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[Delhi HC]: No waiver or reduction of rent during lockdown, directs Moti Mahal to pay monthly rent

The Delhi High Court on May 08, 2020 {M/S MOTI MAHAL DELUX-II v. KIRAN DUTTA & ORS} observed that no one knows as to when the service industry and hospitality business would return to its robust status as was prior to the pandemic/nationwide lockdown.

The HC held that it is a call which the applicant would have to make apropos its ability to pay the interim market rent fixed by the Court earlier or to vacate the premises. It was held that if the applicant cannot pay the monies it could choose to vacate the premises. The Court held, however, it finds no reason to vacate the stay or alter the interim market rent fixed as per the earlier order. It was held that the property is in a prime location of a well-known market of South Delhi and if the petitioner cannot pay the monies, it would not be difficult for the respondents landladies to find another tenant. 

In the present case, because of the nationwide lockdown/pandemic for the past more than six weeks, the petitioner / applicant sought modification of the Court’s order dated 18.08.2017 whereby the petitioner was directed to pay interim monthly rent of Rs.3,00,000/- for use and occupation charges for the premises occupied by it. The applicant expressed financial constraints to the HC in making the payments as of now. However, the HC refused to modify the order for payment of monthly rent, and directed Moti Mahal (applicant) to keep making payment as per rate of rent fixed earlier by the Court.

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