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Union Cabinet gave its approval for Repeal of Rent Act in Delhi



Updated On - Monday, 26 August 2013

12 July 20013

NEW DELHI: As a pre-poll gift to around eight lakh traders and tenants in Delhi, the Union Cabinet on Thursday cleared urban development ministry's proposal to repeal the Delhi Rent Control Act, 1995, which was never notified even after Parliament nod and assent from the President. The decision means the old Act of 1958 will be in force, which is tilted more towards tenants.

UD ministry officials said the process of amending the old Act will start soon and there will be consultations with all stakeholders to bring "sound" changes. Sources said it would take at least 2-3 years to complete the process. This means lakhs of property owners will have to live with the paltry rents that they have been getting in prime commercial areas such as Connaught Place, Karol Bagh, Paharganj and the Walled City.

While traders welcomed the decision, property owners accused the government of "backstabbing them" and "slaughtering" parliamentary norms. Government claimed fresh amendments could not be brought before withdrawing the Act, which got official nod.

Hailing the decision, Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) termed it a wise step to protect the distributive character of trade in Delhi. "Since the last 18 years, we were fighting against the provisions of Delhi Rent Act, 1995 and were demanding amendments to protect traders and tenants from eviction of their current business place on frivolous ground of bonafide need," CAIT secretary general Praveen Khandelwal said.

Claiming that the government would "pay" for this decision in the next assembly elections, Committee for the Repeal of Delhi Rent Control Act, 1958 president Sobha Aggarwal said, "This is reminiscent of infamous Emergency era when constitutional and parliamentary norms and

traditions were flagrantly violated. Through its decision, it has slaughtered parliamentary norms for which no parallel can be found in post-independence India."

If the 1995 Act was notified, it would have replaced the 1958 law which protected the migrant population from arbitrary rent hikes. Even as property values skyrocketed, landlords bound by rent control rules continued to get paltry rents.

Published by: The Times of India

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