NEW DELHI: The Delhi high court has stayed the ministry of urban development’s bid to oust Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial Fund from the Teen Murti Estate in Lutyens’ Delhi. Justice Anu Malhotra agreed to grant an interim stay in favour of JNMF when it argued that the eviction notice was arbitrary and without jurisdiction. The HC also sought a response from the Estates Officer of the ministry on its October 15 showcause notice. The court has posted the plea for further hearing on November 16.

JNMF had moved Delhi HC against the notice issued by the ministry’s Estate Officer for its eviction. The government had argued that JNMF’s occupation of the Teen Murti Estate is “illegal”. JNMF, in turn, challenged the proceedings alleging they were initiated with a “malafide intent” and were “politically motivated with a clear covert aim to destroy Nehru’s legacy”. In the petition by Congress leader and advocate Kapil Sibal, JNMF contended that the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library (NMML), as well as the JNMF office do not qualify as ‘public premises’, and that the JNMF office is a property of the NMML Society. It also argued that JNMF has occupied its current office since 1964 and has had an intricate relation with the Nehru Memorial Library, having contributed to its large corpus of manuscripts, books and personal documents of former PM Nehru.

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