On the Bar Council of Punjab and Haryana's petition challenging the Punjab Rent Act on the ground that powers of rent controllers and appellate authorities had been illegally vested from judicial officers to executive officers, the Punjab and Haryana high court has directed the state government to file its reply.
The petitioner council has also sought quashing of the notification issued on November 12 by the department of local government making amendments in the Punjab Rent Act, 1995.
The Act was enacted to provide for the regulation of rents, repairs, maintenance and eviction relating to the premises and connected matters in Punjab. The court was informed that through a notification dated November 12, certain amendments were carried out in the Act pertaining to the functioning of rent courts, appointment of rent authorities, powers and functions of the tribunal, petition fees and powers of review etc.
The court was informed that in 1973, the Haryana government had appointed subdivisional officers as controllers and deputy commissioners were appointed as the 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 But after statewide protests, the Haryana government in 1978 superseded the earlier notification and appointed all subordinate judges as rent controllers.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 November 27.