New Delhi, Nov 15: The Supreme Court on Tuesday issued notice to the Uttar Pradesh government on a plea that challenged a state law which permits allotment of bungalows to former Chief Ministers on their request. Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Abhay Manohar Sapre issued the notice on a plea by NGO Lok Prahari, represented by its General Secretary and former bureaucrat S.N. Shukla.
The amended law was brought in to circumvent the top court’s verdict that barred the allotment of bungalows to former Chief Ministers. The amendment was effected within weeks of the August 1 verdict of the court. While retaining the provision that Chief Ministers will vacate their official accommodation within 15 days of demitting office, the amended law said the government accommodation could be provided to them on their request.
While retaining the 15 days provision in the Uttar Pradesh Ministers (Salaries, Allowances and Miscellaneous Provisions) (Amendment) Act, 2016, it added a provision that said: “A government residence shall be allotted to a former chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, at his/her request, for his/her lifetime, on payment of such rent as may be determined from time to time by the Estate Department of the state government.”
Coupled with this, amendment was also effected in The Allotment of Houses Under Control of the Estate Department Act, 2016, that sought to regulate the allotment of government accommodations to state government employees and officers, their associations, political parties, jourlists, trusts, officers of All India Service, lawmakers, ministers, chairman and deputy chairman of the Legislative Council, Speaker and Deputy Speaker of Legislative Assembly and Judges. (IANS)