New Delhi: In a significant legal setback for AAP Rajya Sabha MP Raghav Chadha, a Delhi court has ruled that he does not possess a vested right to continue occupying a government bungalow originally allocated to him, but whose allotment was subsequently cancelled. The court has revoked the interim stay previously granted to Mr. Chadha, thereby allowing the Rajya Sabha Secretariat to request his eviction from the bungalow at any time.
In response to the court’s decision, Raghav Chadha criticized the cancellation of his allotment as arbitrary and unprecedented. He alleged that it was carried out at the behest of the BJP to advance their political agenda and vested interests. Mr. Chadha also pointed out that several other first-time MPs reside in similar accommodations and declared his intention to take appropriate legal action.
The controversy began when Mr. Chadha was initially assigned a Type 6 bungalow in July the previous year. He subsequently requested a larger Type 7 accommodation, which was allotted to him in September. However, the allotment was cancelled by the secretariat in March, arguing that a first-time MP was not entitled to such a high-grade bungalow.
In response to the order to vacate the bungalow, Mr. Chadha had filed a petition in Delhi’s Patiala House court, which had previously granted an interim stay on April 18. However, this stay was lifted by the court on Friday, asserting that Mr. Chadha did not have an absolute right to occupy the accommodation. The court ruled that the allotment of government accommodation is a privilege rather than a vested right, and the cancellation of the allotment was justified.
The court also emphasized that Mr. Chadha’s status as a Member of Parliament is akin to that of a licensee, with no vested right in the accommodation. The court further highlighted that the Type 7 bungalow was above Mr. Chadha’s grade as a first-time MP, and such accommodations are typically assigned to former Union Ministers, former governors, or former chief ministers.
In his statement, Raghav Chadha asserted that he had been unfairly targeted and victimized, accusing the BJP of attempting to stifle political criticism from MPs like him. He argued that the cancellation of his allotted accommodation lacked notice and was unprecedented in the history of the Rajya Sabha. Mr. Chadha claimed that the actions of the Rajya Sabha Secretariat were in violation of rules and regulations.
He criticized the BJP for what he perceived as unwarranted interference in the discharge of his parliamentary duties and alleged that the BJP was pursuing a vendetta against vocal Members of Parliament. Mr. Chadha also highlighted that many of his fellow first-time MPs were living in accommodations above their entitlement.
He concluded by stating his intention to take appropriate legal action, emphasizing his commitment to representing the people of Punjab and India without fear, regardless of the costs involved.