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Supreme Court Extends AAP Office Eviction Deadline to August 10 for Judicial Infrastructure Expansion

The Supreme Court of India has extended the deadline for the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) to vacate its office at Rouse Avenue in New Delhi by nearly two months, setting the new deadline to August 10.

This decision came on Monday, following the initial directive on March 4, which required the party to vacate by June 15, to allow the Delhi High Court to expand its judicial infrastructure.

The extension was granted by a vacation bench comprising Justices Vikran Nath and Sandeep Mehta, after senior advocate Abhishek Singhvi, representing AAP, requested more time. The court emphasized that this extension is the final one, and AAP must hand over the property by August 10.

The premises in question were originally allotted to the Delhi High Court in 2020 to develop infrastructure for the district judiciary. During the hearing, lawyer K Parmeshwar, serving as amicus curiae, highlighted the severe shortage of courtrooms, noting that 90 more were needed to accommodate newly-recruited judicial officers who are currently in training. He mentioned that the AAP sought a central Delhi location but was offered land elsewhere in the city.

The bench noted that the extension is conditional on AAP’s undertaking to vacate the premises by the new deadline. The previous order on March 4 by a bench led by Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud had ruled that AAP had no legal right to remain on the land and instructed the party to seek land allocation from the Land and Development Office under the Union Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry.

Singhvi argued that as a national party, AAP is entitled to land in the New Delhi municipal area, criticizing the allocation of less desirable locations like Badarpur. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, however, labeled AAP an “encroacher,” noting that the land allotment had been revoked in June 2017 by the Public Works Department of the Delhi government, following directives from the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi.

AAP countered that their office at Rouse Avenue was not an encroachment, as it was officially allotted by the Government of the National Capital Territory of Delhi. The party pointed out that a cancellation notice was overturned by the High Court on August 23, 2017, emphasizing the importance of office space for official party activities as a component of public election funding to ensure a fair electoral process.

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