Sharad Yadav was disqualified as a Rajya Sabha member in 2017.

New Delhi:

The Delhi High Court Tuesday directed former Janata Dal (United) President Sharad Yadav to vacate within 15 days the government bungalow occupied by him in the national capital, saying that since he was disqualified as Rajya Sabha MP in 2017, there can be no justification to retain the accommodation.

A bench of Acting Chief Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Navin Chawla directed Yadav to “hand over the bungalow at 7, Tuqhlak Road here to the government within 15 days” saying more than four years have elapsed since he was disqualified as Rajya Sabha MP.

The high court said it was not inclined to continue with the interim order passed by a single judge on December 15, 2017, by which he was allowed to avail the official perks and facilities of an MP including the use of his official residence at Tuqhlak Road here till the petition is decided.

However, the Supreme Court in June 2018 had partially modified the high court’s order, saying that he could retain his official accommodation but would not be entitled to salary and other benefits.

On Tuesday, the high court disposed of an application by the Centre seeking to lift a stay on the vacation of a government bungalow occupied by him in the national capital as he was disqualified as Rajya Sabha MP in 2017.

“The December 15, 2017 order stands vacated,” the division bench said and listed the main petition for hearing on April 21.

The bench said until and unless Mr Yadav’s disqualification is set aside, he has no right to occupy the government accommodation and added that the provision of perks, including residential accommodation, are provided to the functionaries of the state to enable them to discharge their functions.

It said the perks are conferred to any individual personally and they are not given for life.

“They are given till you are a member of Parliament. It is given so that the member can discharge duties efficiently while living in the vicinity of the Parliament. Since you are disqualified, you are not required to attend the Parliament,” the bench told the counsel for Mr Yadav.

Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Jain and central government standing counsel Ajay Digpaul, representing the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, said as the council of ministers has been expanded now, the government needs the accommodation for allotting it to newly appointed union ministers.

The government counsel submitted that the particular bungalow has been allotted to a sitting minister who is waiting for months.

Mr Yadav’s counsel submitted that his term, assuming that the disqualification is not valid, will come to an end on July 7, 2022, and he was not keeping well and has been hospitalised on several occasions.

Mr Yadav had approached the high court in 2017 challenging his disqualification from Rajya Sabha on several grounds, including that he was not given any chance to present his views by the Rajya Sabha chairman before he passed the order.

On the other hand, Shri Ram Chandra Prasad Singh, leader of JD(U) in Rajya Sabha, had sought disqualification of Mr Yadav and his colleague Ali Anwar on the ground that they had attended a rally of opposition parties in Patna in violation of the party directives.

Mr Yadav joined hands with the opposition after the JD(U) president and Bihar chief minister, Nitish Kumar, had dumped the alliance with the RJD and the Congress in Bihar and tied up with the BJP in July 2017.

Mr Yadav was elected to the Rajya Sabha in 2017 and his term is scheduled to end in July 2022. Mr Anwar’s term expired in 2018. Both were disqualified under the Anti-Defection Act. His plea said that the December 4, 2017 order had disqualified him in an “extremely casual and callous way”.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)