The Supreme Court on Thursday gave former Union Minister Sharad Yadav until May 31, 2022 to vacate the government bungalow allotted to him as a Member of Parliament on humanitarian grounds. The apex court asked Yadav to give a promise within a week that he would vacate the bungalow by then. If he fails to submit his promise within a week, Yadav will have to vacate the premises immediately following the order of the Delhi High Court.
A bench of Justices DY Chandrachur, Sanjeev Khanna and Surya Kant said, “After hearing the plea, we think that if the petitioner is given time to vacate the premises under May 31, the termination of justice will be completed on humanitarian grounds.” , 2022 subject to his submission of a pledge that he will vacate on or before the specified date.
It said that if the pledge is not submitted within a week from today, the applicant will lose the benefit of this order and will be forced to vacate immediately as per the order of the high court. Initially, Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for Yadav, submitted that the matter could be resolved at this stage, if the petitioner was given reasonable time to vacate the premises. Sibal submitted that considering the current serious illness of the petitioner, Yadav wants to vacate the place by May 31, 2022 and will file a pledge for this effect.
Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Jain submitted that his directive was that the premises could be given one week to vacate but the Supreme Court could give time till the end of April. He claimed that Yadav had been attending public functions for the last 15 days. The ASG said that if Yadav’s appeal against his disqualification from the Rajya Sabha, due to which he was asked to vacate the bungalow, was rejected, he could be directed to pay market rate rent to the government.
Sibal said there were a number of people from a particular political party who held more positions in government quarters but no rent was collected at market rates. They have been around for years and they don’t want those houses but they want this (Yadav’s) house, he said. The bench did not go to the point raised by Sibal and disposed of Yadav’s application. On March 28, the apex court asked the Center to specify what reasonable time could be given to Yadav to vacate the official bungalow on humanitarian grounds as he was undergoing treatment for multiple ailments.
The Center had earlier told the Supreme Court that there was a shortage of government accommodation and Union Minister Pashupati Kumar Paras Yadav’s bungalow was waiting to be vacated. Yadav was elected to the Rajya Sabha in 2017. After being disqualified from the upper house the same year, he went to the apex court challenging the Delhi High Court’s order directing him to vacate the government bungalow within 15 days. Yadav, who was then a JD (U) MP, was declared ineligible under anti-secession law on an application by his party which objected to the participation of socialist leaders in an opposition rally in Patna.
The 75-year-old leader’s application states that his case is subject to sympathetic treatment due to his illness. It said he had been hospitalized 13 times since July 2020 and was last released in February. The High Court had on March 15 directed Yadav to hand over the bungalow at 7, Tughlaq Road to the government within 15 days, saying it had been more than four years since he was disqualified as an MP.
In his application before the Supreme Court, Yadav said that he has been living there for 22 years and the High Court has passed the order though the challenge of his ineligibility and wrongful disqualification has not been decided by the court yet. Yadav had approached the High Court in 2017 challenging his disqualification, in which the House chairman did not give him a chance to present his views before he passed the order.
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