Supreme Court quashes UP law allowing ex-CMs to retain official bungalows

A view of the Supreme Court in New Delhi

A view of the Supreme Court in New Delhi

After the order, the six former CM who will have to vacate houses are: BJP's Rajnath Singh, now Union home minister, Rajasthan Governor Kalyan Singh, Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati and Congress leaders N.D. Tiwari and Ram Naresh Yadav.

The Supreme Court on Monday ruled that former Uttar Pradesh CMs cannot stay in official residences, once their terms end.

The cabinet also cleared amendments in UP Ministers (Salaries, Allowances and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 1981, to enable former CMs to occupy government accommodation for life.

"But allotment of government bungalow, to be occupied during his/her lifetime, would not be guided by the constitutional principle of equality", it added. It further said that these rules circumvent the SC order. "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. "Whether retention of official accommodation by such former public servants after they demit office is violative of the Constitution".




The bench further said, "We had set out few questions for determination". The bench said amended Section 4 (3) of the 1981 Act recognised former holders of public office as a "special class of citizens", which is "arbitrary and discriminatory" thereby violating the equality clause. In his plea, Subramaniam said, "While the present matter relates to an attempt by the State of Uttar Pradesh to overcome the judgment in Lok Prahari v".

The official said: "We will wait for the directives from Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and the government will act as per the law". But the policy could be challenged in the view of the observations made by the apex court in its judgement.

Striking down the amendment, a bench headed by justice Ranjan Gogoi said, "It is ultra vires the Constitution of India as it transgresses the quality clause under Article 14 of the Constitution of India".

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