NEW DELHI: The Delhi HC on Friday stayed the Centre’s eviction notices to two Congress Rajya Sabha MPs and ex-ministers -- Ambika Soni and Kumari Selja -- till July 2 while seeking the government’s reply on whether bungalows allotted to them fell under the pool of the Rajya Sabha Secretariat.
Vacation Judge, Justice Mukta Gupta issued notice to the Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD) and Directorate of Estates on the plea of the two Rajya Sabha MPs, who have been asked to move out of the Type-VIII bungalows allotted to them and move into Type-VII houses. The court said the sole issue was whether the accommodation fell under the general pool or under the RS Secretariat, and observed that pools cannot be meddled with.
The two former Cabinet Ministers, represented by senior counsel K T S Tulsi, had contended that as per the allotment letter issued to them, they could stay on for a month after their term as MP expires or after retirement. Tulsi claimed that the houses fell under the RS Secretariat pool and the allotment was cancelled without giving them a proper hearing.
Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Jain said as per 2006 allotment guidelines, Type VIII bungalows are only allotted to persons who had held at least one of the following posts-- Speaker, Union Minister, Governor or Chief Minister. He said the two MPs were eligible only for a Type VII accommodation which has been allotted to them and added that the entire proceedings prior to the issuance of the eviction notice was done as per the Public Premises Act.