Ex-CMs not entitled to residential accommodation from govt, says Supreme Court

Supreme Court

The law of govt bungalows was passed in August 2016, by the then CM Akhilesh Yadav.

All the former Chief Ministers of Uttar Pradesh will have to vacant their palatial government bungalows within two months as the Yogi Adityanath government has made a decision to issue notices to comply with the Supreme Court order quashing law passed by erstwhile Akhilesh Yadav government overruling earlier order of the apex court.

The bench said a chief minister, once he/she demits office, is at par with the citizen, though by virtue of the office held, he/she may be entitled to security and other protocol. The NGO argued that as per SC's ruling, allotment of government bungalows to former CMs was bad in law.

The court had earlier said that it had given an opportunity to the Centre and all states to express their views on the issue since its verdict might have an impact on any such rules framed by other states or the union government. The plea had challenged the decision of the government to allot official bungalows to Chief Ministers after their tenure in the office got over. The bench said the impugned legislation can very well be construed to be an attempt to overreach the judgment of this court.

"Section 4 (3) of the Uttar Pradesh Ministers (Salaries, Allowances and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 1981 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 previous public office held by them".

The Supreme Court's verdict came on a petition filed by NGO Lok Prahari against laws enacted by the U.P. State Assembly which which allows former CMs and ministers official bungalows and staff at public expense.

It added, "We have extensively relied on the preamble of the Constitution which embodies the principle of equality and recognizes only a single class of citizens".

The Logical Indian wholeheartedly supports the apex court's judgement. The matter raises a substantial question of law: "Whether the equality clause contained in Article 14 of the Constitution of India enables public houses to be retained by persons even after they demit office?"

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