The Delhi High Court today set aside an order of the Lieutenant Governor (LG) 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. Justice Vibhu Bakhru remanded the matter back to LG Anil Baijal to pass a reasoned order within eight weeks after hearing the political party. The court said the April 12 order cancelling the allotment did not say which law or rule has been violated. It told the central government that if there is a policy for alloting accommodation to political parties, it has to be applied uniformly.
The court also 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, represented by senior advocate Arun Kathpalia, the party was allotted bungalow number 206 at the Rouse Avenue here on December 31, 2015. Thereafter, on April 12 this year, AAP received a communication informing it that the LG has cancelled the allotment of the bungalow on the ground that it was contrary to law and the rules, the petition filed through advocate Aaditya Vijaykumar, said.
AAP, in its plea, also claimed it was being singled out for such action as other parties are enjoying accommodation allotted to them in the heart of the national 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 standing counsel said an accommodation was offered to the party in Saket in South Delhi, but AAP had refused to accept it.