SC asks AAP to vacate Rouse Avenue office by August 10

SC asks AAP to vacate Rouse Avenue office by August 10

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court of India on Monday granted the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) additional time to vacate its office situated on land owned by the Rouse Avenue Court in Delhi. The order came from a Vacation Bench consisting of Justice Vikram Nath and Justice Sandeep Mehta.

Senior Advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, representing AAP, appealed for more time, leading to the court’s decision to extend the deadline. Originally, the Supreme Court had mandated AAP to vacate by June 15, 2024, due to the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

The court’s extension is conditional on an undertaking from AAP to the Supreme Court registry, ensuring they will vacate the premises by August 10, 2024. The Bench stated, “The premises in question had to be vacated till June 15, 2024. The premises is already allotted to Delhi High Court in 2020. The expansion of High Court is stultified and cost expansion is also a factor. This application is for extension of time till August 10, 2024. Considering facts and circumstances and as a last opportunity, we extend the time till August 10.”

Advocate K Parameshwar, representing the Delhi High Court, highlighted the adverse impact of the delay on the High Court’s infrastructural expansion plans. “There is a shortage of 90 courtrooms and the land has not been used still by the High Court. We are in dire conditions and now we may have to rent premises. They want some place in Central Delhi and they are getting land someplace else,” Parameshwar submitted.

The controversy began when a Bench led by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud, along with Justices JB Pardiwala and Manoj Misra, ruled in March that AAP had been unlawfully occupying the premises since 2015. The land was initially allotted to the Delhi High Court. However, acknowledging the impending elections, the court had allowed AAP until June 15 to vacate the land. In addition to the eviction order, the Court had permitted AAP to approach the Land and Development Office (L&DO) for the allotment of new land, instructing the L&DO to respond within four weeks.

Furthermore, in a related development, the Delhi High Court directed the Central government earlier this month to expedite the decision on providing temporary office space for AAP. This move aims to ensure that the party can continue its operations smoothly during the transition period.

The extension granted by the Supreme Court is seen as a last opportunity for AAP to comply with the court’s orders, with the High Court eagerly awaiting the handover to

proceed with its critical expansion plans.

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