The Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to entertain a plea seeking direction to the Centre to ensure compliance with the MHA order directing landlords to neither ask students and labourers to vacate the premises nor to seek rent for a month during the COVID-19 lockdown.
The petitioners, advocate Pawan Prakash Pathak and A.K. Pandey, had sought action against the alleged "arbitrary and unlawful action" of landlords demanding rent from students and labourers during the COVID-19 lockdown despite a government order to the contrary.
What was the order of MHA?
The Ministry of Home Affairs has issued several statements regarding the issue of rent. The MHA has issued an order that the landlords shall not demand rent from students, poor workers, and migrant labourers and adding that those who would force their tenants out will face action. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal also appealed to the landlords to not harass their tenants and warned of strict action against those who are found guilty. He said to that landlords that if the tenants fail to give the rent later, then the government will compensate it.
What did the court held?
A bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan, which was hearing the matter through video-conferencing, dismissed the plea and said the apex court cannot implement the orders of the government.
The bench, also comprising Justices S.K. Kaul and B.R. Gavai, observed that there is already a helpline to monitor the situation and persons aggrieved can approach the authorities concerned through it.