| W.M.S. Pariat |
Shillong, Oct. 3: Landlords and tenants who fail to furnish requisite information under the proposed Meghalaya Regulation of Landlords and Verification of Tenants Bill, 2013, are likely to face punishment.
The bill aims to provide a framework for verification of the landlords and tenants to “enhance the security of the citizens of the state” and to prevent breach of peace and maintenance of public order.
This evening, the government put the bill in the public domain for opinions and suggestions before it is put before the Assembly for approval.
An official communiqué said a high-level official committee on influx, under the chairmanship of chief secretary W.M.S. Pariat, had come up with the draft bill, which was discussed today in the cabinet.
According to the bill, “landlord” is “a person or a company who owns a house or rental unit or a permanent or temporary settlement or colony for housing industrial workers or miners or labourers or construction workers and such like and include his successor-in-interest or assignee”.
It defines “house or rental unit” as “any building, apartment, permanent or temporary settlement or colony of industrial workers or miners or labourers or construction workers and such like, hut or shed, or any part thereof, let or to be let or used for residential or non-residential purposes”.
A tenant, under the bill, is “any person who uses or occupies a house or rental unit on paid agreement or otherwise and includes relatives or members of family, successor to a tenant or a sub-tenant or joint tenant”.
The proposed legislation stipulates that any landlord or tenant or both, who intentionally fail to furnish the information or furnish false information, shall be punished under Sections 176 and 177 of the IPC or any other law.
Any foreigner, who is a tenant, and does not comply or furnishes false information, shall be punishable under Section 14 of Foreigners Act too.
The landlord shall also be liable to withdrawal of essential services on the order of the district task force if he fails to furnish particulars of the tenant or sub-tenant or joint tenant to the police. Essential services include water and electricity connection and all other civic services a house or rental unit is entitled to.
Under the bill, the district task force will be created under the respective DCs. Police stations and local authorities, implying traditional institutions and others, will also be required to maintain a database and a quarterly report submitted to the task force.