U’khand govt serves notices to five ex-CMs to vacate bungalows
Uttarakhand government has served notices to five of its former chief ministers giving them about two months’ time to vacate the bungalows allotted to them.
The notices were issued after Uttarakhand High Court asked the state government on October 7 to explain the steps taken by it to evacuate government bungalows occupied by former CMs years, after demitting office, setting a deadline of 12 days.
The notices have been issued to five former CMs including N D Tiwari, Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank, Bhuwan Chandra Khanduri, Bhagat Singh Koshyari and Vijay Bahuguna asking them to vacate the government bungalows allotted to them by December 16, Secretary Uttarakhand Estates department C S Napalchyal said. The notices were issued on Monday.
The state government has to file its response in the high court on Wednesday when a writ petition filed by noted rights activist Avdhash Kaushal in this regard is scheduled to come for hearing.
Armed with a recent Supreme Court order directing former Chief Ministers of Uttar Pradesh to vacate government bungalows occupied by them for years in Lucknow after demitting office, Kaushal, a Padmashree awardee, had sought early hearing and disposal of his six-year-old petition on a similar matter.
The high court's direction had come when the former chief ministers told the court through their lawyers that they could vacate the bungalows only after being asked to do so by the state government which had allotted them the facilities, the petitioner's lawyer Kartikeyan Gupta said.
"Now that the state government has issued notices to the former CMs, they have no other option left but to vacate the sprawling bungalows they have been occupying in the city for years. That too at a time when consitututional offices like the State Human Rights Commission office is currently housed in a rented accomodation in the city for which the commission has to pay a monthly rent of Rs 1.20 lakh," petitioner Kaushal who is a Padmashree awardee said.