Central Government changes stand before Delhi High Court on ownership of 7 Jantar Mantar Road (New Delhi)

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It refers to media-reports that Union Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD) informing Delhi High Court that ownership of 7 Jantar-Mantar Road (New Delhi) as on 30.04. 1977 was in name of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Smarak Trust. But file-notings dated 15.05.2001 (copy enclosed) provided subsequent to CIC-verdict dated 30.04.2015 in appeal-number CIC/KY/A/2015/000810-YA in response to an earlier RTI application had clearly mentioned that “the fact that no lease has been executed with AICC it would appropriate not to accede to the request to transfer or execute a deed in favour of Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel Trust and the properly as on date vests with the Central Government be put to an alternate use.” Queries in CIC-verdict suggest that central government has not informed Delhi High Court correctly that there was no complaint regarding the property during the year 2010-2015.

Central government should make a time-bound study of all government-accommodations and land-allotments having been provided to political parties, and get such properties vacated and land-allotments cancelled where divisions in political parties have caused disputes on ownerships, or where lease-conditions are not fulfilled like in case of Rabri Bhawan at Deendayal Upadhyaya Marg (New Delhi) named after wife of RJD supremo built on land allotted at highly subsidised rates but not ever used for years after its construction. Likewise 7 Jantar-Mantar Road should be put for some alternate use by getting it vacated by multiple unauthorised occupants.

Since political parties are unanimously defying CIC-verdict dated 03.06.2013 for their being public-authority, all government-facilities including allotment of government-accommodations and plots to political parties must be abolished. Union and state governments should ensure vacation of existing government-accommodations from political parties by giving reasonable time, say by end of year 2018 (before next Lok Sabha elections) failing which political parties not vacating government-accommodations be de-registered and disqualified from contesting elections. MoUD should also take cognizance of Supreme Court verdict dated 05.07.2013 in the matter ‘SD Bandi vs Divisional Traffic Officer, KSRTC & others’ (Civil Appeal number 4064 of 2004) which specifically desired against over-occupation of government-bungalows after one month of losing entitlement with a grace of maximum one more month.

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