A case has been lodged by the Mundhwa police in Pune, Maharashtra, in regard to a landlord assaulting his tenant for non-payment of rent due for four months. The tenant had not paid his rent including the electricity bills, with the total estimate coming to around Rs 14,000, during the lockdown period. It is being reported that the tenant had been living at the rented house for the last five years. 

The shocking incident has come to light especially at a time when the Pune police had a while back issued a strict warning to house landlords to not harass their tenants for rent. Police have booked a case against the accused identified to be Devendra Suresh Bhat, Nargis Bhat and Suresh Bhat, after a complaint was lodged by the 26-year-old tenant named Roshan Suresh Parate. 

In their statement, the police have stated that the complainant was staying at the rented house with his mother for nearly five years, but fell short on his rent payments owing to the coronavirus pandemic, leading to the total arrears including the power bills accumulating to Rs 14,000. A case has since been filed against the accused for harassment and subsequent physical assault during the COVID-19 crisis by the acting Mundhwa police. 

This is not the first such case to come to the spotlight as the coronavirus lockdown has thrown the normal day-to-day livelihood of countless people around the world including India out of balance. The first case of a landlord harassing a tenant over the delay in rent payment was recorded in June. A landlady had allegedly demanded rent from a civil services student during the lockdown period, thereby violating the Centre's orders. 

Meanwhile, Pune police clarified on Tuesday that the night curfew in the city and its extended limits at Pimpri-Chinchwad have been lifted following the Maharashtra government's latest directives under 'Mission Begin Again'. However, officials in their statement, added saying that strict norms will be continued to be imposed in containment zones. 

Furthermore, Pune Municipal Commissioner Vikram Kumar, on Monday said that malls, hotels, lodges and guest houses are now allowed to resume operations with a 33 per cent capacity from August 5. Detailed guidelines for the standard operating procedures (SOP) for the lodging services were issued which includes thermal scanning, online payments, less rush at reception, social distancing – all to be followed at all times. They have also been directed to ensure that customers have the Aarogya Setu app on their mobile phones.