SC notice to UP govt on non vacation of govt bungalows by ex CMs

SC notice to UP govt on non vacation of govt bungalows by ex CMs

The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked Uttar Pradesh government to explain why it failed to get vacated bungalows allotted to five former chief ministers despite orders.

A three-judge presided over by Justice Dipak Misra issued notice to the director of estate department and sought response within three weeks.

Former CMs, who got bungalows allotted for life, were Ram Naresh Yadav, N D Tiwari, Mulayam Singh Yadav, Mayawati and Rajnath Singh.

Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi submitted he would check if Union Minister Rajnath Singh has vacated the Lucknow bungalow or not.

The court posted the contempt petition filed by NGO Lok Prahari through its general secretary S N Shukla for consideration on May 2.

The top court in August last held that the former chief ministers of Uttar Pradesh cannot be allotted government bungalows for life, saying the state cannot fritter away public property in favour of private persons.

The court had noted that other constitutional post holders like Governors, Chief Justices, Union Ministers, and Speaker etc held only one “official residence” during their tenure.

In its judgement, the court then said there was no justification likewise to provide government bungalows to private trusts and societies. It directed the state government to get vacated such premises within two months and recover appropriate rent from the occupiers.

“Allotment of government property to someone without adequate market rent, in absence of any  special statutory provision, would also be bad in law because the state has no right to fritter away government property in favour of private persons or bodies without adequate consideration and therefore,  all  such  allotments, which have been made in absence of any statutory provision cannot be upheld,” the bench said.   

The court relied upon the Uttar Pradesh Ministers (Salaries, Allowances and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 1981 and found 1997 rules framed thereunder as “bad in law” which enabled the former Chief Minister to continue with the accomodation for life.

“When the 1981 Act enables the Chief Minister to have residential accommodation only during his tenure and for 15 days after completion of his tenure, the 1997 Rules providing for an accommodation for life to the Chief Minister cannot be said to be legal and valid,” the bench said.  

The former CMs of Uttar Pradesh, including Mulayam Singh Yadav, Mayawati, Ram Naresh Yadav, Narayan Dutt Tiwari and Kalyan Singh were ordered to vacate their bungalows within two months.

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