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Uttar Pradesh government homing in on solution to housing row

Retired judges, bureaucrats and others may cease to have the right to move into swanky government bungalows when they are appointed as chairpersons or members of a statutory body under the state government.

lucknow Updated: Jan 11, 2018 17:32 IST
Brajendra K Parashar
Brajendra K Parashar
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
Uttar Pradesh government,UP Lokayukta,Estate Department Act 2016
The government is mulling over a proposal to provide hefty HRA, instead of government accommodation to those appointed to top posts after retirement.(HT Photo)

Retired judges, bureaucrats and others may cease to have the right to move into swanky government bungalows when they are appointed as chairpersons or members of a statutory body under the state government after retirement from service.

Amid a debate over whether authorities like the Lokayukta and the chief information commissioner are entitled to superior Type-VI and Type VII bungalows or not, the Yogi Adityanath government is trying to find a permanent solution to the issue by amending the existing rules.

The government, according to the estate department sources, is actively considering a proposal, seeking to provide a hefty house rent allowance to those who are appointed to top posts in various statutory commissions, tribunals and corporations after retirement, instead of allotting government accommodation to them.

“The estate department has moved a proposal seeking to amend the Allotment of Houses Under the Estate Department Act 2016 in a bid to discontinue the age-old practice of allotting spacious government houses to people appointed or selected to top positions in various statutory bodies after retirement,” sources said.

“There is a proposal to provide a sumptuous monthly house rent allowance to them instead, enabling them to take a house of their choice on rent,” the sources added.

Some of the statutory government bodies headed by judges or bureaucrats post-retirement are the Lokayukta organisation, information commission, human rights commission, law commission, state election commission, administrative tribunal, electricity regulatory commission, legal service aid authority, SC-ST commission and the like.

The government move comes at a time when UP Lokayukta justice Sanjay Mishra and others moved the high court recently, challenging the government notice asking them to vacate the Type-VI and Type VII bungalows which they were occupying and move to the Type-V houses they were actually entitled for under the fresh rules framed on the Supreme Court’s directions a year ago.

According to sources, the half-a-dozen people to whom the estate department had served notices last month include chief information commissioner and ex-chief secretary Javed Usmani, human rights commission chairman justice S Rafat Alam, former IAS officers Anand Mishra and Rohit Nandan apart from the Lokayukta.

“Some of them have moved the high court justifying their entitlement to a Type VII and Type VII accommodation after which the court recently stayed the operation of the notice till the next hearing ,” sources said.

They said the Lokayukta and the chairman of the human rights commission, both retired high court judges, had claimed that Lokayuta Act and the Human Rights Commission Act under which they had been appointed made them entitled to superior Type VI and Type VII houses.

“Now, the court has to decide as to which view, the estate department’s or theirs, will prevail,” said sources.

“But amending the Act providing for a sumptuous HAR to such authorities instead of allotting houses to them will put an end to the possibility of recurrence of controversies like this apart from bringing many other benefits to the government,” they claimed.

First Published: Jan 11, 2018 17:32 IST