Tenant cannot dictate usage of space to house owner: Court

New Delhi, Dec 7 : The tenant of a 65-year-old handicapped widow in Nizamuddin, New Delhi, was served eviction orders by a Delhi court Saturday. The tenant was also told that he could not suggest ways in which his landlady might use her space.

Additional Civil Judge M.P. Singh's order came as a relief to Femida Begum who had sought the court's intervention for the eviction of her tenant Mohammad Ahmed.

Begum is 80 percent handicapped. She owns a building with two floors and lives on the first floor with her two daughters and son Firoz.

One of the woman's daughters, Farhana Khan, 28, is unmarried and unemployed. Begum had told the court that she would like her daughter to open a tailoring shop on the ground floor, occupied by Ahmed, which would provide Farhana employment and also offer the family a source of income.

There are two shop spaces on the ground floor of the building, one occupied by Ahmed and another serving as a guest room.

Ahmed has been the woman's tenant since 1998, paying a monthly rent of Rs.1,000, excluding the cost of electricity and water.

The court directed Ahmed to vacate Begum's house, saying she required her space.

"The petitioner is a widow, 80 percent handicapped, suffering from various ailments. She requires the shop to settle her daughter Farhana for running a ladies' tailoring shop from there so that the petitioner can have some support in the evening of her life," judge Singh said.

The court took note of the woman's problem and said she has no other residential premises or shop except her own house.

She needs income for medical treatment, food, medicines and other facilities, the court said, turning down Ahmed's plea that the woman use other vacant parts of the house for the shop.

"The tenant cannot suggest ways regarding the usage of her house. It is for her to determine how best she can make use of the available space," the court ruled, instructing the tenant also to ensure that he did not make off with any of the woman's possessions.

The court also rejected Ahmed's argument that Begum's daughter was of marriageable age and would likely shift to her future husband's home.

There is no law that a woman, after marriage, is required to reside in her husband's house, the court said, adding the daughter might well prefer, in this case, to stay with her widowed and handicapped mother.

The court also pulled up Ahmed for the suggestion that since the daughter wore a purdah she could not be sitting in a shop.

--IANS (Posted on 07-12-2013)

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