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Delhi High Court seeks Centre's assistance on plea against Lithuanian diplomat

Thursday, 23 January 2014 - 8:26pm IST | Agency: PTI

The Delhi High Court has asked the Centre to assist it on the question of maintainibility of a suit initiated by a man against former Lithuanian ambassador to India seeking appointment of an arbitrator and claiming that the diplomat owes him a house rent of Rs 47.80 lakh.

The administrative officer of the high court has written to the Additional Solicitor General requesting him to assist the court on the aspect as to whether the plea is maintainable against the diplomat.

The petition filed by Deepak Mohan Puri, owner of the premises, sought appointment of an arbitrator to decide the dispute which he said ensued after the Ambassador, Petras Simeliunas, vacated his rented premises before the lock-in period.

A bench of Justice Vipin Sanghi has also asked Puri to answer the issue of maintainability.

Puri has said in the petition that he had rented out his farmhouse property of 2.5 acres in Bijwasan to the diplomat who was residing there till his assignment as Ambassador Extraordinary and plenipotentiary till September 23, 2012.

The said property was being used as private residence by Petras and his family.

Puri said he and Petras entered a lease agreement for 36 months commencing March 1, 2012 to February 28, 2015 and agreed for ten per cent increase in rent after every 12 months. They agreed on advance rent for six months and that the lease could be terminated only after 24 months with a three month notice.

The lease also provided for an arbitration clause requiring the parties to resolve any dispute through an arbitration process in Delhi.

By a letter dated August 1, 2012 and an e-mail, Puri was informed by the Secretary to Petras that he would be terminating the tenancy on completion of his assignment as Ambassador and shall be leaving on September 23, 2012.

The tenancy was terminated on October 1, 2012.

Following this, Puri said he filed an arbitration petition in May 2013 which was dismissed as withdrawn.

He said in June 2013, he served a notice of revocation of arbitration clause on Petras through courier.

He said that after accounting for rent recoverable for six months and that for 12 months with ten per cent increase, Petras owes him a total of Rs 47.80 lakh. 

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