Approach Directorate of Estates, Delhi HC tells Mahua Moitra on notice to vacate official residence

Needless to say, the government will take steps to evict the petitioner in accordance with the law, added the court.

BySouth First Desk

Published Jan 04, 2024 | 3:14 PMUpdatedJan 04, 2024 | 3:14 PM

Mahua Moitra

The Delhi High Court on Thursday, 4 January, asked expelled Lok Sabha member and TMC leader Mahua Moitra to approach the Directorate of Estates for permission to continue the occupation of the government-allotted accommodation.

Justice Subramoniun Prasad noted that the rules permitted the authorities to permit the overstay of a resident for a certain period in exceptional circumstances.

“Move a representation before the Directorate of Estates and action will be taken in accordance with the law,” the judge said.

The court allowed Moitra to withdraw the present petition while observing that the law mandated providing notice to a resident before her eviction from the premises.

Needless to say, the government will take steps to evict the petitioner in accordance with the law, added the court.

In her petition, Moitra urged that the Directorate of Estates’ 11 December order be set aside or, in the alternative, she be allowed to retain possession of the accommodation till the results of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections are declared.

Excerpts: Long on questioning, short on proof in Mahua Moitra case

Expulsion from Lok Sabha

On 8 December, after a heated debate in the Lok Sabha over the panel report during which Moitra was not allowed to speak, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi moved a motion to expel the TMC leader from the House for “unethical conduct”, which was adopted by a voice vote.

The ethics committee report held Moitra guilty of “unethical conduct” and contempt of the House as she shared her Lok Sabha members’ portal credentials — user ID and password — with unauthorised people, which had an irrepressible impact on national security, Joshi said.

The committee had also recommended that in view of the “highly objectionable, unethical, heinous and criminal conduct” of Moitra, an intense, legal and institutional inquiry be initiated by the government in a time-bound manner.

She has already challenged her expulsion in the Supreme Court after the Lok Sabha adopted the report of its ethics committee recommending her ouster.

Reacting sharply to her expulsion, Moitra had equated the action with hanging by a “kangaroo court” and alleged that a parliamentary panel was being weaponised by the government to force the opposition into submission.

Related: TMC leader Mahua Moitra moves Supreme Court 

Ethics panel

Earlier, ethics committee Chairman Vinod Kumar Sonkar tabled the first report of the panel on a complaint filed by BJP MP Nishikant Dubey against Moitra.

The CBI has already filed a preliminary FIR in the case.

Moitra deposed before the ethics panel on 2 November. However, she walked out mid-way, claiming that the panel chairman had asked her personal, unethical, and demeaning questions.

She also complained to Speaker Om Birla that she was subjected to a “Vastraharan” (disrobing).

“How shameful is it that I, as one of only 78 female members of Lok Sabha, are subjected to ‘Vastraharan’ in the name of ‘Ethics Committee’ hearing by the Chairperson of the Committee?” Mahua Moitra said in her letter.

Four MPs on the panel belonging to Opposition parties also walked out along with her, questioning both the behaviour of the chairman and the motives of the committee.

(With PTI inputs)