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High Court allows Raghav Chadha to remain in type VII bungalow for now [Read Judgement]

By LAWSTREET NEWS NETWORK      18 October, 2023 01:02 PM      0 Comments
High Court allows Raghav Chadha to remain in type bungalow for now

The Delhi High Court has on October 17 allowed a plea by AAP MP Raghav Chadha against a trial court order that had permitted the Rajya Sabha Secretariat to initiate proceedings to dispossess him of a type VII government bungalow.

In a relief for Chadha, Justice Anup Jairam Bhambhani revived the April 18 interim order by the trial court, saying that it will stay in force until his application for interim relief is decided. The court directed Chadha to represent the plaint within three days of the pronouncement.

Chadha filed a plea in the high court against the October 5 order of the additional district judge (ADJ) of Patiala house courts, who had vacated an April 18 interim order that had stopped the secretariat from dispossessing Chadha of the bungalow.

The RS Secretariat challenged the interim order by filing a review that was allowed by the ADJ, holding that Chadha had not shown urgency as sought for and returned the plaint to him, asking him to serve a notice to the secretariat.

The HC, however, restored Chadha’s application for interim relief and directed the trial court first to decide the application and then hear the main lawsuit as per law.

Justice Bhambhani declared that the Rajya Sabha Secretariat is arrayed “as an institution or body” and not its secretary general, who is a person.

According to Section 80(1) of the Civil Procedure Code (CPC), a suit against a public officer or government cannot be filed without giving a two-month notice. But under Section 80(2), a suit for urgent relief can be filed without giving notice after getting the court’s permission; however, an interim order cannot be passed without hearing the public officer/government.

The high court said that Chadha had sought a restraint on the secretariat from taking any action pursuant to its March 3 order, which cancelled his bungalow allotment.

Referring to the exhaustive definition of “public officer” under the CPC, the high court said that the secretariat does not fall within the ambit of a person who could be a government officer or serving under the government.

“Besides, it would stretch all canons of statutory construction to even debate whether the Rajya Sabha Secretariat is a public officer, since clearly a public officer must be a natural person; and that term cannot refer to an institution or body,” the court added.

The HC further said that the Rajya Sabha Secretariat, being the permanent administrative office of the Rajya Sabha, which is one of the Houses of Parliament, is a “separate and distinct institution from the government”, which is the “executive wing of the State”.

The court, therefore, said that in this case, “government” under Section 80 of the CPC would not include the secretariat; hence, Section 80 has no application to Chadha’s lawsuit, and therefore, it is not necessary for the court to decide whether Chadha had established urgency under Section 80(2).

Chadha was earlier allotted a type VI bungalow in July last year. He made a representation for the allotment of a type VII bungalow in August 2022 that was approved in September 2022.
 

 

[Read Judgement]



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