Uttarakhand HC asks ex-CM’s to vacate government allotted residences gracefully
Uttarakhand high court on Friday, taking a strict stand in the case of ex-CMs occupying residences government provided residences, asked the ex-CMs to ‘vacate gracefully’. The HC has posted matter on Monday at 2 pm and asked the counsels of the ex-CM’s to tell the court that how much time they need to vacate the houses.
The division bench of chief justice K M Joseph and justice VK Bisht taking a tough stand while hearing remarked, “You should gracefully vacate or we will have to pass orders.” Counsel of the ex-CMs Nishank, Bahuguna, Khanduri and Koshyari assured the court that they will vacate.
Standing Counsel of the state also assured the court that N D Tiwari will also have to vacate the house in the light of Supreme Court Order. The bench further added, “Now you should vacate the government houses.”
On August 1, the Supreme Court’s ordered the ex-CMs of Uttar Pradesh to vacate their bungalows within two months. The apex court had declared UP ex-Chief Minister Allotment of Residences Rules 1997 illegal and unconstitutional and asked the UP state government to recover rent for the government bungalows for the whole period of illegal stay from the ex-CMs of UP.
The ex-CMs who have occupied the houses include ND Tiwari, Bhagat Singh Koshayri, Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank, Bhuwan Chandra Khanduri and Vijay Bahuguna.
The petition filed by a Dehradun-based NGO had pleaded that a lot of taxpayers’ money was being spent on providing official accommodation to the ex-chief ministers of Uttarakhand, all of whom have their own houses where they can stay. In April, this year the state in its affidavit said that all facilities except residence of the ex-CMs have been withdrawn.
The petitioner has asserted in his pleadings that as per the UP ex-Chief Minister Allotment of Residences Rules 1997 is not applicable for the former CMs of Uttarakhand. In his PIL, Avdhesh Kaushal, a Padma Shri awardee, had mentioned a list of houses owned by the former chief ministers to highlight the fact that despite having ‘huge houses’ as per the affidavits submitted by them, the ex-CMs had allotted themselves ‘furnished palatial bungalows’ along with staff and official vehicles on the basis of a personal memo issued by them without approval from the state assembly.