The Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial Fund (JNMF) has been asked by authorities to vacate its premises at the Teen Murti Bhavan within 15 days, sources said Thursday.
The Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial Fund (JNMF) has been asked by authorities to vacate its premises at the Teen Murti Bhavan within 15 days, sources said Thursday. The development comes after a quasi-judicial body of the Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry gave a hearing to the JNMF to present its stand in connection with the alleged illegal possession of the Teen Murti Bhavan premises. “The quasi-judical body has issued a final notice to the JNMF to vacate its premises at the Teen Murti Bhavan within 15 days,” a source said.
However, there was no immediate reaction from the JNMF to the development. The sources said that if the JNMF, chaired by senior Congress leader Sonia Gandhi, fails to comply with the directions, action will be taken under the Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorized Occupants) Act, 1971.
A row had erupted after the ministry had issued an eviction notice to the Fund last month. According to the Act, if persons, who are in illegal possession of public premises, refuse or fail to comply with the order of eviction, estate officer may evict them from premises and take possession thereof and may, for that purpose, use such force as may be necessary.
Established in 1964, the Fund is located at Teen Murti, once the residence of India’s first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru, since 1967. Its offices are not part of the main building but occupy a set of barracks on its eastern side with a separate entry from the Teen Murti Marg. In the eviction notice, the ministry had said the government is planning a museum for all the former prime ministers of the country on the 25-acre Teen Murti Bhavan complex housing the Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial and needed space to expand.
On its part, the Fund also said that it was “fully entitled to using this property as it has functioned in the public interest over the past half century or more in fulfilment of both its own objects and those of the (Nehru Memorial Museum and Library)”. The ministry had said that the Fund was liable to pay damages for “illegal occupation of the premises with effect from August 28, 1967”.