New Delhi: In an embarrassment to Congress MP Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, the Supreme Court on Friday rejected his plea against the Delhi High Court order asking him to vacate the government bungalow.
In an unusual order, the apex court rejected the plea of Chowdhury when his counsel mentioned the matter for urgent hearing and said that it is not going to list it and rather dismissed it at the threshold.
"Taken on board and dismissed," a bench headed by Chief Justice T S Thakur said, adding, "You are an MP and you want to stay in a bungalow to which you are not entitled. What kind of petition is this. You just vacate."
The bench, also comprising justices A K Sikri and R Banumathi, took a strong note of the submission that Chowdhury was earlier never asked to vacate the premises and has been paying the market rent to the government.
"Do you mean to say that you will vacate only when they ask you to do so," the bench said.
The high court had on February 3 rejected Chowdhury's plea, saying he will have to vacate the property forthwith. It had also turned down the MP's oral prayer for alternative arrangement for the interim period, saying the new residence alloted to him at Humayun Road in Lutyen's Delhi will take another 10-15 days to get ready for use.
The high court had refused to stay Chowdhury's eviction, while upholding the single-judge bench order of February 1. Chowdhury, a Lok Sabha member, had moved the court against the February 1 order dismissing his plea against the eviction, following which the authorities concerned had disconnected water and power supply to his bungalow at 14, New Moti Bagh here, even as they started eviction proceedings against him.
Thereafter, Chowdhury rushed to court, which had earlier directed that status quo be maintained with regard to the eviction till February 3.
According to the Directorate of Estates, the MP has been allotted another house on Humayun Road and given sufficient time to vacate the ministerial bungalow, which, it said, he was not entitled to. But Chowdhury did not vacate despite several reminders in the past, it had alleged.
Chowdhury, who was minister in the UPA dispensation, had contended that it was nothing but out of "political vendetta against the opposition by the government".
Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Jain, who had appeared in the high court on behalf of the Directorate of Estates, had said the government was trying to accommodate the MP but he was not satisfied with the housing options being given to him.
The MP's counsel had submitted that there was a security threat to his client as well as his family at the new premises.
Defending the eviction move, Urban Development Ministry had said that Chowdhury was offered three Type VI bungalows after cancellation of Type VIII bungalow at New Moti Bagh but he refused.
The allotment of the bungalow was cancelled in 2014 by the ministry since he ceased to be a minister at the Centre after the 2014 general elections.
As a member of Lok Sabha, he is entitled for a Type-6 accommodation. He was allotted an alternative accommodation at C-1/99, Moti Bagh by the House Committee of Lok Sabha in January, 2015 which was not accepted by him....