The Supreme Court has held that an NRI landlord could ask his tenant to immediately vacate the premises even though he did not intend to use it directly for himself and resides permanently in another country.
The apex court said to eject a tenant, an NRI landlord is required to prove his NRI status and the fact that he has made the claim for the premises for his use or for the use of any dependent ordinarily living with him.
"An NRI can claim ejectment of the tenant from the premises for the purposes of any other person who is dependent on him and is ordinarily living with him which makes it clear that although the NRI resides permanently in another country, he could get the accommodation vacated for the need of his dependent, who ordinarily lives with him and intends to come to India," a Bench comprising Justice KG Balakrishnan and Justice PP Naolekar said.
Besides, the NRI has to prove that he was the owner of the property for five years, the Bench said interpreting section 13B of the East Punjab Urban Rent Restriction Act, which creates a special class of NRI landlords and reposes special right to them to recover immediate possession of their leased premises.
"There is no requirement that he (NRI) has permanently settled in India on his return or he has returned to India with an intention to permanently settle. An NRI may require the accommodation for expansion of his business, which he is carrying in another country or requires it for temporary stay, the Bench said disposing of a bunch of petitions on the issue.