After HC snub, Nitish’s house allotted to Chief Secy

After HC snub, Nitish’s house allotted to Chief Secy

Chief Minister Nitish Kumar

The legal battle in the Patna High Court over retaining posh government bungalows for a lifetime, has taken its first toll.

Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who was allotted two bungalows – one as Chief Minister and the other one in his capacity as former CM (when Jitan Ram Manjhi replaced him for a short span), will soon vacate the latter one. The second house at 7, Circular Road will now be the official residence of Bihar Chief Secretary.

Serving notices on Nitish and five other former CMs, who have been allotted government bungalow for lifetime, the Patna HC has sought their response and asked the Chief Secretary to file an affidavit why such orders (of retaining bungalows for lifetime) should not be struck down in view of  Supreme Court directives.

SC directives

A bench comprising Chief Justice A P Sahi and Justice Anjana Mishra had on Tuesday observed that the very concept of retention of public premises for lifetime had been deprecated and such provisions struck down as ultra vires by the apex court.

Serving notices on former CMs  Rabri Devi, Lalu Prasad, Dr Jagannath Mishra, Jitan Ram Manjhi and Satish Prasad Singh, the High Court wondered why Nitish Kumar was allotted a separate bungalow at 7, Circular Road (in his capacity as former CM) when he was already living at CM’s official residence - 1, Aney Marg.

The matter (related to Government Order for ex-CMs) came to the HC notice while hearing RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav’s petition challenging the Building Construction Department notification asking him to vacate the bungalow allotted to him when he was Deputy CM in Nitish-headed Grand Alliance Government.

The High Court has fixed February 11 as the next date of hearing and asked all former CMs to respond by then.

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