Former Vice-President of India Bhairon Singh Shekhawat found himself in a spot after the Rajya Sabha Housing committee raised objection over his occupation of an official bungalow for which he has not paid rent for the last three years.
Shekhawat took possession of 12, Teen Murti Lane when he was serving as the vice-president, as additional accommodation and continued using it even after his retirement. He currently occupies a bungalow at 30, Aurangzeb Marg. He, however, clarified he was in the process of moving out of the Teen Murti Lane bungalow.
“I needed a place to keep some extra furniture and books. There is no space at my present accommodation as well. I am creating space to keep my belongings,” said Shekhawat.
Recently, when a request for extending the allotment of the property came up in front of housing committee chairman Jai Prakash Aggarwal, he raised objections about Shekhawat’s continued occupation of the bungalow and non-payment of dues.
“Normally, if you take on accommodation in addition to what has been allotted to you officially, you have to pay rent. I am not aware if, as the housing committee chairman, I have the power to waive rents due for a government property,” said Aggarwal.
Shekhawat, however, said he took possession of the property with the permission of the housing committee. “The CPWD has given in writing that the work will take some time. I took the house committee’s clearance for occupying the Teen Murti Lane bungalow. How am I concerned if it is within the house committee chairman’s powers to waive rents or not?” said Shekhawat.
Shekhawat pointed out he was not the only one occupying extra accommodation. “There are several others,” he added.