HC asks Payal Abdullah to 'gracefully' vacate govt bungalow

New Delhi, Aug 19: Delhi High Court on Friday directed Payal Abdullah, the estranged wife of former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, to "gracefully" vacate the government accommodation she has been residing in with her two sons.

Payal, who has been residing at 7, Akbar Road bungalow since 1999, however, refused to move out and urged the court to pass an order.

Vacate bungalow: HC to Payal Abdullah

The court then said a detailed order will be passed with regard to the time within which she and her children will have to vacate the bungalow. "Will you gracefully evict or I should pass an order?" Justice Indermeet Kaur asked Payal's counsel, who categorically stated that the court should pass the order.

The judge also orally observed that every person who retires from the office has to move out. The judge also noted that Delhi Police will provide security to Payal and her children, who are 'Z' and 'Z plus' security protectees, during their stay in the capital.

On August 16, a trial court too, had asked Payal to move out of the house in Lutyen's zone here. The high court was hearing Payal's plea seeking that she and her children be not evicted from 7, Akbar Road (type VIII) bungalow here or an alternative accommodation be provided in view of their security status and threat to their lives.

The Centre, however, opposed her contention to retain the accommodation on the ground of security threat and said it is for Delhi Police to ensure her safety for her stay here.

The Centre, through its counsel Anurag Ahluwalia, appearing for Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), submitted that there is no substantial reduction in the security given to Payal since she started living in the present bungalow.

"Delhi Police will take care of the security personnel who will be deployed at the residence where she will move," the MHA counsel said. The Centre told the court that government accommodation, on security grounds, is given only to SPG protectees.

It said that a "general threat to them is perceived from Kashmiri militants for being the family member of Omar Abdullah and Farooq Abdullah, and in Delhi their threat quotient is assessed to be not as high as in Kashmir". The Centre also said there is "no input with it indicating any specific or imminent threat to Payal Abdullah".


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