Mulayam Singh Yadav and his son Akhilesh Yadav, former chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, have asked for two years to vacate the official government bungalow allotted to them.
The Uttar Pradesh government on 17 May had served notices to six former chief ministers — Mulayam Singh Yadav, SP Chief Akhilesh Yadav, BSP chief Mayawati, ND Tiwari, BJP leaders Rajnath Singh and Kalyan Singh — and asked them to vacate the government bungalows in Lucknow in 15 days.
The former chief ministers currently occupy prime government properties in the high-security VVIP zone in the state capital.
While seeking two-year time, Akhilesh claimed that he had no other home to move into currently. Mulayam has also cited the same reasons. He wrote a letter to the estate department saying that he requires two years because he has no suitable home of his own which can accommodate his security detail and the large number of daily visitors he gets.
Earlier on 7 May, the Supreme Court had struck down the amendment to a Uttar Pradesh legislation which allowed former chief ministers of the state to retain government accommodation even after demitting office.
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.
The bench said the amendment was “arbitrary, discriminatory” and violates the concept of equality.
The apex court said that once such persons demit public office, there is nothing to distinguish them from the common man.
The apex court had on April 19 reserved its verdict on an NGO’s plea challenging amendments to the UP legislation allowing ex-chief ministers of the state to continue occupying government bungalows.
The top court had earlier observed that if the provision, which has been challenged by NGO Lok Prahari, was held invalid, then similar legislation in other states might also come under challenge.
The NGO had challenged the amendments made by the erstwhile Akhilesh Yadav government to the ‘UP Ministers (Salaries, Allowances and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 1981’.
It 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 agency inputs)