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HC directs Delhi govt to fulfill its promise of paying rent for poor

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court in an order has ruled that an assurance given by the Chief Minister in any press conference should be treated as an enforceable promise and that the CM should exercise authority and enforce such a promise given out to the public.

A single judge bench of Justice Pratibha M Singh in her order noted that "good governance requires that promises made to citizens, by those who govern, are not broken, without valid and justifiable reasons".

The order added that a reasonable citizen would by way of the press conference believe that the Chief Minister is speaking on behalf of the government and hence his or her actions should be enforceable.

The bench was hearing a petition moved by daily wage labourers who were unable to pay their monthly rent and sought enforcement of Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal's promise in a speech made on March 29 last year where he requested landlords and property dealers to postpone collecting money from their tenants in view of the Covid-induced financial crisis.

"The CM is expected to have had the said knowledge and is expected to exercise his authority to give effect to his promise/assurance. To that extent, it would not be out of the place to state that a reasonable citizen would believe that the CM has spoken on behalf of his Government, while making the said promise," Justice Singh noted in her order.

The Court was dealing with a petition filed by daily wage labourers/ workers, who were unable to pay their monthly rent, to seek enforcement of a promise made by the Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal dated March 29 last year. In their plea they claimed that the said promise was not honoured by the CM and sought enforcement of the same on an urgent basis.

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