In a setback for AAP Rajya Sabha MP Raghav Chadha, a Delhi court has ruled that he lacks the right to continue residing in the government bungalow assigned to him after the allotment was revoked. The court has lifted the interim stay previously granted to Mr. Chadha, indicating that the Rajya Sabha Secretariat is now empowered to request his departure from the bungalow at any time.
Following the court’s ruling, the AAP leader issued a statement denouncing the cancellation of the allotment as arbitrary and unprecedented. He alleged that it was orchestrated at the direction of the BJP for their political objectives and vested interests. Mr. Chadha also drew attention to the fact that several other first-time MPs are currently living in comparable accommodations and announced his intention to pursue appropriate legal remedies.
Mr. Chadha was provided with a Type 6 bungalow in the preceding year’s July, subsequently requesting an upgraded Type 7 accommodation in September. However, in March, the secretariat invalidated the allotment, asserting that a first-time MP like him was not entitled to such a high-grade bungalow.
In response, Mr. Chadha contested this decision in Delhi’s Patiala House court and secured an interim stay on April 18. The recent removal of the stay implies that Mr. Chadha cannot assert an absolute entitlement to occupy the bungalow.
The court affirmed that the allocation of government housing is a privilege rather than an inherent right. The judge dismissed the argument that once granted, the accommodation cannot be rescinded throughout an MP’s entire tenure. Furthermore, the court emphasized that, as a Member of Parliament, Mr. Chadha’s status is akin to that of a licensee.
‘Above His Grade’:
In June, the Rajya Sabha housing committee declared that the Type 7 bungalow exceeded the grade suitable for Mr. Chadha as a first-time MP, typically being designated for former Union Ministers, former governors, or former chief ministers. The committee also highlighted the case of a BJP MP who had been relocated from a Type 7 to a Type 5 bungalow.
Mr. Chadha contended that he had been unfairly singled out and subjected to victimization, accusing the BJP of attempting to quell political dissent from MPs like himself. He asserted that the cancellation of his allotted accommodation was arbitrary and transpired without prior notification, contravening established rules and regulations. He criticized the BJP for allegedly interfering politically to suppress opposition voices.
To substantiate his claims, Mr. Chadha noted that numerous other first-time MPs were occupying accommodations beyond their entitlements. He cited the names of several MPs from various parties facing similar circumstances.
Mr. Chadha concluded by affirming his intention to pursue appropriate legal measures and vowed to continue advocating for the people of Punjab and India without fear, regardless of the challenges encountered.