A petition was filed before the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India seeking directions to the Central Government to ensure compliance with the MHA order directing the landlords to neither ask students and laborers to vacate the premises nor to pay rent during the COVID-19 Nationwide Lockdown
The matter was listed before a bench comprising of Justices S. K. Kaul and B. R. Gavai and was headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan. The matter was heard through video-conferencing, wherein the petitioners had sought action against the alleged“arbitrary and unlawful action” of landlords demanding rent from students and laborers during the COVID-19 lockdown despite the order passed by the Ministry of Home Affairs dated dated 29th march, 2020 stating the contrary.
The petition alleged that irrespective of the aforementioned MHA order, various landlords were forcing tenant students and workers to pay full rent, failing which they would be thrown out of premises. The petition stated that many landlords are continuously putting pressure on students and workers to pay their rent during the COVID-19 nationwide lockdown, due to which the aggrieved are living in constant fear and depressions. They are feeling helpless in these uncertain times as they cannot arrange money as everyone is suffering from financial crisis due to the lockdown. It further stated that in a situation like this, the people who are staying in rented accommodations have limited resources at their disposal.
The Hon’ble Supreme Court dismissed the petition and stated that the Apex Court cannot implement the orders passed by the Government and further observed that there is already a helpline to monitor these type of situations and persons aggrieved can approach the authorities concerned through it. It was further observed that those landlords who force people to vacate their houses will face action, the MHA statement has already warned.