Former CMs not entitled to government accommodation for lifetime: Apex Court
The Supreme Court on Monday in an order left several former chief ministers of Uttar Pradesh roofless, asking them vacate the government bungalows within a three-month period. The order could also have a cascading effect on neighbouring Uttarakhand, which too had adopted the provisions of UP Ministers (Salaries/allowances and other facilities) Act, after the state was carved out from Uttar Pradesh.
The order would affect six former UP chief ministers Kalyan Singh, Rajnath Singh, Mulayam Singh Yadav, Mayawati, Narayan Dutt Tiwari and Ram Naresh Yadav, and could also apply to Bhagat Singh Koshiyari, Bhuwan Chandra Khanduri, Ramesh Pokriyal Nishank and Vijay Bahuguna in Uttarakhand. Tiwari is in the unique position of having a bungalow allotted both in Lucknow and Dehradun, as he has served as chief minister of both the states. All others, except for Bahuguna, are members of parliament and thus allotted bungalows in Lutyens Delhi in that capacity.
The Supreme Court on Monday held that former Chief Ministers are not entitled to government accommodation for a lifetime. A bench headed by Justice Anil R Dave, which pronounced its verdict on a 2004 plea, said that any such government accommodation should be vacated within two to three months.”They don’t have the right to occupy government accommodation for lifetime,” the bench also comprising justices U U Lalit and L Nageswara Rao said.
The judgment came on a plea filed by a UP-based NGO Lok Prahari, which had sought a direction against allotment of government bungalows to ex-CMs and other “non-eligible” organisations. The NGO had alleged that despite the direction of Allahabad High Court, the UP government had framed ex-Chief Minister’s Residence Allotment Rules, 1997 (non-statutory) for allotting bungalows to successive ex-chief ministers.
The NGO had also contended that the rules framed in 1997 for allotment of government bungalows to ex-chief ministers were unconstitutional and illegal, and those occupying them were allegedly unauthorised occupants under the purview of the UP Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Act.
The petitioner also said that retention of government accommodation by CMs after demitting office was against the Provisions of UP Ministers (Salaries/allowances and other facilities) Act.