The Delhi High Court today directed former BJP Rajya Sabha member Subramanian Swamy to hand over possession of his government bungalow to the estate officer within six weeks.

Justice Yashwant Varma noted that the allotment of the bungalow was made for five years and that period has come to an end.

The judge said the court has not been shown any material which mandates and requires the allotment of government accommodation to a Z category protectee.

The High Court disposed of Swamy's petition seeking re-allotment of the same bungalow, which was allotted to him on January 15, 2016, and he has been living there since then in view of security threats to him.

The judge said all that is required to be done by the government is to ensure that adequate arrangements are made in the residential premises, which the petitioner will now occupy, for his safety and security.

Swamy's term as a member of the upper house came to an end on April 24, 2022.

The Court notes undisputedly that the allotment was made for a period of five years and that period has fairly come to an end. The court has not been shown any material which mandates and requires the allotment of government accommodation to a Z category protectee.

The writ petition is disposed of with this observation. The Court further directs the petitioner (Swamy) to ensure that the premises are handed over to the estate officer concerned within a period of six weeks from today, the Judge said.

Swamy's counsel submitted that bearing in mind the security arrangements which are required for Z category protectee, the accommodation originally allotted to him must be continued in his favour.

The Court noted that documents placed on record appeared to suggest that the premise came to be allotted to the petitioner on account of the threat perception which was accessed by the authorities at that stage.

Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Jain, representing the government, submitted that while Swamy continues to remain a Z category protectee, the policies and guidelines which govern such protectees do not obligate the government to also provide residential accommodation from the general pool.

He said while the Union Government shall continue to extend Z category protection to the petitioner subject to due periodical review, it would not be possible for the bungalow in question to be realloted to Swamy.

Jain said in any case, the petitioner has his residential premises where he can possibly shift and the protecting agencies shall take all further steps on that premises as may be warranted to ensure his safety and security.

Senior Advocate Jayant Mehta, representing Swamy, said bearing in mind the security threat to him, the bungalow was needed to accommodate the security personnel who accompany him at all times.

Till today the number of guards has not gone down. I have no difficulty in shifting to my personal accommodation but it is insufficient. As a protectee, I am required to ensure that the security personnel rest and their basic needs are met, the Senior Counsel said.

With PTI inputs