Ex-UP Chief Ministers Can't Remain in Official Bungalows

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Former CMs now having government bungalows include Samajwadi Party's Mulayam Singh Yadav and Akhilesh Yadav and BSP's Mayawati.

Akhilesh Yadav and Mayawati are put to reduce their official homes in Lucknow together with all the Supreme Court today cancelling a legislation passed by the local government to supply permanent lodging to former main ministers.

The top court in its order said that the former chief ministers are not entitled to be granted such facility after demittig their office.

The NGO had challenged the amendments made by the erstwhile Akhilesh Yadav government to the "UP Ministers (Salaries, Allowances and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 1981". "But allotment of government bungalow, to be occupied during his/her lifetime, would not be guided by the constitutional principle of equality", the bench said. It further said that these rules circumvent the SC order. Expecting that its verdict would affect other states also, the bench had sought response from Centre and all state governments while the case was being heard.

"Once such persons demit the public office earlier held by them there is nothing to distinguish them from the common man".

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All former chief ministers in UP earlier retained the government bungalows, despite a law being passed by the Congress government in 1981 making it compulsory for CMs to vacate their bungalows within 15 days of leaving office. The judgment said, "We had set out few questions for determination".

But the Supreme Court verdict on Monday on the petition of Lok Prahari has left no choice with these former Chief Ministers than to vacate their government accommodations. A special class of citizens, subject to the exception noted above, is abhorrent to the constitutional ethos.

The official said: "We will wait for the directives from Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and the government will act as per the law".

A bench headed by Justice Ranjan Gogoi said the amendment in the legislation was ultra vires to the Constitution since it transgresses the concept of equality under the Constitution. It is discriminatory that a person is given preferential treatment over other.

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