New Delhi: The Union ministry of housing has issued an eviction order to former education minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’, a month after he was served a second show cause notice to vacate an official bungalow he was allotted when he was minister.
Pokhriyal was dropped from the Narendra Modi cabinet over six months ago. Sources in the housing ministry had previously told ThePrint that the ‘Type-8’ Lutyens bungalow, located near Safdarjung’s Tomb, has been allotted to its former occupant, current Union Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia.
“…I hereby order that Dr Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ and all persons who may be in occupation of the said premises or any part thereof to vacate the premises with immediate effect from date of publication of this order,” the 3 February notice, signed by Estate Officer Dr D.V. Rao and accessed by ThePrint, said.
“In an event of refusal or failure to comply with this order…all other persons concerned are liable to be evicted from the said premises, if need be, by the use of such force as may be necessary,” it added.
The order further stated that if the minister were to challenge the decision in any other court, he would be liable to pay damages for every month that he occupies the premises.
ThePrint sought a comment on the notice from Pokhriyal over phone and email, but did not receive a response till the time of publishing this report. It also sought a comment from housing ministry spokesperson Yogesh Baweja over phone. This article will be updated once their responses are received.
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‘Several reminders’ issued
According to norms set by the government, ‘Type-8’ bungalows are allotted to serving ministers, Rajya Sabha MPs and senior judicial authorities. Under guidelines of the Directorate of Estates (DoE) — the department under the housing ministry responsible for allocating government houses — a former minister must vacate the official bungalow allotted to him/her when he/she was minister after a month of leaving office.
Housing ministry sources had earlier told ThePrint that despite several reminders, Pokhriyal continued to cite various reasons for not vacating the bungalow, forcing the ministry to issue two show cause notices to him — one in December 2021 and the second in January this year.
Scindia had submitted his preference for the bungalow to the housing ministry after joining the BJP and becoming a Rajya Sabha MP in 2020.
(Edited by Gitanjali Das)
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