Two Rooms Sans A Kitchen Can’t Be Called A House, Reiterates Delhi HC [Read Order]

Two Rooms Sans A Kitchen Can’t Be Called A House, Reiterates Delhi HC [Read Order]

HC asks govt to re-decide plea of a woman for an alternate plot

Two rooms without the basic facility of the kitchen cannot be called a house, the Delhi High Court has reiterated while asking the government to decide the plea of a woman for an alternate plot in lieu of acquired land.

In this case, petitioner Fahmida Anjum’s application for allotment of an alternate plot in lieu of acquired land was rejected by the authority concerned in the Delhi government on February 28, 2018 on the ground she owned a property comprising two rooms which was occupied by tenants.

Sandeep Bajaj, founder and managing partner, PSL, along with associate partner Soayib Qureshi and senior associate Shourya Mittal, appeared for the petitioner.

The counsel told the court that as per the MCD records, the property in question comprises two rooms but without a kitchen and therefore, it cannot be considered a house or a dwelling unit.

They relied upon the Supreme Court’s decision in case titled Nahalchand Laloochand Private Limited v. Panchali Cooperative Housing Society Limited to back their argument.

“A perusal of MCD record reveals that in property…there are two rooms, bath/latrine and a verandah. It nowhere mentions that there is a kitchen with the abovesaid rooms. May be, tenants are residing in the said two rooms and their unauthorized occupancy in these rooms, according to petitioner’s counsel, relates back to the year 1930. It is relevant to note that the dimension of these two rooms in the aforesaid property No.4634 is about 10 X 15 ft. only,” the court noted.

Reading from Nahalchand Laloochand, Justice Sunil Gaur said, “The Supreme Court in Nahalchand has reiterated that self-contained premises must have basic amenities, like cooking, sanitary, washing, etc., and in the said decision, it stands concluded that a garage cannot be considered to be a dwelling unit.”

It also took note of decision of the Punjab & Haryana High Court in Ashok Syal v. Commissioner of Income Tax, Central Circle, Jalandhar, wherein it was expressly stated that an abode/dwelling place is required to have minimum facilities, like kitchen, washroom, etc., and where such facilities, like kitchen, bathroom, etc., are not available, then it cannot be said to be a dwelling unit/house.

“I see no reason to take a different view than the one already taken, as referred to above. Since two rooms in the property  in question, do not have basic facility of kitchen, therefore, it cannot be considered to be a dwelling unit and so, rejection of petitioner’s application on the ground that petitioner is in possession of a house/dwelling unit, is not justified,” Justice Gaur concluded.

Setting aside the February 28 order of the committee, the court directed the government to re-consider petitioner’s application for allotment of alternate plot in lieu of acquired land, within 12 weeks.

Read the Order Here