Acting Chief Justice A.K. Sikri and Justice Rajiv Shah Endlaw said the jurisdiction of the civil court in this regard is barred by section 50 of the Delhi Rent Control Act, 1958.
“A landlord of a premises governed by the Delhi Rent Control Act, 1958 is entitled to have increase(s) in rent only in accordance with Section 6A and 8 thereof and not otherwise; such a landlord cannot approach the civil vourt contending that the rent stands increased or should be increased in accordance with the inflation or cost price index,” the bench observed.
Santosh Vaid, a landlord, had approached the high court seeking a direction to increase the monthly rent of his tenant from Rs.150 to Rs.10,000 citing inflation as a reason.
Vaid said he had let out his property to Uttam Chand in November 1987 at a monthly rental of Rs. 150 but Chand has not been paying rent since July 2009 after it was increased to Rs.10,000 a month.
Submitting that after taking into account inflation and fall in value of rupee, Vaid contended that if the value of Rs.150 is considered, this would not be less than Rs10,000.
The Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) has started claiming house tax on the basis of Unit Area System.
The court said that where the rent of the premises agreed by the parties was below Rs.3,500 per month, the civil court would not have jurisdiction.
In this present case, the petitioners themselves had admitted the rent to be Rs.150. So section 50 of the Delhi Rent Act barred the jurisdiction of the civil court, the bench observed.
The court pointed out that rent could be increased by the landlord every three years by 10 per cent as per section 6 read with section 8 of the Delhi Rent Act.
“Even though the 10 per cent increase in rent every three years provided for under the Delhi Rent Act may be perceived by some as inadequate, that is no reason for this court to provide for a higher or more frequent increase,” the bench said refusing to expand its judicial overreach in the legislative domain.