The Centre today told the Delhi High Court it cannot give government accommodation on security grounds to Payal Abdullah, estranged wife of former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, and it is for Delhi Police to ensure her safety for her stay in the national capital.
The submission was made by MHA during hearing of Payal’s plea to retain the bungalow in Lutyens zone, where she is residing now with her two sons, on the ground of having ‘Z’ and ‘Z plus’ security.
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) told Justice Indermeet Kaur that the government accommodation, on security grounds, is given only to SPG protectees.
It said that “general threat to them is perceived from Kashmiri millitants for being the family member of Omar Abdullah and Farooq Abdullah, and in Delhi their threat quotient is assessed to be not as high as in Kashmir”.
The government’s response came in the backdrop of the plea by the woman, who has sought that she and her children be not evicted from 7, Akbar Road (type VIII) bungalow here or an alternative accommodation be provided in view of their security status and threat to their lives.
The Centre, through its counsel Anurag Ahluwalia, also said there is “no input with it indicating any specific or imminent threat to Payal Abdullah”.
“Delhi Police would ensure that adequate and appropriate security is provided to her in Delhi at any place of stay in the national capital” the government said.
It also said that the police will manage the accommodation of the personnel in their security detail.
One reason given by Payal for retaining her current accommodation was that she and her sons’ security detail comprises of 94 personnel.
The bench was also told that three central government protectees — KPS Gill, ex-DGP Punjab, M S Bitta, chairman of All-India Anti-Terrorist Front and Rajya Sabha MP Subramanian Swamy, other than SPG protectess, are residing in government accomodation on security grounds in view of high-level threat faced by them.
The court, however, could not hold a detail hearing on the ground an adjournment was sought on behalf of the petitioner.
It made clear that the trial court judge should pass its order on the eviction proceedings on August 16.