`Commercial place can`t be used for other purpose`

The Delhi High Court has held that premises leased out for carrying out specific commercial activities cannot be used for any other purposes.

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court has held 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
court`s direction to allow him to run banquet hall at a
commercial premises initially allotted to be used 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. 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 bench, comprising Justices Vikramjit Sen and
A K Pathak, said.

A single bench of the High Court had restrained Mahesh
Chand Goyal from a running 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

"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 use stipulated would continue to hold force until
and unless a change is effected by the authority concerned
(DDA). However, the authority may not be empowered to
whimsically change the user only because the party concerned
is willing to pay conversion charges.

"A reading of documents (conveyance deed and occupancy
certificate) makes it unquestionably clear that the building
constructed on the plot was to be used for a particular aspect
of running retail/departmental store. There is no gainsaying
that the land could have been auctioned even for a banquet
hall, which would subsequently have been in conformity with
MPD-2021," the court said.

The bench said, the land has to be used in consonance
with the contract between the parties and no change of the
user can be made contrary to the agreement even if the MPD
Plan permits such user as it helps the parties to change the
user only if the parties mutually agree to do so.

In this case, a piece of land was conveyed in 2003 by
the DDA through a perpetual lease deed, stipulating that it be
used for running retail or departmental shop.


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