Veteran politician of the Union Territory and former minister Choudhary Lal Singh was directed by the Jammu and Kashmir High Court on Tuesday to vacate government accommodation within six weeks.
The High Court dismissed Choudhary Lal Singh's petition against an eviction notice issued to him by the Estate Department of J&K.
Choudhary Lal Singh, president of the Dogra Swabhiman Sangathan Party, was among several politicians who were served notices by the Estates department last month to vacate government accommodations at Jammu's posh Gandhi Nagar locality.
In its notice, the Estates department had asked Singh, who has been occupying the bungalow for the past two decades, to vacate the building by November 15.
The former minister had, however, moved the High Court against the notice on the pretext that he was covered under "Z-category security".
The case came up for hearing before Justice Sanjeev Kumar Shukla, who dismissed the petition after hearing the arguments from both sides.
Choudhary Lal Singh is a two-time MP, three-time MLA
President of the Dogra Swabhiman Sangathan Party (DSSP) Choudhary Lal Singh is a two-time Lok Sabha member and three-time MLA.
Singh switched from Congress to the BJP in 2014 and was also a minister in the previous PDP-BJP government, which collapsed in June 2018.
Several months before the fall of the government, Singh had resigned from the BJP and floated his DSSP.
Notice also served to Mehbooba Mufti
Choudhary Lal Singh is not the only politician who has been asked to vacate government accommodation, former Chief Minister and president of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Mehbooba Mufti was also served eviction notice.
Besides Choudhary Lal Singh, the PDP president was also asked to vacate her Fairview government bungalow in Srinagar.
Another former chief minister and National Conference leader Omar Abdullah vacated his official bungalow on Gupkar Road in 2020, even before the administration issued an eviction notice to him.
"I have been living there for the past 22 years. I am a 'Z' protectee like union minister Dr. Jitendra Singh and there have been attacks on my life. These facilities were provided to me by the home ministry but they are no longer comfortable with me after I formed my own party," said Choudhary Lal Singh said after getting an eviction notice.
Notably, several former BJP ministers and ex-legislators continue to occupy government bungalows in the twin capital cities of Jammu and Srinagar. Around two years ago in December 2020, the Jammu and Kashmir high court had also took strong exception to the unauthorized occupation of government bungalows by former ministers and ex-legislators in J&K.
The Estates Department had then submitted a status report to the high court and named 89 former ministers and ex-legislators, mostly from BJP, who continue to occupy government bungalows, despite demitting office.