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District Collector needs to handover vacant possession to the petitioner within a period of three months as the petitioner is not involved in any business with the respondent : High Court of Kerala

Petitioner being a landlord  has leased his building to the respondent, who was later charged under provisions of the Kerala Protection of Interests of Depositors in Financial Establishment Act, 2013 and the Banning of Unregulated Deposit Schemes Act, 2019 has no business relation with the respondent and his company and should have the vacant possession of his premises and same was upheld by High Court of Kerala through the learned bench led by HONOURABLE MR.JUSTICE N.NAGARESH in the case of CHANDRAN NAIR.K. v DISTRICT COLLECTOR, (COMPETENT OFFICER) (WP(C) NO. 8225 OF 2022) on 24th March, 2022.

Brief facts of the case are that petitioners leased out their buildings to the 3rd respondent, a private company engaged in the business of non-banking financial services. After registration of a crime against the Popular Finance under the provisions of the Kerala Protection of Interests of Depositors in Financial Establishment Act, 2013 and the Banning of Unregulated Deposit Schemes Act, 2019 (BUDS Act), the District authorities locked down the premises leased out by the petitioners to the 3rd respondent. Investigation in respect of the crime allegedly committed by Popular Finance is going on.

Learned counsel for petitioner submitted that the petitioners have no business connection with the 3 rd respondent and they are only landlords of the buildings in which Branches of the 3 rd respondent were functioning. Now, the petitioners are not in a position to use their buildings. Therefore, seek to command the respondents to release the vacant rooms to the petitioners within a time frame.

The  Court directed the competent authority to handover possession of the vacant buildings to the petitioners in those cases after complying with the formalities under Sections 14 and 15 of the BUDS Act in similar claims in respect of other landlords of Popular Finance came up for consideration before this Court in W.P.(C) No.3524/2021. In view of the this judgment, Court held that he writ petitions are disposed of directing the 1st respondent to handover vacant possession of the Rooms covered by Ext.P1 to the petitioners within a period of three months from the date of receipt of a copy of this judgment after complying with the formalities of Sections 14 and 15 of the BUDS Act. “The petitioners will be at liberty to approach the District Collector with appropriate representation, if they have any further grievance”.

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Judgment reviewed by – Amit Singh

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