Landlords Should Not Demand Rent, Evict Workers: MHA Directions

Landlords Should Not Demand Rent, Evict Workers: MHA Directions

The Union home ministry on Sunday directed landlords housing migrant workers to not take a month’s rent.

Prior Facts:

The 21-day national lockdown was called on Tuesday till April 14 to prevent the spread of coronavirus. The lockdown has affected migrant workers and labourers as most of them have lost their jobs.

The MHA guidelines have come as a big relief for thousands of workers living in rented accommodations in various cities across the country, who were left without jobs and some even facing scarcity of food following PM Modi’s sudden announcement of nation-wide lockdown.

Key Features:

  • Issuing an order the ministry further warned the landlords that if they force the migrant workers and students to vacate the premises then action would be taken against them.
  • It added that “Where ever the workers-both migrant and non-migrant- are living in rented accommodations, the landlords of these properties shall not demand rent for a period of one month”.
  • It adds that “If any landlord is found to be forcing labourers and students to vacate their premises, they will be liable for action under the law”.
  • MHA said that “Landlords cannot ask for rent for lockdown period from workers living in rented accommodation, cannot ask them to vacate.”
  • The MHA guidelines have come as a big relief for thousands of workers living in rented accommodations in various cities across the country, who were left without jobs and some even facing scarcity of food following Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s sudden announcement of nation-wide lockdown to combat the spread of coronavirus.
  • While some companies have asked their employees to work from home, thousands have been laid off due to the unprecedented crisis triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to this, several workers were left without jobs and were being forced by their landlords to pay rent or vacate. However, after MHA’s order, the tenants can’t be forced by their landlords to pay rent or vacate.
  • The Centre has also asked the states to seal borders amid the migrant workers’ exodus.
  • The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, on Sunday, said that by and large, there has been effective Implementation of guidelines across all states and Union Territories. However, it was also said that there has been a movement of migrant workers in some parts of the country.
  • The ministry, in a release, said, “Directions were issued that district and state borders should be effectively sealed.” It further stated that the Cabinet secretary and the Union Home Ministry are in constant touch with State Chief Secretaries and the DGPs through video conferencing.
  • Recently, a PIL seeking urgent direction for providing basic amenities to the workers was also filed in the Supreme Court. keeping in mind the plight of the migrant workers who chose to step out, trying to reach their hometowns on foot, a PIL was filed in the Supreme Court, seeking urgent direction for providing food, water, shelter, transport and medical aid to the migrant workers & their families, including women, kids, elders & Divyangs.
  • Many schools have been converted to shelter the migrant workers.
  • The order also stated that the migrant workers who have moved to reach their hometowns shall be provided shelter in the nearest homes by the respective states/Union Territory governments.
  • The order further said that the employers of all such workers are entitled to pay them full wages without any deductions.

Edited by J. Madonna Jephi

Approved & Published – Sakshi Raje

Reference:

  • Notification No. 40-3/2020-DM-1(A), Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India dated March 29, 2020.
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Vaibhav Goyal is a 3rd year BA.LLB (H) student of UILS, Panjab University, Chandigarh, India. He also basically belongs to the “City Beautiful-Chandigarh”. He had interned and have work experience at various Central and State Government bodies of India including the National Human Rights Commission, New Delhi; the Central Information Commission, New Delhi; U.T. Legal Services Authority, Chandigarh, etc. His research projects includes the study on the Right to Emergency Services (PSHRC), Resettlement of Migrant People (NHRC), Implications of RTI in Financial Institutions (CIC), etc. His publications involve articles in different fields of law like administrative, jurisprudence, etc. on online journals including the Juscholars Blog, Burnished Law Journal, etc. His research paper on Prison Reform was published in the Panjab University Journal and his paper was selected in category of best abstract on the topic of Naxalism: A State of Lawlessness and Arbitrariness. He had scored well in various competitions of law consisting of Quiz, Essay Writing, Lecture, Declamation, etc. He had also participated in various conferences including the World Law Forum Conference on Strategic Lawsuits on Public Participation held in New Delhi on Oct 20, 2018 and the National Law Conclave 2020 held at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi on Jan 11, 2020.