The Delhi High Court dismissed the application filed by Mahua Moitra seeking a stay on her eviction from government accommodation.

The Court emphasized that the allotment of government housing was contingent upon her status as a Member of Parliament, with the cessation of this status due to her expulsion, and declined to intervene through Article 226 of the Constitution.

The allotment of government accommodation to the petitioner was co-terminus with her status, which has come to an end upon her expulsion. No specific Rule has been brought before this court which would deal with the eviction of Members of Parliament from the government accommodation after they cease to be the members”, the Bench of Justice Girish Kathpalia observed.

Advocate Shadan Farasat appeared for the Petitioner and Additional Solicitor General Chetan Sharma appeared for the Directorate of Estates.

The Lok Sabha expelled the Petitioner, a member of parliament, leading to the filing of a Writ Petition before the Supreme Court challenging various aspects, including the Lok Sabha Committee on Ethics' report, resolution, and expulsion Gazette Notification. The Second Respondent cancelled the Petitioner's government accommodation allotment, with a directive to vacate by a specified date, under threat of legal action. Despite withdrawing a prior Writ Petition, the Petitioner requested an extension to vacate until the 2024 General Election results, citing being a woman living alone in Delhi, lacking an alternative residence, and the need for election campaigning. Despite a show-cause notice and medical issues, the First Respondent issued an eviction order on the same day.

Aggrieved, the Petitioner approached the High Court by way of Writ Petition seeking to quash the eviction order passed by the Estate Officer.

The Court noted that the Petitioner's government accommodation allotment, linked to her tenure as a Member of Parliament, became subject to scrutiny following her expulsion from the parliamentary position. Despite her challenge in the Supreme Court, the expulsion remained effective. In a representation before the First Respondent, the petitioner cited her constituency in Krishnanagar, West Bengal, and emphasized the need for accommodation in Delhi for effective campaigning during the General Elections of 2024.

However, the Court observed this reasoning unpersuasive, considering the campaign's actual location and the substantial waiting list for government accommodations. The Court noted that granting an extension on such grounds was deemed contradictory to the Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorized Occupants) Act's core objectives. Notably, the Petitioner's representation solely focused on her parliamentary status and campaign needs, omitting any mention of her medical condition.

The Bench noted that the Petitioner acknowledged that the matter of government accommodation falls within the jurisdiction of the proceedings before the Supreme Court. However, the Petitioner did not seek an extension to vacate the government accommodation by approaching the Supreme Court, where the underlying dispute of her expulsion was pending consideration, as suggested by the respondents.

Regarding the contemplated enquiry under Section 3B(2) of the Act, the Bench emphasized that the Estate Officer holds discretion in determining the necessity of such an enquiry based on the circumstances. There was no evidence produced to showcase the Petitioner's claim that the First Respondent had deferred the decision, as alleged.

The Court noted that the Petitioner presently lacks the right to continue in the government accommodation. Despite being given an opportunity for a hearing, the Supreme Court had not stayed her expulsion. Consequently, under Article 226 of the Constitution, the Petitioner cannot be granted the protection she seeks. The allotment of government accommodation to the Petitioner was contingent upon her status, which ceased upon her expulsion. Additionally, no specific rule addressing the eviction of Members of Parliament from government accommodation after they cease to be members has been presented to the Court.

Accordingly, the Court dismissed the Civil Application and listed the Writ Petition on January 24, 2024 before the Roster Bench.

Cause Title: Mahua Moitra v Estate Officer, Directorate Of Estates & Ors.


Petitioner: Warisha Farasat, Natasha Maheshwari, and Hrishika Jain, Advocates.

Respondent: Apporv and Anurag Ahluwalia Standing Counsels with Amit Gupta, Saurabh Tripathi, Akhil Hasija and Nidhi, Advocates

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