After dealing with ministers and legislators occupying official residences beyond their tenure, the Bombay High Court on Thursday took suo motu notice of judicial officers occupying official residences after their retirement.
A division bench of Justices RM Lodha and SA Bobde directed the Registrar General of Bombay High Court to make a list by August 31 of former lower court and High Court judges who had not vacated their official residences after retirement.
The issue came to the court's notice during the hearing of a PIL regarding the appointment of judges in the Central government labour court in Mumbai.
After the PIL was filed, former district judge AA Lad was appointed as labour judge, but the petitioner then raised the issue of providing him new accommodation, which was not done promptly.
In Thursday's hearing, the government told the court that the judge had been provided accommodation by the central government but he continued to live in the official residence of the district judge though he no longer held that office.
This peeved the court, which not only ordered Lad to vacate the district judge's residence by August 31, but directed that a list of all former judicial officers occupying official residences be prepared.
Noting that judges are expected to set a precedent by their conduct, the court remarked, "They are following in the footsteps of bureaucrats and politicians."
The High Court had earlier directed former ministers and legislators to vacate official residences, and in some cases even to pay for illegal occupation.