Setback for TMC's Mahua Moitra; Delhi HC refuses to stay her eviction from government bungalow
The high court emphasized that her allotment was tied to her MP status, which ended upon expulsion. Moitra faces eviction after an order issued on January 16, warning of the potential use of force.
The Delhi High Court late Thursday dismissed an application by Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader and former Member of Parliament (MP) Mahua Moitra, seeking an interim stay on her eviction from a government-allotted bungalow in New Delhi after her expulsion from Parliament. Justice Girish Kathpalia, in his order, emphasized that Moitra was allotted the accommodation due to her MP status, which ceased upon her expulsion. The court observed that no specific rule had been presented regarding the eviction of MPs from government accommodation post-expulsion.
The High Court clarified that, as Moitra's expulsion from Parliament had not been stayed by the Supreme Court, it could not grant her relief against eviction under Article 226 of the Constitution. The application seeking a stay was consequently dismissed.
Moitra's plea challenging the eviction itself is scheduled to be heard on January 24.
Moitra, expelled from the Lok Sabha on December 8 over sharing her parliamentary login credentials, received an eviction notice on January 16, instructing immediate vacation of the bungalow and warning of the potential use of force.
The Central government's Estates Department had earlier set a January 7 deadline for Moitra to vacate the accommodation. Despite her initial withdrawal of the plea, Moitra faced a fresh eviction notice after her representation to the Directorate of Estate was rejected.
During the court proceedings, Additional Solicitor General Chetan Sharma argued that Moitra had challenged her expulsion before the Supreme Court, suggesting that matters related to her eviction should be addressed there.
Moitra's counsel clarified that the Supreme Court case focused on her expulsion, not the eviction from the government bungalow. The court questioned the need for a four-month period for Moitra to vacate and suggested a shorter timeframe. While acknowledging humanitarian grounds for a brief extension, the court emphasized that citing humanitarian reasons did not grant a right to an extended stay.
The court highlighted that Moitra's medical condition was not initially mentioned in her representation to the Estates officer, and on humanitarian grounds, a short extension of three or four days was considered.