Payal Abdullah, the estranged wife of former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, Tuesday failed to get any relief from a Delhi court which directed her to vacate the bungalow in Lutyen’s zone where she has been living since 1999. However, her plea in the Delhi High Court to retain the residence or get an alternate government accommodation on security grounds was today adjourned to August 19.
On the last date of hearing on August 12, the high court had extended till today the interim protection from eviction granted on July 12. However, today when the matter came before Justice Indermeet Kaur, Payal’s counsel sought adjournment and it was renotifed for hearing on August 19. She had also approached the trial court seeking stay of the June 30 eviction order issued by the Estate Officer of state of Jammu and Kashmir, contending that the order was passed without allowing her to lead evidence and without granting her any personal hearing.
District Judge Amarnath today dismissed her plea against the eviction order which she had challenged on the ground that the estate officer of the state did not have the jurisdiction, as the property belonged to the central government. The Centre and the state of Jammu and Kashmir had earlier told the high court that government accommodation was only provided to SPG protectees, to which Payal claimed parity with Subramaniam Swamy, K P S Gill and others, who have Z and Z plus security cover, and had been granted government accommodation.
While she enjoys Z category security cover, each of her sons has Z plus security, comprising of a total 94 personnel. Payal has claimed that so many personnel, their weapons and other security arrangements cannot be accommodated at her private flat in the city. With regard to the Centre and the state’s claim that the 7, Akbar Road bungalow was meant for the Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, she has told the high court that it was alloted to her husband from 1999 onwards and was never cancelled, even when he was not an MP or an MLA.
In her plea in the high court, Payal has contended that the Centre’s letter of September 2015 by which the bungalow at here was allotted for official use of the Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, was “a manipulative document” as it put the premises under the state’s disposal with effect from a retrospective date six years prior. Payal in her plea and her reply has also contended that the website of the Department of Hospitality and Protocol of Government of Jammu and Kashmir shows that the residence of Chief Minister of the state was 5, Prithviraj Road. She has also claimed that as per information obtained from the internet, “the number of security personnel required for protecting a protectee assigned a specific category of security cannot be changed”.
“All protectees being provided Z plus category security have a total number of 36 security personnel protecting them, Z category has a security cover of 22 personnel, Y category has a security cover of 11 personnel and X category has a security cover of 5 or 2 personnel and the number of security personnel cannot be reduced depending upon the size and location of the size and location of the accommodation of the protectee,” her reply said.