The Delhi High Court has ruled that premises leased out for carrying out specific commercial activities cannot be used for any other purposes.
The order was passed on a plea of a landlord seeking the court’s direction to allow him to run a banquet hall at a commercial premises initially allotted for a retail/departmental store.
“To permit a person to make a bid for a barber shop and thereafter run a restaurant would be doing violence to the town planners scheme of things,” a bench comprising Justices Vikramjit Sen and A.K. Pathak, said.
“It would also force residents of the area to travel distances to other markets in order to avail of services which were intended to be available in the local area.”
A single bench of the High Court had restrained Mahesh Chand Goyal from running a banquet hall on the land allotted to him on the ground that he was not entitled to change the user unilaterally.
Aggrieved by the order, Goyal approached the division bench saying that since use of premises for a banquet hall was commercial in nature, no further restrictions could be imposed.
“Town Planning is a specialisation and work of art. It requires the planner to look into myriad needs of society and in that intricate perspective, specify the manner in which the portions of the city are to be used. This user has several shades and hues and to predicate that commercial user encompasses and accepts all such enterprise, is a dangerous oversimplification,” the bench said.
The court turned down the plea of the petitioner that the Master Plan of Delhi-2021 allowed such type of use and he be allowed to use the premises for running a banquet hall.
The bench said the land has to be used in consonance with the contract between the parties and no change of user can be made contrary to the agreement even if the Masterplan permits it.
In this case, the land was conveyed in 2003 by the DDA through a perpetual lease deed, stipulating that it be used for running retail or departmental shop.