Delhi HC asks Centre to decide in 6 weeks AAP plea seeking party office space

“The issue of whether the petitioner (AAP) would be entitled to a plot of land in Central Delhi is the subject of another Writ Petition,” Justice Prasad noted in the order.
AAP party office.
AAP party office.Photo | express

NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court on Wednesday ordered the Centre to decide within six weeks the AAP’s plea regarding its representation for the allotment of accommodation for its party office in the national capital.

“The Aam Aadmi Party is entitled to use a housing unit as its party office until the permanent allotment of land (by the Centre or any authority) for the construction of its office,” stated Justice Subramonium Prasad in his order on June 5.

The court clarified that the dispute regarding the allotment of land to the AAP could not be a reason to deprive the petitioner of its entitlement to a housing unit to be used as a temporary office under the Consolidated Instructions for the allotment of Government Accommodation from the General Pool to National and State level Political Parties.

“The issue of whether the petitioner (AAP) would be entitled to a plot of land in Central Delhi is the subject of another Writ Petition,” Justice Prasad noted in the order.

The high court also stated that while the AAP is not entitled to plots 23-24 on DDU Marg, which are occupied by one of its ministers, it is entitled to a house from the “general pool” until permanent land is allotted for the office construction.

In May, the AAP withdrew a Special Leave Petition (SLP) filed before the Supreme Court seeking a direction for the allotment of office space in the national capital. The AAP had moved the apex court by filing this SLP against the high court’s refusal for early hearing.

AAP’s lawyer, senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, withdrew the plea after stating to the SC that the Single Judge Bench of the Delhi High Court has been continuously hearing the matter. Given the facts and circumstances of the case, he requested the Court’s permission to withdraw the same. However, he requested that the SC grant liberty to approach the Supreme Court in the event of an unfavorable outcome at the high court.

The Supreme Court, in its order on March 4, had directed the AAP to vacate its headquarters, currently functioning in New Delhi, which is earmarked for the Delhi judiciary, by June 15. The apex court’s bench, headed by CJI D Y Chandrachud, had directed AAP to go to the Land & Development Office (L&DO) of the Government of India seeking alternate land.

The top court had observed in February that AAP was encroaching on land allotted to the Delhi High Court for an expansion project – the building of additional courtrooms for the Rouse Avenue Court. It noted the matter while dealing with a case related to judicial infrastructure across the country.

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