Six days after getting a notice from the Estate Department of Jammu and Kashmir to vacate her official bungalow, former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir Mehbooba Mufti on Friday said that she will consult her legal take before responding to the eviction notice.
When asked whether she will challenge the notice in a court of law, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president said she will consult her legal team. She further said that she does not own any house where she can stay so she will take legal opinion before taking a final decision on vacating the official bungalow.
The government also offered an alternate accommodation for Mehbooba Mufti in lieu of Fairview residence.
Sources in the PDP said that PDP leadership has intentionally leaked the eviction notice only after consulting the issue with legal experts.
As reported earlier Mehbooba Mufti has been served a notice to vacate her official bungalow in the high-security Gupkar area of Srinagar-the summer capital of Jammu-Kashmir
"The notice to evict from Fair View was served to me a few days ago. This has not come as a surprise and is along the expected lines," the former chief of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir said.
She said although the notice mentions that the bungalow is meant for the chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir, that is not the case.
The notice, which has gone viral on social media, was served to Mehbooba Mufti on October 15.
Mehbooba Mufti said that the bungalow was allotted to her father late Mufti Mohammad Sayeed as a former Chief Minister, not as a serving Chief minister.
"This place was allotted to my father Mufti Mohammad Sayeed in December 2005, after he relinquished the chief minister's office. So the grounds mentioned by the administration are not correct," she said.
As per the notice that has gone viral on social media, Deputy Director Estates Department Kashmir has served an eviction notice to Mehbooba Mufti to vacate the Fairview residence in which her family lives since 2005.
Consequent to the change in entitlements for former Chief Ministers of J&K in 2020, the former CMs are no longer entitled to official accommodation after the Government of India amended state law in 2020.
Perks, privileges of former CMs of J&K withdrawn in 2020
Former chief ministers of Jammu and Kashmir lost all perks after the Centre repealed or amended 138 legislations of the erstwhile state in April 2020.
The central government had amended the Jammu and Kashmir State Legislature Members' Pension Act and increased the pension amount to Rs 75,000 per month from Rs 50,000.
Section 3-C of the act, under which former chief ministers of Jammu and Kashmir were entitled to various privileges and perks, has now been omitted.
With this amendment, the former chief ministers would not be entitled to rent-free furnished accommodation, expenditure to the limit of Rs 35,000 per annum for furnishing of the residential accommodation, free telephone calls up to the value of Rs 48,000 per annum, free electricity to the extent of Rs 1,500 per month, car, petrol, medical facilities, driver and personal assistant.
The provisions were made through a gazette notification, titled the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization (Adaptation of State Laws) Order-2020.