SC order UP CM's to vacate govt bungalows

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All the former Chief Ministers of Uttar Pradesh will have to vacant their palatial government bungalows within two months as the Yogi Adityanath government has chose to issue notices to comply with the Supreme Court order quashing law passed by erstwhile Akhilesh Yadav government overruling earlier order of the apex court.

"Not only does the legislation recognize former holders of public office as a special class of citizens, it would appear to be arbitrary and discriminatory thereby violating the equality clause", the apex court said.

The Supreme Court said that Section 4 (3) of UP Ministers (salaries, allowances & miscellaneous provisions) Act, 2016 is unconstitutional.

The judgement of the apex court will affect five ex-chief ministers of UP - Mulayam Singh Yadav, Mayawati, Rajnath Singh, Rajasthan Governor Kalyan Singh and N D Tiwari who will lose their government bungalows.

However, the Court turned down the same and said that it will decide only on the Uttar Pradesh law and the Centre and other States can ascertain the implications of the judgment on them if the law is struck down.

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"But allotment of government bungalow, to be occupied during his/her lifetime, would not be guided by the constitutional principle of equality", it added.

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.

The court ruled that once a person demits public office, there was nothing to distinguish that person from the common citizen.

The apex court said that ex-CMs can not be granted governmental accommodation since they are no longer holding office. The judgment said, "We had set out few questions for determination". Following this, the Akhilesh Yadav government had amended the law. It would be interesting to watch how Yogi Adityanath government gets Yadav's bungalow vacated in the light of the apex court order.

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". It is imperative for proper functioning of a democracy to view every citizen as equal.

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