Taking up a petition filed by the Bar Council of Punjab and Haryana challenging the Punjab Rent Act amendment on the grounds that powers of rent controllers and appellate authorities had been illegally vested from judicial officers to the executive officers, the Punjab and Haryana high court on Wednesday put stay on implementation of amendment in the Act and directed the Punjab government to reconsider its decision.
The division bench comprising chief justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and justice Augustine George Masih, while admitting the case for regular hearing, said the executive officers could not take over judicial functions that were to be performed by judicial officers.
As of now, powers of rent controllers and appellate authorities are vested with the judicial officers in Punjab but through a notification issued by the state government on November 12, the same were to be transferred to the executive officers from November 30. As the high court has now stayed the notification, the functions would be performed by the judicial officers and the pendency of the case in the high court would not act as an impediment for the state government to reconsider its decision.
Appearing for the Bar Council, advocate Kanwalvir Singh Kang had submitted that earlier the Haryana government, in 1973, had appointed sub-divisional officers as controllers and deputy commissioners were appointed appellate authority. But after statewide protests, the Haryana government, in 1978, superseded the earlier notification and appointed all subordinate judges as rent controllers.
The case would now come up for hearing on January 8.
Direction to Punjab
As of now, powers of rent controllers and appellate authorities are vested with the judicial officers in Punjab
However, through a notification issued by the state government on November 12, these powers were to be transferred to executive officers from November 30
Taking up a petition filed by the bar council, the high court has directed Punjab to reconsider the decision