HC finds U’khand Former CMs Facility Act unconstitutional
Directs state to collect pending dues from ex-CMs
The Uttarakhand High Court has declared provisions of Uttarakhand Former Chief Ministers Facility Act 2019 ultra vires and in violation of various articles of the Indian constitution. With this, the former chief ministers will have to clear their dues of outstanding rent for government bungalows and other facilities.
Hearing on a public interest litigation filed by Rural Litigation and Entitlement Kendra (RLEK) the division bench of chief justice Ramesh Ranganathan and justice RC Khulbe declared that the Act’s section 4 A and its explanation along with sections 4 C and 7 were in violation of Article 14 of the Constitution of India. The counsel of the petitioners, Kartikey Hari Gupta informed that the court has further held that the provisions of Act are in violation of the doctrine of separation of powers. Additionally, the court has found the Act also in violation of Articles 202 to 207 of the Constitution of India. As an effect all the respondents are liable to pay the market rent and State is liable to calculate the money spent for all other facilities given to them as ex chief ministers of the State and recover the same, added Gupta.
The court observed that the state government had acted beyond its authority by passing the said Act. Directing the state government to collect the pending rents at market price and dues for other facilities provided to ex- CMs, the division bench disposed of the PIL.
According to the petitioners, the ex- CMs owe Rs 2.84 crore to the state government. This amount comprises Rs 40.95 lakh due from ex CM and current union HRD minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’, Rs 46.59 lakh due from BC Khanduri, Rs 47.75 lakh due from ex- CM and current Maharashtra governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari, and Rs 1.12 crore from the late ND Tiwari. It will be recalled that in the past the high court had directed the state to collect the dues from the ex- CMs. However, the State government passed the Act in 2019 to provide a waiver to the ex-CMs.
Wednesday, 10 June 2020 | PNS | Nainital
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