The Himachal Pradesh High Court has declared that, Section 4 of the Himachal Pradesh Urban Rent Control Act, 1987, which prescribes the procedure for determination of standard rent and Sections 5, 6, 7, 8 and 30 (2) insofar as they are dependent upon standard rent as contemplated and determined under Section 4 other than the agreed rent, are unconstitutional.
The First Bench of the High Court comprising Chief Justice Mansoor Ahmad Mir and Justice Tarlok Singh Chauhan has also struck down the first proviso of clause (c) of sub-section (3) of Section 14 of the Act dealing with modalities of Re-Entry of tenant.
The High Court partly allowed the Writ petitions filed by Landlords who challenged the provisions of Sections 2(j), 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 13, 14 and 30 of the H. P. Urban Rent Control Act, 1987 as being un-constitutional, invalid and violative of Articles 14, 19, 21 and 300A of the Constitution of India.
MECHANISM FOR DETERMINATION OF ‘STANDARD RENT’ IS ‘UNREASONABLE’:
Referring to Section 4 of the Act, the Court observed as follows
MODALITIES PRESCRIBED FOR RE-ENTRY TOTALLY UNWORKABLE, WILL PROMOTE ENDLESS LITIGATION
The Court upheld Section 14 (3) (c) of the Act insofar as it provides for the right of re-entry but held that the First proviso prescribing modalities of Re-Entry is unconstitutional. The Court observed as follows.
We also notice that the language used in explanation is absolutely vague and it is not at all discernible as to in what time would the agreement as mentioned therein be arrived at. Is it when the tenant has been evicted under clause (c) or at the time when the building is rebuilt? In case, the agreement is to be arrived at the time of eviction, then probably much exception cannot be taken, but in case the agreement is to be arrived at only after the building is rebuilt, then the very purpose of having such a provision of re-induction of the tenant would be rendered nugatory and otiose, because the landlord will make all endeavours to drive the tenant to the wall and would further ensure that the portion for which the re-entry has been reserved to the tenant is not constructed. The proviso to say the least is totally unworkable as it is absolutely vague, ambiguous apart from being arbitrary and unreasonable. Therefore, we have no difficulty in concluding that the first proviso of clause (c) of sub-section (3) of Section 14 of the Act is unconstitutional.
Read the Judgment here.