AAP MP Raghav Chadha, who is in the news after marrying actress Parineeti Chopra, faced a setback as a Delhi court said the AAP leader cannot claim that he has an absolute right to continue to occupy the government bungalow during his entire tenure as a Member of the Rajya Sabha. The allotment of his bungalow was cancelled by the authority.
The court's observation hearing a plea challenging an interim order passed on April 18 that had directed the Rajya Sabha Secretariat not to dispossess Chadha from the government bungalow.
In an order passed on October 5, the judge said the argument that the accommodation once made to a Member of Parliament cannot be cancelled under any circumstances during the member's entire tenure deserves to be rejected.
"It may also be added that the plaintiff has no vested right in the accommodation and his status is akin to that of a licensee, which can be revoked by the competent authority at any time. Plaintiff cannot claim that he has an absolute right to continue to occupy the accommodation during his entire tenure as a Member of Rajya Sabha,” Additional District Judge Sudhanshu Kaushik said.
The judge said the allotment of government accommodation is “only a privilege given to the plaintiff and he has no vested right to continue to occupy the same even after the cancellation of allotment.” The judge noted that the interim relief was granted to Chadha that he would not be dispossessed from the accommodation without due process of law.
"This is certainly an error apparent on the face of the record and the same needs to be corrected. Accordingly, the order dated April 18, 2023 stands recalled and the interim order stands vacated," the judge said.
The judge added that Chadha failed to demonstrate that any urgent or immediate relief needed to be granted in the matter.
I will take appropriate action in law in due course, Chadha reacted after the court order.
He said, "The trial court had initially accepted my plea and granted me interim relief. It has now returned my case on a legal technicality, which I am legally advised to state is based on an incorrect understanding of the law.
I will be taking appropriate action in law in due course."
The court had in April directed the secretariat not to dispossess Chadha of the bungalow till the pendency of the application “without due process of law”.
Chadha's counsel had urged the court to grant an ex-parte ad-interim injunction against the secretariat, claiming it was “hell bent” to evict Chadha from the allotted accommodation.
He contended Chadha would suffer irreparable injury, in case the injunction was not granted. Chadha was on July 6 last year allotted a 'Type 6' bungalow at Pandara Park but he made a representation to the chairman of the Rajya Sabha on August 29 requesting for a 'Type 7' accommodation.
He was then allotted another bungalow on Pandara Road from the Rajya Sabha pool.
However, in March this year, the allotment was cancelled. Chadha sought an injunction to the effect that the secretariat be restrained from taking any further action in consequence of the March 3 letter and be restrained from allotting the bungalow to some other person.
The AAP MP also sought Rs 5.5 lakh in damages from the secretariat for causing him mental agony and harassment.
As a first-time MP, Chadha is entitled to a Type-5 accommodation in the normal course, according to the Rajya Sabha Members Handbook released in April 2022.
The handbook says MPs who are former Union Cabinet Ministers, former Governors or former Chief Ministers and former Lok Sabha Speakers, are entitled to Type-7 bungalows, the second largest category available to Rajya Sabha MPs.
(With PTI inputs)