The Delhi High Court has stayed the Central government order directing renowned Kathak artist, Birju Maharaj to vacate his government allotted accommodation in the national capital. (Birju Maharaj vs UOI)
The eviction notice issued by the Central government had directed Birju Maharaj to vacate the premises by December 31, 2020 as his allotment stood cancelled.
The Court was informed that similar notices issued to other eminent artists had been stayed by the High Court and the matter was now pending.
In view of then above, the vacation bench of Justice Vibhu Bakhru ordered,
“.. the impugned notice dated 09.10.2020 is stayed till the next date of hearing.”
The accommodation was allotted to Birju Maharaj on account of his accomplishments in the sphere of arts. He is the recipient of the second-highest civilian award in the country, Padma Vibhushan.
Earlier this month, the High Court had stayed a similar eviction notice issued to Padmashri Awardees Bharati Shivaji and V Jayarama Rao.
The eviction notices cautioned that in case the allotted premises were not vacated by December 31, action under Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorized Occupants) Act, 1971 would be initiated against the illegal residents.
It was argued that the orders of eviction violated their legitimate expectation to continue in the allotted accommodation, which were granted to them on account of them devoting their life for the sake of their extraordinary contribution in the field of their respective arts.
It was also pointed out that no hearing or reasoning was afforded to them and the same violates the principles of natural justice.
Both the petitions would be heard together on January 22.
Senior Advocate Akhil Sibal with Advocates Vedanta Varma, Vibhor Kush, Fareha Ahmad Khan appeared for Birju Maharaj.
Centre was represented by standing counsel Rajesh Gogna with Advocates Akshya, Karan Chhibber.