By Legal Cell
The right to equality is a fundamental principle, granting individuals the freedom to exercise their rights as long as they comply with legal restrictions, such as property acquisition rules. However, when it comes to renting or subletting property, challenges often arise, particularly regarding bachelor occupants. While societal norms may guide some housing societies to restrict property leasing to certain groups, it’s essential to examine this practice from a legal standpoint.
The intention behind such restrictions, often imposed by housing societies, may stem from concerns about maintaining peace and harmony within the community. However, individual rights must also be respected. According to a significant legal precedent set by the Honorable Supreme Court in the case of Sanwarmal Kejriwal v/s. Vishwa Co-operative Housing Society Ltd. & Others (1990 PAGE 1 C.T.J. 364), societies cannot object to the use of flats by a member or any individual authorized by the member, provided it adheres to legal parameters.
In situations where a housing society attempts to hinder the occupancy of the licensee, paying guest, bachelor, working women, or air hostess, a methodical approach is recommended. Commencing with a legal notice to the society is a crucial first step, urging them to respect individual choices within lawful limits. If no positive response ensues, legal action may be taken, involving metropolitan magistrate courts or even the broader judicial system.
Societal apprehensions about potential disruptions or violations of laws by occupants like working women or bachelors may not justify outright restrictions. The society’s responsibility lies in addressing transgressions as they arise, rather than predetermining the behavior of occupants. Applying apprehensions as grounds for restraint contradicts legal principles.
Housing societies must tread cautiously, as restrictions based on fear or apprehension might infringe on individual rights and legal safeguards. Societal guidelines should align with established laws, recognizing that property rights are integral to an individual’s freedom.
As housing societies often grapple with adhering to the law while maintaining community standards, striking a balance between individual freedoms and societal harmony remains paramount. Legal knowledge and adherence to established legal principles can help housing societies navigate these complex waters while respecting the rights of all stakeholders involved.