Legal Limbo: Delhi High Court Adjourns Mahua Moitra’s Eviction Plea Amidst Supreme Court Proceedings

In a recent development, the Delhi High Court has deferred the hearing on Trinamool Congress leader Mahua Moitra’s plea against eviction from her government accommodation to January 4, awaiting the Supreme Court’s decision on her expulsion from the Lok Sabha.

Earlier this month, Mahua Moitra faced expulsion from the Lok Sabha following allegations of involvement in cash-for-query scandals. The Trinamool MP was accused of accepting bribes, including lavish gifts, from Dubai-based businessman Darshan Hiranandani in exchange for posing questions in Parliament.

Subsequently, she received a notice to vacate her official residence within 30 days by January 7 next year. In response, Moitra moved the Supreme Court against her expulsion and approached the Delhi High Court challenging the cancellation of her government accommodation.

During the brief hearing on Tuesday, the Delhi High Court acknowledged that the Supreme Court’s ruling would influence the consequences of its decision. The court refrained from issuing any orders at this stage, emphasizing that it did not want to interfere with the matter pending before the Supreme Court.

Given that the Supreme Court is set to consider Moitra’s plea on January 3 after the winter break, the Delhi High Court adjourned the hearing on her eviction plea to January 4. The court also considered that Moitra had until January 7 before potentially being ousted from the government accommodation.

In her plea, Moitra urged the High Court to allow her to retain possession of the accommodation until the results of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections are declared. She contested the Directorate of Estates’ December 11 eviction order, arguing that the validity of her expulsion from the Lok Sabha is still pending adjudication before the Supreme Court.

The plea stated, “In such circumstances — where whether the petitioner is an ‘unauthorized occupant’ at all is under adjudication before the highest constitutional court of the land — the respondent no. 1 (Directorate of Estates), as an executing authority, cannot initiate proceedings under the Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Act 1971 for evicting the petitioner.”

It further emphasized that Moitra, alone in Delhi, had no alternative residence, and eviction would burden her with the responsibilities of campaigning and searching for a new residence. As an alternative, the petition requested permission for her to continue residing in her current house until the results of the 2024 General Elections. The legal tussle continues, leaving Moitra in a state of uncertainty regarding her accommodation and political future.