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Payal Abdullah evicted after failing to vacate govt bungalow ‘gracefully’

Payal Abdullah evicted after failing to vacate govt bungalow ‘gracefully’
 Omar Abdullah’s nameplate being taken down after High Court order. (Photo: ANI/Twitter)

New Delhi: Payal Abdullah, the estranged wife of former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah and their two sons were evicted from the government allotted bungalow on Akabar Road in Delhi on Monday evening.

A team of officers, including cops, officers from the Jammu and Kashmir Resident Commissioner’s office and CRPF men, arrived at Payal’s residence on Monday after the high court ordered her eviction.

Payal and her sons were at the spot when the officers removed their belongings from the eight-room plush bungalow. They were also seen taking down Omar Abdullah’s nameplate from the house.

According to reports, the guards had initially refused entry to the eviction officers and a brief scuffle ensued between them.  Payal’s counsel, Amit Khemka, accused the officers of misbehaving with her, for throwing her belonging out of the house.

The Delhi High Court had earlier asked her orally to “gracefully” vacate the official bungalow, failing which, it said she was “liable to be evicted forthwith”, terming their entitlement to retain the bungalow as “wholly illegal”.

The court ruled that if Omar and Farooq Abdullah, both ‘Z plus’ protectees, can be secured while in private accommodation, “there is no reason” why Payal and her sons cannot be, the detailed verdict of Justice Indermeet Kaur made available on Monday said, though the judgement was pronounced on August 19.

The court said Payal’s apprehension that she and her sons would not be given adequate security cover was “misconceived” and dismissed her plea to retain the 7 Akbar Road bungalow in Lutyens Delhi.

“Noting the above factual matrix, this court is of the view that the entitlement of the petitioners (Payal and her sons) to retain this accommodation is wholly illegal. It is government accommodation. Petitioners have no claim or right upon it. They are liable to be evicted forthwith. Their apprehension that they will not be given an adequate security cover is misconceived.

On August 16, a trial court in Delhi had asked Payal to move out of the house in Lutyen’s zone here. Three days later, Justice Indermeet Kaur had asked Payal’s counsel “Will you gracefully evict or I should pass an order?”

The high court said that Payal and her sons were deriving their entitlement to retain the bungalow only through the official position of Omar Abdullah and “have no independent right or claim in this property”.

“This accommodation has now been alloted to the new Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir. The admitted position as on date is thus that the petitioners are residing in this property as illegal occupants. Their entitlement to stay in the aforenoted government alloted bungalow is no longer available to them. They are admittedly not in government employment,” the court said.