year law student of faculty of Law, Delhi, Abhijeet restraining all landlords from forcefully demanding rent from tenants including students and labour class tenants.
The Petitioner pointed out that during this pandemic, many landlords are forcing tenants to either pay the rent or vacate the premises.
They submitted that many states such as Delhi, Mumbai, Kota City, Chennai with mass population is constituted by students, labour class community who earn on daily basis and spend, but due to extension of this lockdown period till May, 03, it is difficult for them to even feed themselves and pay rent to their landlords, whereas for food they are dependant upon the services extended by the government in their local area through fair price shops and other NGO help.
Further Petitioners averred that students who are staying in PG, depends on the food provided by the PG owners and they pay fixed amount of rent to them, but during this Pandemic it is seen that many PG owners are not providing them food but still is demanding same rent which they usually charge when they provide the meal to the students.
The plea added
“If we see the majority, mostly parents are self-employed and are middle class people who are not having much savings with them but are managing to make their child achieve his dreams by sacrificing his own. This pandemic has also created a dent in the income of parents and are also forced to cope up by spending whatever minimum savings they have accumulated. There is uncertainty because of this lockdown that when this lockdown ends and normalcy would be restored so any demand for rent by the landlords would further aggravate the situation but also lead to undue harassment and embarrassment to the students“.
Further Petitioners submitted that they are constantly students and labour class people are living in fear and depression because of the above mentioned reasons.
“Suffering from financial crisis during the lockdown, in such situation one is onl left with the one option i.e. opportunity cost of money, either one can pay rent out of the same amount or one can buy essentials/ ration/ food for their family during this period.”
Thus it is plead before the Hon’ble Supreme court that asserts the enforcement of Fundamental Rights to the life of students and labours under Article 21 of the Constitution, the Petitioner has sought strict enforcement of the government advisory for restraining demand of rent from students and labours. They also ask for strict remedy for those who have been evacuated by their lanorsd due to non payment of rent by tenants amid Covid 19.
The said advisory was issued by the Union Ministry of Home Affair last month under the Disaster Management Act, 2005.