Former Union minister Sharad Yadav has moved the Supreme Court challenging an order of the Delhi High Court directing him to vacate within 15 days a government bungalow here on the ground that he was disqualified as a Rajya Sabha MP in 2017 and so there can be no justification for retaining it.
The high court had on March 15 directed Yadav to hand over the bungalow at 7, Tuqhlak Road here to the government within 15 days”, saying more than four years have elapsed since he was disqualified as an MP.
In his plea before the apex court, Yadav has said he is residing there for 22 years and the high court had passed the order even though his challenge to his improper and erroneous disqualification has not been decided by the court. In terms of the impugned order, the high court appears to have revived a disposed of application and passed further orders therein vacating the earlier interim order of the high court dated December 15, 2017 and directed the petitioner., to hand over the possession of his official residence within a period of 15 days, despite the fact that the challenge to the legality of his disqualification from Rajya Sabha is still pending before the high court, said the plea, filed through advocate Javedur Rahman. The petition by the 75-year-old Yadav, said his case deserved sympathetic treatment on account of his ill health. It said he has been hospitalised 13 times since July 2020 and was last discharged in February.
As such, the impugned order directing relocation will require exertion, stress, and exposure to general public and place the life of the petitioner in peril, it said. The petition said Yadav was disqualified from the Rajya Sabha on December 4, 2017 in terms of Paragraph 2(1)(a) of the Tenth Schedule of the Constitution for purportedly having given up the membership of his party. He was then an MP of Bihar’s ruling JD(U), which had sought his disqualification for attending an opposition rally in Patna.
The plea which, as an interim relief, has sought a stay on the high court order of March 15, said Yadav has challenged the order of disqualification by way of a writ petition. It is submitted that there was no change in circumstances meriting a vacation of the stay order passed on December 15, 2017 by the high court, that too in a disposed of application except the lapse of time, which was either on account of the respondents or the Covid-19 pandemic, it said. After having spent his life in service of the nation, the petitioner is being victimized on account of political vendetta, and is being forced to vacate his residence of 22 years, even though his challenge to his improper and erroneous disqualification from membership of the Rajya Sabha has not been decided by the court of the first instance for no fault his own., despite having voluntarily given up all his other amenities, it said.
The high court had disposed of an application by the Centre seeking to lift a stay on the vacation of the government bungalow occupied by him in the national capital as he was disqualified as an MP. The December 15, 2017 order stands vacated, the high court had said and listed the main petition for hearing on April 21.
It had said until and unless Yadav’s disqualification is set aside, he has no right to occupy the government accommodation and added that the provision of perks, including residential accommodation, are provided to the functionaries of the state to enable them to discharge their duties. The high court had said the perks are conferred to any individual personally and they are not given for life.
Yadav had approached the high court in 2017 challenging his disqualification from Rajya Sabha on several grounds, including that he was not given any chance to present his views by the House chairman before he passed the order. On the other hand, Ram Chandra Prasad Singh, then the leader of the JD(U) in Rajya Sabha, had sought disqualification of Yadav and his colleague Ali Anwar on the ground that they had attended a rally of opposition parties in violation of the party directives.
Yadav joined hands with the opposition after the then JD(U) president and Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar had dumped the alliance with the RJD and the Congress in and tied up with the BJP in July 2017. Yadav was elected to the Rajya Sabha in 2017 and his term was to end in July 2022. Anwar’s term expired in 2018. Both were disqualified under the Anti-Defection Act.
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