Ex-CMs Mulayam, Akhilesh move SC for time to vacate official homes

first_imgSamajwadi Party leaders and former Uttar Pradesh Chief Ministers Mulayam Singh and son Akhilesh Yadav on Monday moved the Supreme Court pleading for time to vacate their official bungalows.The Supreme Court had on May 7 made a scathing judgment, quashing an Uttar Pradesh law giving life-time use of bungalows, privileges and perks to former Chief Ministers of the State. A Bench led by Justice Ranjan Gogoi axed the law, saying a former Chief Minister is only a commoner and not a “special class of citizen”.Both leaders had earlier written to the State government for two years’ time to shift out of their bungalows. Now, they have approached the apex court seeking “appropriate time” to vacate.Mr. Singh has sought more time to move, citing age and health reasons. Mr. Yadav said he needed time to move over concerns about his and his family’s security.The apex court verdict was based on a petition filed by non-governmental organisation Lok Prahari challenging the constitutional validity of the Uttar Pradesh Ministers (Salaries and Allowances and Miscellaneous Provisions) Amendment Act of 2016 and The Allotment of Houses under Control of the Estate Department Bill of 2016. The NGO had sought action against the State authorities for acting in contempt of a Supreme Court verdict of August 2016, directing them to ensure that the former Chief Ministers vacate the bungalowsThe Yogi Adityanath-led BJP government, in their written submissions, had justified that a “former Chief Minister” was a “class in itself”.‘Public property’In response, the Supreme Court observed in its judgment that the Constitution recognises only “one single class of citizens with one singular voice (vote)”. “A special class of citizens is abhorrent to the constitutional ethos,” the court had held.The court had observed that “the Chief Minister, once he/she demits the office, is at par with the common citizen, though by virtue of the office held, he/she may be entitled to security and other protocols. But allotment of government bungalow, to be occupied during his/her lifetime, would not be guided by the constitutional principle of equality”.“Bungalows constitute public property which by itself is scarce and meant for use of current holders of public offices”, the court had observed. It said it was necessary that public servants should act in a manner which reflected that “ultimate authority is vested in the citizens” and they were eventually accountable to the people.The effect of the judgment became apparent within days of its pronouncement. Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Rajasthan Governor Kalyan Singh, who were Uttar Pradesh Chief Ministers, informed the Estate Department that they would vacate their government bungalows.Six former CMsRajnath Singh and Kalyan Singh were among the six former Chief Ministers who have been asked by the Estate Department to vacate the bungalows within 15 days in pursuance of the Supreme Court’s order.However, former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and BSP supremo Mayawati recently put up a signboard outside her official accommodation in Lucknow announcing that it was a memorial named after the party founder late Kanshiram.The judgment mentioned that States like Tamil Nadu have no provision for providing official accommodation to former Chief Ministers.last_img

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