Delhi: The Delhi High Court stayed an eviction notice served to Kathak exponent Pandit Birju Maharaj from the Central Government asking him to vacate the government accommodation allotted to him.
A vacation bench of Justice Vibhu Bakhru issued notice and sought response of the Centre on a plea by the renowned Kathak artist challenging the government’s decision of canceling allotment of his accommodation and asking him to vacate by December 31.
“In view of the above, the impugned notice dated October 9, 2020, is stayed till the next date of hearing,” the high court said in its order passed on Wednesday and made available on Thursday.
The high court pinned the matter with a similar petition by Padma Shri awardee Mohiniyattam dancer Bharati Shivaji, who was also served with an eviction notice for further hearing on January 22.
The court order noted that petitioner Birju Maharaj is a renowned Kathak artist and was allotted a government accommodation on account of his accomplishments and by virtue of the impugned notices, he has been communicated that the allotment stands canceled and he has been asked to vacate the premises by December 31.
Birju Maharaj’s counsel, Akhil Sibal submitted similar notices to the court to other prominent personalities who were allotted government accommodations and are the subject matter of petitions filed before this court and referred to a High Court order passed on December 23, in a similar eviction notice served to Bharti Shivaji.
In October earlier this year, more than 27 eminent personalities including artists, dancers, and musicians were sent notices by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, to vacate their government allotted accommodations across Delhi by December 31, “failing which eviction proceeding will be initiated as per Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Act”.
Other prominent personalities who have been sent these notices are artist Jatin Das, Pt Bhajan Sopori, Pt Birju Maharaj, Rita Ganguly, Dhrupad singer Ustad F Wasifuddin Dagar, Kathak expert Geetanjali Lal and Kuchipudi dancer Guru Jayarama Rao.