The Delhi high court has said Payal Abdullah, the estranged wife of former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah, was “liable to be evicted forthwith” from a government bungalow in Lutyen’s zone.
Payal has been asked to vacate the 7, Akbar Road bungalow, where she has been living since 1999, as it has been designated for the state Jammu and Kashmir chief minister. She has been contesting the eviction notice issued by the Estate Officer of Jammu and Kashmir in the courts.
Justice Indermeet Kaur said, “The entitlement of the petitioners (Payal and her sons) to retain this accommodation is wholly illegal. It is a government accommodation. Petitioners have no claim or right upon it”.
“Their apprehension that they will not be given an adequate security cover is misconceived,” the court said. “If the husband (Omar) and father-in-law (Farooq) of petitioner 1 (Payal) can be adequately secured (living in private accommodations), there is no reason as to why the petitioners cannot be protected.”
Payal had claimed that she enjoys Z category security cover, and each of her sons has Z plus security — comprising of a total 94 personnel, who operate on three shifts.
Payal has claimed that many personnel, their weapons and other security arrangements cannot be accommodated at her private flat in the city. She contended that she will not get the same level of protection in the new accommodation.
However, the Centre had submitted a report saying that there is “no imminent threat” to her, but the general threat perceived is from Kashmiri militant for being a member of the Abdullah family. It had also said the security threat is not as high in Delhi as in Jammu and Kashmir.
The court had taken note of the Centre’s submission that Payal will be given similar security arrangement in the new accommodation.
“The admitted position as on date is thus that the petitioners are residing in this property as illegal occupants,” the court said.