No lifetime accommodation for former chief ministers in Bihar, rules Patna High Court

By: | Published: February 19, 2019 2:44 PM

This comes after the HC in January issued a notice to the Nitish Kumar government and sought a reply on the matter.

Last year, the Supreme Court had held that former CMs of Uttar Pradesh cannot retain government accommodation after demitting office citing the ‘Doctrine of Equality’. (File photo)

The Patna High Court on Tuesday held that former chief ministers of Bihar will not be provided accommodation facilities for lifetime. This comes after the HC in January issued a notice to the Nitish Kumar government and sought a reply on the matter.

The Patna High Court had issued notices to the Bihar government last month and sought a reply within four weeks over the issue of allotment of bungalows to former chief ministers for life. The court had also sought to know why it should not quash the Amendment Act framed by the state government in 2010, which allows for bungalows to be allotted for life.

The court had issued the notices after taking suo motu cognisance of the Amendment Act while hearing an appeal filed by Leader of the Opposition Tejashwi Prasad Yadav while dismissing his petition to retain his official bungalow at 5, Deshratna Marg, allotted to him while he was deputy chief minister in 2015. Recently, after the Supreme Court’s order to vacate his bungalow, the RJD leader said he would respect the order.

Reportedly, notices were issued to former chief ministers including Rabri Devi, Jitan Ram Manjhi.

Last year, the Supreme Court had held that former CMs of Uttar Pradesh cannot retain government accommodation after demitting office citing the ‘Doctrine of Equality’. The ‘Doctrine of Equality’ which emerges from the concepts of justice, fairness must guide the State in the distribution/allocation of the same,” the top court bench had said.

While hearing another case in 1996-97, the apex court had ruled that President, Vice-President and Prime Minister should be accommodated in government quarters after they demitted office, according to IE report. The Bench of Justices K Singh and B L Hansaria had then observed that “keeping in view the very high constitutional position occupied by the President, Vice-President and Prime Minister, we feel no difficulty in stating that they should be accommodated in government premises after demitting of office by them, so that problem of suitable residence does not trouble them in the evening of life. What should be the terms of the same is a matter to be decided by the Government.”

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