Mahua Moitra's Move After Centre's Eviction Notice, "Use Of Force" Warning

Mahua Moitra Case: The move comes more than a month after Mahua Moitra was expelled as a Lok Sabha MP on grounds of unethical conduct.

Mahua Moitra occupies a bungalow in Delhi's Telegraph Lane

New Delhi:

Trinamool Congress leader Mahua Moitra has approached the Delhi High Court today to challenge a notice asking her to vacate the government bungalow she had been allotted as an MP and warning of "use of force" if necessary, sources have told NDTV.

The Trinamool leader, who was expelled as Lok Sabha MP last month on grounds of unethical conduct, has filed a writ petition against the eviction notice in the court of Justice Manmohan. The petition is yet to be listed for hearing.

Ms Moitra's lawyers have said she is a candidate for the Lok Sabha polls. MPs, they have said, are allowed to keep their homes from the last day of the Parliament session before a general election to the day of results. Since Ms Moitra has been named as a candidate, this should apply to her as well, they have argued.

In a strongly-worded eviction notice, the Centre has asked Ms Moitra to immediately vacate the bungalow. The notice by the Directorate of Estates, which manages government properties, states that if Ms Moitra does not vacate the premises on her own, she and any other occupant "are liable to be evicted from the said premises, if need be, by the use of such force as may be necessary".

The government said in its notice that Ms Moitra had been "allowed sufficient opportunity" but she failed to prove that she is not an unauthorised occupant. 

Ms Moitra had approached the high court earlier too. The court had then asked her to request the Directorate of Estates to let her stay in the bungalow for now. The court had noted that rules permitted authorities to allow a resident to overstay for up to six months on payment of certain charges in exceptional circumstances.

The court, however, had not made any observations on the merits of the case and allowed Ms Moitra to withdraw her petition.

The eviction order noted that if Ms Moitra decides to challenge the eviction notice in any court, she shall be liable to pay damages for every month.

Ms Moitra occupies a bungalow in Delhi's Telegraph Lane. On December 11, days after her expulsion as an MP, the Directorate of Estates issued a notice and asked Ms Moitra to vacate the premises by January 7. 

Ms Moitra had earlier sought time till the Lok Sabha polls this year. She had said the loss of government accommodation now would hinder her campaign.

Ms Moitra was expelled as a Lok Sabha MP in December after a Parliamentary panel held her guilty of unethical conduct for accepting expensive gifts from a businessman and sharing her Parliament login credentials with him.