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Tenant can apply for separate water connection: Court

New Delhi, Feb 21 (IANS) In a significant ruling in favour of thousands of tenants in the capital, a city court has ruled that a tenant can apply for a separate water connection even if the owner declines to give a no objection certificate (NOC).

Additional Sessions Judge Pratibha Rani in an order passed last week said: ‘Since the appellant is in possession of the premises as tenant and has every right to have water supply even if the landlord prefers not to issue NOC, the tenant can obtain an independent water connection without NOC from the landlord for the premises in his tenancy.’

The court was hearing the case of Mandeep Singh Baweja, a resident of Tagore Garden in west Delhi, who alleged that his landlord does not allow him to fill water in the tank on the terrace and his life has became miserable.

The landlord is residing on the first floor and the tenant on the second floor.

‘For the tenant, life has become hell as even the basic requirements of life cannot be fulfilled without water, and in order to evict the tenant, all kind of means have been adopted by the landlord. So much so that the tenant has to approach the high court and an injunction order has been issued against the landlord not to dispossess the tenant without due process of law. A lock had been put on the terrace so that the overhead water tank could not be filled,’ the counsel for the petitioner states.

Demanding that the station house officer (SHO) of the local police should supervise the filling of the water tank, the counsel said: ‘In the circumstances let the SHO be directed to supervise the filling of the water tank so that there is no dispute at that time, or the landlord be directed to issue a NOC to enable the tenant to have water connection.’

Turning down the plea of the petitioner for police protection, the judge said: ‘I am of the opinion that no such direction is required as it is not the duty of the SHO to ensure filling of overhead water tanks in case of dispute between the landlords and tenants as scarcity of water is already a major cause of litigation between landlords and tenants, and the right of tenant can be protected within the statute. Even otherwise the courts should not issue any such directions which cannot be supervised. The primary duty of the police is to maintain law and order and not supervise the filling of water tanks.’

‘The petitioner is in occupation of premises in his occupancy as tenant. The petitioner cannot be denied the amenity of water connection on behalf of the landlord,’ the judge ruled.

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