Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MP Raghav Chadha on Tuesday approached the Delhi High Court challenging a local court’s order that vacated an interim order concerning his stay at the official government bungalow allotted to him.
The Patiala House court had vacated the stay order which granted interim relief to the Rajya Sabha MP that he would not be dispossessed from his current accommodation without due process of law.
The matter was mentioned by the counsel before the bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Sanjeev Narula.
The trial Court Judge, Additional District Judge Sudhanshu Kaushik, in an order passed on October 5 stated that on April 14 an interim relief was granted to the plaintiff (Raghav Chadha ) that he would not be dispossessed from the accommodation without due process of law and that it is “certainly an error and needs to be corrected”.
The trial court said that the order of April 18 stands recalled and the interim order vacated.
It said the accommodation allotted to Chadha is only a privilege given to him as a Member of Parliament and he has no vested right to continue to occupy the same after the privilege has been withdrawn and the allotment has been cancelled.
“The argument that the plaintiff was not given hearing before the cancellation of allotment stands rejected as no such notice was required under the law,” the court said.
Earlier on April 18, the court in its interim order directed that Raghav Chadha shall not be dispossessed from the bungalow without due process of law.
Through the suit, Raghav Chadha has sought directions that the letter of March 3 this year issued by the Rajya Sabha Secretariat may be declared as illegal. He has also sought a permanent injunction to the effect that the defendant and their associates may be restrained from taking any further action in consequence of the letter and they may also be restrained from allotting the bungalow to some other person.
Apart from this, the AAP MP has also sought damages to the tune of Rs.5,50,000 from the defendant for causing mental agony and harassment, stated the suit.
Chadha was given a Type 6 bungalow in July last year and had requested the Rajya Sabha Chairman for a bigger, Type 7 accommodation, which was allotted to him in September that year. In March, however, the secretariat had cancelled the allotment, arguing that the first-time MP was not entitled to a bungalow of that grade.
Chadha had earlier said in a statement that the cancellation of his allotted bungalow is “arbitrary and unprecedented”.
The AAP MP also alleged that the cancellation was done at the “dictates of the BJP to further their political motives and vested interest”.
“It is unprecedented in more than 70 years of history of Rajya Sabha that a sitting Rajya Sabha member is sought to be removed from his duly allotted accommodation where he has been residing for a while and more than four years of his tenure as Rajya Sabha member are still remaining,” Chadha said.
He further said that there are “many irregularities” in the order and the subsequent steps were taken by the Rajya Sabha Secretariat in “clear contravention of rules and regulations”.
“The manner of the entire exercise leaves me with no option but to believe that these have been carried out at the dictates of BJP to further their political motives and vested interest in order to scuttle and stifle the political criticism raised by the vocal parliamentarians like me,” Chadha said.
“This along with my suspension as a Member of Parliament, which was initiated by the treasury benches, leaves no doubt that the BJP is leaving no stone unturned to target vocal Members of Parliament. This amounts to unwarranted interference in the due discharge of their functions as the Representatives of the House and hits a rock bottom of vendetta politics,” he added.