In UP Bungalow Row, Akhilesh Yadav Withdraws Petition From Top Court

New Delhi: 

Former Uttar Pradesh chief ministers Mulayam Singh Yadav and Akhilesh Yadav today withdrew their pleas from the Supreme Court seeking time to vacate their official residences allotted to them when they held office, saying they have already moved out.

When the petitions came up for hearing before a bench of Justices Arun Mishra and Abdul Nazeer, the counsel, appearing for the father-son duo, said these pleas should be disposed of as they have already vacated their official residences on June 2 following the top court order.

The top court had on May 7 held that the former chief ministers of UP cannot retain government accommodation after demitting office, saying a chief minister was on par with a common man once his or her term ends.

The court had struck down an amendment in a state legislation allowing former chief ministers to retain government bungalows even after demitting office.

After the verdict, the Samajwadi Party (SP) leaders had on May 28 moved the top court seeking “appropriate time” for vacating their official residences at Lucknow which were allotted by the UP government.

While the plea filed by Mulayam Singh Yadav had sought sufficient time from the top court to make arrangements for alternate accommodation, Akhilesh had urged the top court to consider the security of his family.

The top court’s May 7 order was passed on a petition filed by an NGO Lok Prahari challenging the amendments made by the erstwhile Akhilesh Yadav government to the ‘UP Ministers (Salaries, Allowances and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 1981’.

In its order, it had observed that a Chief Minister cannot continue to occupy public property like government bungalows which belong to the people of the country and said the provision had the effect of creating a separate class of citizens for conferment of benefits by way of distribution of public property on the basis of the previous public office held by them.

The NGO had also challenged another UP law of 2016 called ‘The Allotment of Houses under Control of the Estate Department Bill-2016’ to regulate the allotment of government accommodation to trusts, journalists, political parties, Speaker and Deputy Speaker of legislative assembly, judicial officers and government officials.

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