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HC asks all former CMs of Madhya Pradesh to vacate govt houses

Former Madhya Pradesh chief ministers Kailash Joshi, Uma Bharti, Babulal Gaur and Digvijaya Singh are likely to be affected by the order.

india Updated: Jun 19, 2018 21:18 IST
Monika Pandey
Monika Pandey
Hindustan Times, Jabalpur
Vacate government houses,Former chief ministers,Madhya Pradesh high court
In May, the Supreme Court had struck down the amendment to the Uttar Pradesh Ministers Act 1981 to provide for allotment of government residence to former chief ministers at his/her request for lifetime.(HT File Photo)

A division bench of the high court in Jabalpur has asked all former chief ministers of Madhya Pradesh who are occupying government accommodation for life to vacate them within one month.

Former chief ministers Kailash Joshi, Uma Bharti, Babulal Gaur and Digvijaya Singh are likely to be affected by this order. Of the four, Uma Bharti is a minister in the Union government, Babulal Gaur is an MLA and Digvijaya Singh is a Rajya Sabha MP. Kailash Joshi is the only person who does not hold any office.

The order was given on Tuesday by Chief Justice Hemant Gupta and Justice A K Shrivastava on a petition filed by a law student Raunaq Yadav challenging the April 24, 2017 order of the state government that allowed all ex-CMs of the state to retain government accommodation for life and enjoy perks similar to that of a cabinet minister.

The petition had said that the state government had passed an ordinance to amend the MP Ministers (Salaries and Allowances) Act, 1972 to allow ex-CMs to continue living in government accommodation. The petition argued that this ordinance was against existing laws and also a waste of public money.

The petition also pointed out that the Supreme Court in an order (Uttar Pradesh vs Lok Prahari case) had held that allowing a former chief minister to retain government accommodation was wrong. Apart from the state government, former chief ministers Joshi, Bharti, Gaur and Singh were also made respondents.

In the last hearing, the state in its reply said the same matter was pending before the Supreme Court. On Tuesday, the high court was informed that the SC had rejected the petition challenging the UP vs Lok Prahari case, and therefore relying on the SC precedence in this case all the former CMs were asked to vacate their government accommodations.

Congress leader and senior advocate Vivek Tankha said that though he had not read the judgment, but if the high court has relied on the precedence of Uttar Pradesh, all of them would have to vacate their government accommodation, and it does not matter whether they are MPs or ministers.

First Published: Jun 19, 2018 21:18 IST