Delhi HC asks Omar’s wife to ‘gracefully’ vacate bungalow

New Delhi : The Delhi High Court on Friday asked Payal Abdullah, the estranged wife of former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, to “gracefully” vacate the government accommodation allotted to Omar in 1999 in the Lutyens Zone in New Delhi.

Payal, however, urged the high court to pass an order in the case, following which Justice Indermeet Kaur said a detailed order will be issued about the time within which she and her children will have to vacate the bungalow No.7 on the Akbar Road here.

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The bungalow was allotted to Omar Abdullah, the Nationalist Conference leader, in 1999 when he was elected to parliament from Jammu and Kashmir and became a minister in Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s government at the Centre.

The court was hearing Payal’s plea for directions that she along with her sons be either allowed to stay at 7, Akbar Road, or be allotted another suitable government accommodation where the family’s 94 security personnel can effectively protect them.

On August 16, a Delhi court ordered Payal to vacate the bungalow after dismissing her plea to quash the June 30 eviction notice issued by the Estate Officer of the Jammu and Kashmir government for vacating the residence.

In her plea, Payal contended that the eviction notice was not sent by the Ministry of Urban Development, which had originally allotted the accommodation to her husband.

She told the court that the notice issued by the Estate Officer was illegal as it was issued under a Jammu and Kashmir law not applicable in Delhi.

Payal said she and her children continued to live in the Akbar Road residence when Omar was neither the Chief Minister nor a Union minister from 2002 to 2008.

Omar continued as a Union minister till December 23, 2002, when he resigned. Later, he became the state Chief Minister in January 2009 and remained so till December 2014, when his party was voted out of power in the assembly elections.