Person can't be deprived of right to livelihood merely due to old age: Delhi High Court [15.4.2024]

A person can't be deprived of right to livelihood and to live with dignity merely on account of old age and frail health, the Delhi High Court has observed while upholding an order directing eviction of a tenant from a property which is now required by a landlord for carrying out his business.

The high court rejected the stand taken by the tenant that looking at the old age and health of the landlord, it was not believable that he would carry out any business from the premises which was sought to be vacated.

The high court dismissed the petition by the tenant challenging an order of an additional rent controller (ARC) which had passed the eviction order.

"The bona fides of the requirement set up by the landlord cannot be shrouded with doubts on such presumptive arguments. Merely because the landlord suffers old age and frail health, it cannot be presumed that he does not require the tenanted premises to run his business or is not capable of earning livelihood," Justice Girish Kathpalia said while upholding the ARC's order.

The high court said there was nothing on record to feebly suggest that the landlord was bedridden or being taken care of financially by his son engaged in an independent business.

"Merely on account of old age and frail health, a person cannot be deprived of the right to livelihood and the consequent right to live with dignity," the high court said.

The landlord, who claimed to be the owner of a shop in Paharganj area, here had filed a petition before the trial court seeking to evict the tenant on the grounds that now he required the premises to carry out his business as he has no reasonably suitable alternate accommodation.

The landlord said earlier he had to shut his business, which was being run in a residential area, and he was allotted a plot in Bawana by the authorities but he had surrendered the same on account of long distance and his old age.

The court noted that the plot was surrendered long ago and it was not available with the landlord to be used as a shop.

"The surrender of the Bawana plot by the present respondent (landlord) was because of the long distance between Bawana and the place of residence of the present respondent. But that cannot be read to mean that he is incapable of earning his livelihood through business from the subject premises," it said.

15 Apr 2024