HC rejects Ambika Soni, Kumari Selja's pleas against eviction

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New Delhi, Jul 30: The Delhi High Court today dismissed pleas of Congress MPs Ambika Soni and Kumari Selja challenging the central government's orders to evict them from type-VIII bungalows in Lutyens' Delhi.

"Petitions are dismissed," Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw said.

Setback to Cong leaders Soni, Selja

The two MPs had alleged that the Urban Development Ministry and Directorate of Estates acted in "collusion" and were "hounding" them to vacate the premises, even though both were entitled to the accommodation by virtue of being Rajya Sabha (RS) MPs and former Cabinet ministers.

However, the RS Secretariat had told the court that the two were eligible for only Type-VII houses but not Type-VIII bungalows they are now occupying.

The RS Secretariat was in consonance with the Centre's contention that the two MPs are ineligible for the bungalows as per the 2006 allotment guidelines.

The court, too, while reserving its verdict, had observed that "the allotment was bad".

The government had asked the MPs to vacate their official bungalows by June 10 after the rejection of privilege notices sent by the two against the eviction orders served on them.

Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Jain, assisted by central government standing counsel Jasmeet Singh, had told the court that said as per the 2006 allotment guidelines, Type-VIII bungalows are only allotted to a person who was a former Speaker and has been a former Union minister, an ex-governor or a former chief minister.

They had also submitted that four Union ministers currently do not have Type-VIII accommodation and are living in Type-VII flats and added that ministers Birender Singh and Ram Shankar Katheria have been allotted the bungalows which were currently occupied by the two RS MPs.

PTI 

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