Delhi High Court sets aside L-G order cancelling bungalow allotment to AAP
Aam Aadmi Party was allotted bungalow number 206 at Rouse Avenue in central Delhi on December 31, 2015. An April 12 order by the lieutenant governor cancelled the allotmentdelhi Updated: Aug 23, 2017 22:15 IST
The Delhi High Court on Wednesday set aside an order of the Lieutenant Governor (L-G), cancelling the allotment of a bungalow to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in the heart of the Capital, saying no reason was given for the action.
The high court sent the matter back to Anil Baijal to pass a reasoned order within eight weeks after hearing the political party. It said the April 12 order cancelling the allotment did not say which law or rule had been violated.
The high court told the central government that if there was a policy for allotting accommodation to political parties, it had to be applied uniformly.
The court kept in abeyance two consequential orders passed by the Public Works Department of the Delhi government on June 13, rejecting the party’s request for alternative accommodation and directing it to pay dues of over Rs 27 lakh towards the market rent of the property up till May 31.
According to AAP, the party was allotted bungalow number 206 on Rouse Avenue here on December 31, 2015. Thereafter, on April 12 this year, AAP received a communication informing it that the L-G has cancelled the allotment of the bungalow on the grounds that it was contrary to law and the rules, the petition said.
The AAP, in its plea, claimed it was being singled out for such action as other parties had accommodation in the heart of the capital.
The party had contended that as per the central government’s policy, all registered political parties are entitled for an accommodation.
During the arguments, additional solicitor general Sanjay Jain and the central government’s standing counsel said an accommodation was offered to the party in Saket in South Delhi but AAP had refused to accept it.
Welcoming the HC decision, the Aam Aadmi Party said it reflected that the rules were not followed while ordering cancellation of the allotment.
“It is clear that the order was illegal. The AAP government is often accused of violating the constitutional norms. But it is clear who all are undermining the democratic norms. We hope the HC order will draw a ‘lakshman rekha’ for the political opponents when they target the AAP,” AAP leader Raghav Chadha said.
Terming the cancellation order a ‘conspiracy’, AAP leaders said it was beyond any reasonable understanding as to how the allotment of an office to a party which won 95 % seats in last Delhi Assembly elections could have been cancelled without giving any reason.
First Published: Aug 23, 2017 13:36 IST