The Delhi government Friday told the Delhi High Court that the court’s July 22 verdict, directing the State to take a decision on a statement made by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal last year during the lockdown that the government would be paying rent if any tenant is unable to do so, was under its consideration.
The submission was made during the hearing of an application seeking implementation of the judgment. Justice Rekha Palli granted two weeks to the Delhi government to take a decision after the State counsel made the request for more time.
In July, Justice Prathiba M Singh ruled that a promise or assurance given by a Chief Minister “clearly amounts to an enforceable promise”, the implementation of which ought to be considered by the State, while directing the Delhi government to take a decision in six weeks and frame a clear policy.
The court had also asked the state to bear in mind the larger interest of persons to whom the benefits were intended to be extended in the statement given by the CM.
Justice Singh had passed the landmark judgment in the case filed by five daily-wage workers and a landlord in November 2020. Kejriwal on March 29 last year, according to their petition, in a press conference requested all landlords to postpone the demand or collection of rent from those tenants “who are poor and poverty stricken” and also promised that if any tenant is unable to pay the rent due to poverty, the government would pay on their behalf.
The petitioners, in their latest application before the court, said that six weeks expired on September 2 but the government was yet to comply with the directions. By willfully disobeying the court judgment and directions, the government has entered the territory of contempt of court, it has been argued in the application.