Politicos' kin site memorabilia to overstay in bungalows

Ruse for rule-breaking

For the past eight years, successive governments at the Centre allowed former Prime Minister P V Narasimha Rao's son P V Prabhakar Rao to keep a prime bungalow in Lutyen’s Delhi for storing his father’s memorabilia.

Even former Union minister Late Arjun Singh’s wife has been allowed to retain her husband's residence till 2016 on the grounds of her ongoing treatment at AIIMS.
Former Railway minister and RJD chief Lalu Prasad, disqualified as an MP after being convicted in fodder scam, retained his bungalow to ensure the education of his grand-daughter.

These details have tumbled out as the Supreme Court examined the issue of over-
stay in government bungalows by politicians and other dignitaries. The court was
acting on a letter written by the former comptroller and auditor general (CAG) of India, Vinod Rai.

Interestingly, the government denied any “partiality in the process”. It said that the extension of retention of residential accommodation is allowed only on the recommendation of the Ministry of Home Affairs and with the approval of Cabinet Committee on Accommodation (CCA).

As per the rule, All ministers have to vacate the bungalow within one month of relinquishing charge of their portfolio.

The discretionary allotment of accommodation can be made on out of turn basis on security grounds as well to private persons, who are a SPG protectees. They are charged the market rate of licence fee, the government said in an affidavit.

Licence fee
Congress leader Buta Singh was allowed to retain the bungalow on payment of special licence fee till June 26. Due to his refusal to vacate, his case has been referred to litigation division of the Urban Development Ministry.

Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat's allotment to type VII bungalow at 9, Teen Murti Lane, was regularised from state quota even after it was cancelled on June 19. His retention of the residence was permitted on the ground that he was undergoing treatment at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).

Former Delhi Police commissioner Neeraj Kumar continued to occupy Chanakyapuri bungalow. His allotment was cancelled on retirement in July, 2014.
Neeraj Kumar was, however, allowed retention till September on the ground of serious medical condition of his wife.

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