The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Mahanta wife faces eviction

New Delhi, July 31: The Rajya Sabha secretariat has initiated eviction proceedings against former member Joyasree Goswami Mahanta for refusing to vacate the official bungalow that was allotted to her four years ago.

The bungalow, located in the posh Humayun Road (C-1/19) area, had been allotted to Goswami Mahanta, the wife of former Assam chief minister Prafulla Kumar Mahanta, when she became a Rajya Sabha member in 1999.

When her term came to end, she approached former Mizoram governor and Rajya Sabha member Swaraj Kaushal to get the allotment extended for three months from January 1, 2003. The extension was, however, granted without his intervention. The bungalow should have been vacated on March 31, but Goswami Mahanta decided to stay back for “some more time” because her private house in the Panchsheel Park locality was ostensibly not ready.

In a letter dated March 23 to Rajya Sabha House Committee chairman R.. Kovind, she said: “My house is almost ready to shift but I am afraid that it will not be ready within this month. It will take some more days in the month of April also. Although I was on (sic) impression that by 31st March’ 03, it will be readied. Most probably I can vacate the possession within one month or 45 days. Pl (sic) consider the case. I am ready to pay the amt (sic) which will be charged acc (sic) to the rules.”

Almost four months have elapsed since the letter was written, but Goswami Mahanta has neither vacated the bungalow nor paid rent, as she had promised to do.

Thinking that the bungalow had been allotted to her in his name, Kaushal recently wrote to the Rajya Sabha House Committee chairman, apprising him of Goswami Mahanta’s reluctance to vacate the premises.

The former MP had approached Kaushal after deputy Prime Minister L.K. Advani and the then Union minister for development of the Northeast, Arun Shourie, turned down her plea for an extension of the term for which the bungalow had been allotted.

Goswami Mahanta, however, claimed she had not flouted any rule. “This house was given (sic) in 1999 when I was Rajya Sabha member. When my term came to an end in 2001, we have been (sic) allowed to retain it for a further period of three years for security reasons.”

An under secretary in the Rajya Sabha secretariat said the directorate of estates had been asked to initiate eviction proceedings against the former MP.

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