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SC stick for squatters

THE MULAYAM Singh Yadav government on Wednesday admitted before the Supreme Court that 37 of its ministers, including 21 cabinet ministers, were illegally occupying state bungalows in Lucknow.

india Updated: Aug 31, 2006 01:41 IST

Judges among occupants

THE MULAYAM Singh Yadav government on Wednesday admitted before the Supreme Court that 37 of its ministers, including 21 cabinet ministers, were illegally occupying state bungalows in Lucknow.

But this is just the tip of the iceberg. The government admitted in an affidavit that about 1,000 bungalows and flats in Lucknow were being occupied by politicians, bureaucrats, judges, social workers and journalists.

A three-judge Bench headed by Justice B.N. Agrawal sought to know why the illegal occupants have not been evicted as yet. The court was particularly upset that some members of the Uttar Pradesh judicial service were not vacating their official residences in Lucknow even after their transfer to other places. They were, in fact, fighting cases to resist their eviction.

"It is a misfortune of the country that the government has to initiate eviction proceedings against judicial officers and they are fighting the same like veteran litigants instead of gracefully vacating the premises….We are sorry to say that they are behaving like street urchins," the Bench comprising Justice P P Naolekar and Justice L S Panta, stated.

The observation came after the UP government counsel told the Bench that one of the five additional district judges - P K Agnihotri -- was occupying a house in Daimond Dairy Colony since June 1991 and fighting cases to frustrate attempts to evict him.

The court issued notices to five such judicial officers through the Registrar General of the Allahabad High Court asking them why they should not be suspended and departmental proceedings initiated against them. It also issued notices to other illegal occupants through the estates department.