The Supreme Court on Wednesday asked for Centre and states’ opinion on why government houses be allocated for former prime ministers and presidents and chief ministers.
The Supreme Court on Wednesday asked for Centre and states’ opinion on why government houses be allocated for former prime ministers and presidents and chief ministers. The apex court was hearing a plea by NGO Lok Prahari to the amendments to an Uttar Pradesh bill allowing ex-chief ministers of the state to continue occupying government bungalows, left it open to the Centre and states to appear before it and express their opinions. The bench of Justices Ranjan Gogoi and R Banumathi took into account the suggestions put forward by senior advocate Gopal Subramaniam who is acting as a friend of the court in this matter. The bench said, “On a consideration of the views expressed by the amicus curiae, we are of the opinion that we should leave it open to the law officer(s) of the Union Government and the concerned states who may have a similar legislation/executive instructions with the option of appearing before the court on the next date fixed.” the apex court fixed March 13 as the date of hearing.
The court observed that if NGO Lok Prahari is proven wrong then similar legislations will be passed in other states too. The court requested the amicus curiae to deliver a copy of the order to the Attorney General and Solicitor General and as well as the advocates general of states who might have a similar legislation like Uttar Pradesh under consideration. Earlier, the amicus curiae had suggested that after people from top positions resign they are like ordinary citizens and are not entitled to have official accommodation. The apex court in 2017 had noted that the matter needed to be debated at length as the repercussions of its direction s might affect state and central legislations regarding allotment of government houses for former chief ministers.
The NGO Lok Prahari had challenged the amendments made by former Akhilesh Yadav government to the ‘UP Ministers (Salaries, Allowances and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 1981’.