HC rejects freedom fighter's plea
The Delhi High Court has turned down the plea of a freedom fighter's widow to retain the government accommodation, originally alloted to her husband, for life time.
The 77-year-old petitioner, Gyanwati Darbar, sought court's direction to the Centre allowing her to retain the Lodhi Road house, alloted to her husband BS Darbar in 1994 under the freedom fighters quota.
"We do not think the doctrine of legitimate expectation is applicable in the facts and circumstances of this case as the allotment was purely on ad hoc and temporary basis. The allotment could be terminated at any point of time," said a Division Bench of Chief Justice MK Sharma and Justice Sanjeev Khanna on Monday while dismissing her petition.
Referring to the guidelines of the Ministry of Urban Development (MUD), the Bench observed that after the death of any freedom fighter, the spouse can not claim any vested right over the government's policy for accommodation.
The court upheld the single judge's order directing the petitioner to vacate her Lodhi Road government quarter.
Accepting the Centre's submission offering her to shift to another house in Freedom Fighters Complex, the Bench directed Gyanwati to shift to the alternate accommodation as suggested by the MUD.
The Ministry of Home Affairs, at the same time, has assured the court to provide her all facilities for her comfortable living once she had shifted to the alternate house.
The petitioner and her freedom-fighter husband were living at the Lodhi Road house, since April 1994, which was granted to her husband under the freedom fighters official accommodation scheme 1985.
After the death of Darbar in 2001, Gyanwati wanted to retain the house for life time which was allegedly against the MUD's guidelines of 1997.
According to the new guidelines, after the death of the freedom fighter, the spouse was entitled to retain the house only for six months.
In July 2001, the Estate Officer had issued notice to the widow to vacate the house.
Gyanwati challenged the Estate Officer's eviction order before the Delhi High Court. A single judge while dismissing her petition asked to vacate the official accommodation. Then she challenged the single judge's order before this Division Bench.