SC Strikes Down UP Law Allowing Ex-CMs To Keep Government Bunglows

Blanche Robertson
May 8, 2018

In its 2016 verdict, the apex court had held that the practice of alloting government bungalows to former chief ministers of Uttar Pradesh was bad in law and they should hand over possession of the bungalows occupied by them in two months.

The Supreme Court on Monday struck down an amendment proposed by the Uttar Pradesh government seeking to allow former state chief ministers to continue living in their official accommodation after demitting office.

The Supreme Court said that Section 4 (3) of UP Ministers (salaries, allowances & miscellaneous provisions) Act, 2016 is unconstitutional. It further said that these rules circumvent the SC order. In its judgment, the top court said that "natural resources, public lands and public goods like government bungalows/official residence are public property that belongs to the people of the country".

The Supreme Court's verdict came on a petition filed by NGO Lok Prahari against laws enacted by the U.P. State Assembly which which allows former CMs and ministers official bungalows and staff at public expense.

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.

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"As the holder of such high posts in a democratic nation as ours it becomes imperative that the even after demitting the offices certain privileges are provided to such persons".

The bench further said, "We had set out few questions for determination".

It added, "We have extensively relied on the preamble of the Constitution which embodies the principle of equality and recognizes only a single class of citizens". Following this, the Akhilesh Yadav government had amended the law.

The Logical Indian wholeheartedly supports the apex court's judgement.

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

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