The Supreme Court has ordered that no former chief minister in Uttar Pradesh will be allotted government bungalows after the completion of their tenure in the office. The top court quashed an earlier decision of the Uttar Pradesh government in this regard.
The decision was taken by the apex court while hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by NGO Lokprahari. 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 Supreme Court struck down amendment in Uttar Pradesh legislation allowing ex-Chief Ministers of the state to continue occupying government accommodation after demitting office. The apex court observed that the amendment to Uttar Pradesh law is arbitrary, discriminatory and violates the constitutional concept of equality.
The Supreme Court said that Section 4(3) of UP Ministers (salaries, allowances & miscellaneous provisions) Act, 2016 is unconstitutional.
Currently, the chief ministers who have possession of official bungalows are Samajwadi Party's Akhilesh Yadav and Mulayam Singh Yadav, Bahujan Samaj Party supremo Mayawati, Bharatiya Janata Party's Rajnath Singh and Kalyan Singh, and ND Tiwari of the Congress party.
The apex court said that once such persons demit public office, there is nothing to distinguish them from the common man. It had on April 19 reserved its verdict on an NGO's plea challenging amendments to the UP legislation allowing ex-chief ministers of the state to continue occupying government bungalows.
The top court had earlier observed that if the provision, which has been challenged by NGO Lok Prahari, was held invalid, then similar legislation in other states might also come under challenge. The NGO had challenged the amendments made by the erstwhile Akhilesh Yadav government to the 'UP Ministers (Salaries, Allowances and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 1981'.
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.
(With PTI Inputs)