Saturday, 17 April, 2021


SC strikes down UP law allowing ex-CMs to keep government house

Supreme Court says former Uttar Pradesh chief ministers cannot live in government bungalows Supreme Court of India
Bennie Garza | 07 May, 2018, 12:48

The Supreme Court rejected an Uttar Pradesh law which allowed former Chief Ministers use of the State official bungalows and comforts on taxpayers' expense as "unconstitutional". Then chief minister Akhilesh Yadav, in his written "Statement of Objects and Reasons", had said, "In view of the security requirements of the former chief ministers, it has been made a decision to provide for allotment of official residence to them in the aforesaid Act".

"Undoubtedly, Section 4 (3) of the 1981 Act would have the effect of creating a separate class of citizens for conferment of benefits by way of distribution of public property on the basis of the previous public office held by them". "Public office becomes history after a person demits the office and it cannot be the basis for giving government residential accommodation for rest of his life", said the SC.

That judgment was delivered by a Bench of Justices Anil R Dave, NV Ramana and R Banumathi in a petition filed in by the same NGO, Lok Prahari.

It had also challenged another UP law of 2016 called "The Allotment of Houses under Control of the Estate Department Bill-2016" to regulate the allotment of government accommodation to trusts, journalists, political parties, speaker and deputy speaker of legislative assembly, judicial officers and government officials. At that time, five former CMs - Mulayam Singh Yadav, Rajasthan Governor Kalyan Singh, Rajnath Singh, Mayawati and ND Tiwari - had occupied government bungalows.

In 2016, the Akhilesh Yadav government had effected crucial changes to a legislation allowing former chief ministers to occupy government bungalows indefinitely, in an apparent move aimed at skirting an earlier Supreme Court ruling barring such largesse. "The holders of other high constitutional posts have been classified as separate class even after demitting offices, like former chief justices and judges of High Courts and the Supreme Court, President, Prime Minster", the State government had argued.

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