Delhi High Court has allowed a family to reoccupy a floor of the property, which was securitised by IIFL Home Finance Limited under Section 14 of SARFAESI Act, due to the extraordinary circumstances caused by nationwide lockdown.
While allowing the Petitioner one floor of the property, the Division Bench of Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw and Justice Manoj Kumar Ohri has clarified that they will not induct any other person into occupation of the said first floor and will not encroach upon any other portions of the property which shall remain in the custody of the Respondent.
The Petitioner was challenging the order passed by the Debt Recovery Tribunal wherein the Petitioner was allowed to reoccupy two floors of the securitized property upon depositing ₹10 lacs with the Respondent.
The said lenient view was taken by the Tribunal in light of the grave situation prevailing in the country due to COVID19.
Mr Neeraj Sharma, who appeared for the Petitioner, gave an undertaking to the court stating that within one month of the lifting of the lockdown, whether totally or partially, that he will settle with the Respondent and pay the entire settlement amount.
Meanwhile, the Petitioner sought permission to the Petitioner, his family, the tenants and their families thereto, for the time being reoccupy the property.
Appearing for the Respondents, Ms Bindu Das opposed the claim under section 17 of the Debt Recovery Tribunal Act, by arguing that the Petitioner has a history of making false claims and promises.
She further argued that the Petitioner is already in default of the concession granted by the DRT and is not entitled to any further concession as against an amount of ₹ 6 lacs, the Petitioner has paid only about ₹ 3,48,000/- to the Respondent.
In light of the situation prevailing in Delhi due to the nationwide lockdown, the court observed that it's imperative to allow the Petitioner to occupy the first floor of the property along with his family.
However, the court further observed, such reoccupation would be purely as an interim measure and the possession of the said first floor of the property also shall be deemed to be of the respondent pursuant to measures taken under Section 14 of the SARFAESI Act.
The court also went on to clarify that such reoccupation shall not enable the Petitioner to collect rent from the tenants residing in the property.
In light of the same, the court has allowed the Petitioner to occupy the first floor of the said property provided the same will be vacated within one month of lifting of the lockdown, whether partially or fully. The same shall be done without causing any hindrance and to put Respondents back into the custody of the entire property.
To ensure strict compliance, the court ordered that:
'If the petitioner and his wife Mrs. Manisha Kumar along with their three minor children do not so comply with the undertaking, the respondent shall be entitled to take all steps in continuation of the earlier action under Section 14 of the SARFAESI Act for removing the petitioner, his wife and children from the said first floor and to use reasonable force for the said purpose and / or to initiate proceedings for breach of undertaking given to the Court by the petitioner and his wife.'
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