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Delhi HC rejects to vacate stay on order asking Delhi govt to deliver on rent promise

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New Delhi, July 06: The Delhi High Court Tuesday rejected a plea seeking to vacate the stay granted on an order directing the AAP government to formulate policy towards the implementation of CM Arvind Kejriwal's announcement that if a poor tenant was unable to pay rent during the COVID-19 pandemic, the state would pay it.

The division bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad noted that the petitioner tenant had already challenged the stay order before the Supreme Court which had dismissed it on February 28.

Delhi HC rejects to vacate stay on order asking Delhi govt to deliver on rent promise

"This court does not find any reason to vacate the stay granted on September 27, 2021," the bench said.

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The court also rejected the claim of the tenant that the stay order was passed ex-parte and noted that the counsel's appearance was marked in the order.

When the counsel for the tenant urged the court to grant some interim protection, the bench said, "you want us to pass an order against all the landlords of Delhi".

The counsel said he was only asking for the formulation of a policy in this regard.

To this, the bench said, "can we force them to form a policy. There are 100s of things said in the election manifesto, can we force them to do so?" The court was informed by the Delhi government counsel that the same tenant has approached the Supreme Court against the stay order passed by the high court and this fact was concealed from the court.

The bench observed that it was unfortunate that the petitioners filed the application in the high court to vacate the stay even after filing a similar plea in the Supreme Court.

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The apex court, while dismissing the plea on February 28, had perused the speech of Kejriwal and had said "promissory estoppel will not lie on the basis of speech. There has to be some policy, a notification has to be issued in this regard".

Promissory estoppel is a doctrine in contract law that stops a person from going back on a promise even if a legal contract does not exist.

The top court had said that it was an interlocutory order passed by the Delhi High Court and therefore it was not interfering with it.

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