The Supreme Court on Monday struck down a law that allowed former Uttar Pradesh chief ministers to retain government bungalows even after demitting office.
In 2016, the erstwhile Samajwadi party government had made an amendment in ‘UP Ministers (Salaries, Allowances and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 1981’ that entitled former chief ministers to live in government bungalows for life.
A bench headed by Justice Ranjan Gogoi said the amendment in the legislation, challenged by an NGO Lok Prahari, was “arbitrary, discriminatory” and violates the concept of equality.
The apex court ruled that once such persons demit public office, there is nothing to distinguish them from the common man.
After the apex court’s order, former Uttar Pradesh Chief Ministers - Akhilesh Yadav, his father Mulayam Singh Yadav, and Mayawati – were set to lose their official government accommodation.
The top court had earlier observed that if the provision was held invalid, then similar legislation in other states might also come under challenge.
The NGO had also challenged another UP law of 2016 called ‘The Allotment of Houses under Control of the Estate Department Bill-2016’ to regulate the allotment of government accommodation to trusts, journalists, political parties, speaker and deputy speaker of legislative assembly, judicial officers and government officials.
(With inputs from agencies)