Rajasthan awaits court order on bungalows for ex-chief ministers

Jaipur, Rajasthan, India Published: Jun 02, 2018, 10:35 AM(IST)

File photo: Supreme Court of India. Photograph:( Zee News Network )

As former Uttar Pradesh chief ministers begin vacating their bungalows in Lucknow following a Supreme Court order last month, Rajasthan also awaits a court order on the same issue.

The Rajasthan High Court will hear a case on July 12 that challenges provisions of a law that entitles former chief ministers to free housing and other perks. The Bill for this was passed in the assembly in April last year by voice vote, with the only rebel BJP leader Ghanshyam Tiwari dissenting.

It added a new section to the Rajasthan Ministers' Salaries Act, 1956.

Mr Tiwari has been demanding that Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje should vacate a plush bungalow at 13, Civil Lines which was allotted to her as a former chief minister and shift to the CM's official residence at 8, Civil Lines.

Jaipur-based journalist Milap Chand Dandia had filed a public interest litigation against the new section in the Rajasthan law, notified in May last year.

"The SC has already decided on the issue and I am hopeful that the high court will also quash the new section, which is unconstitutional and invalid," Mr Dandia said.

Former chief minister and Congress MLA from Jodhpur Ashok Gehlot indicated his willingness to give up the bungalow, as soon the Supreme Court pronounced its verdict on the Uttar Pradesh law.

"We had written to the General Administration Department on May 7 itself seeking appropriate direction pertaining to the residence," Mr Gehlot's private secretary Devaram Saini said.
Following the Supreme Court order, the Uttar Pradesh government had served notices to six politicians who had been allotted official bungalows in Lucknow as former chief ministers.

While Bahujan Samaj Party leader Mayawati and ailing Congress veteran Narayan Dutt Tiwari have expressed reluctance to move out, the others appear set to meet the weekend deadline.

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