Centre seeks time from Delhi HC to file reply on Birju Maharaj's plea against eviction notice

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Representative Image
Representative Image

New Delhi [India], January 22 (ANI): The Central government on Friday sought time from the Delhi High Court to file a reply on renowned Kathak artist Pandit Birju Maharaj's petition against the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs' decision directing him to vacate the government allotted accommodation.

Meanwhile, three other artists including Padma Shri Awardee, Bharati Shivaji and V Jayarama Rao, and Banarasi Rao withdrew their petitions.

A single-judge bench of Justice Prathiba Singh adjourned the hearing on Maharaj's petition for further hearing on April 19.

In the last hearing, the Delhi High Court has stayed the notice issued by the Centre to Maharaj asking him to vacate the government premises allowed to him by December 31, 2020.

According to the petitioner, Maharaj, he was allotted a Government accommodation on account of his accomplishments. By virtue of the impugned notices, he has been communicated that the said allotment stands cancelled and he has been asked to vacate the premises by December 31, 2020.

Senior Advocate Akhil Sibal, who appeared for Maharaj has submitted similar notices were that issued to other artists, who were allotted government accommodations and out of them, several had already approached the court and got stays on those notices issued to them.

Three aggrieved artists Bharati Shivaji, V Jayarama Rao and Banarasi Rao had approached the Delhi High Court challenging notice to vacate the accommodation allowed to them. They had stated that the accommodation was granted to them on account of devoting their life for the sake of their extraordinary contribution in the field of their respective arts which they are still in the process of promoting despite earning a very little income.

These eminent artists had also sought a direction to respondents to formulate/frame a policy/guidelines for permitting the eminent artists to continue to retain their accommodation till their lifetime upon payment of a periodic nominal license fee.

However, on Friday, the three artists withdrew their petition. (ANI)