SC seeks details of unauthorised occupants of govt houses

New Delhi, Nov 7 :

The Supreme Court Friday asked the Centre to place before it the details of people who are in unauthorised occupation of VIP bungalows in Lutyens’ Zone in New Delhi that accommodates India’s power elite.

Supreme CourtThe bench of Chief Justice H.L. Dattu and Justice A.K. Sikri asked Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar to file an affidavit giving details of the number of accommodations available in category 6, 7 and 8 and how many were allocated under the discretionary quota and how many were staying unauthorisedly.

The court said the guidelines issued by it July 5 on vacating government accommodation would continue to remain in operation.

The guidelines included a time-frame for vacating government accommodation by judges, government officials and lawmakers on their retirement or ceasing to occupy the office.

Asking the government to furnish the information by Nov 24 before the start of the winter session of parliament, the court asked for a fresh affidavit as it found that the affidavit filed by the government was not satisfactory.

The government told the court that former ministers, including Pawan Kumar Bansal, A. Raja, Dayanidhi Maran, S.M. Krishna, Mukul Wasnik, C.P. Joshi and Mukul Roy have vacated their premises.

Counsel Meenakshi Arora, who is assisting the court in the matter, said there were people who continue to occupy such bungalows for over two years now, even though they were not entitled to.

She told the court that Saroj Kumari, the widow of late leader Arjun Singh, was occupying the accommodation on health grounds.

The court was told that people who were in authorised occupation of government accommodations were ones who can afford to have alternate accommodation.

The hearing relates to the apex court taking suo motu cognizance of a letter written by former Comptroller and Auditor General Vinod Rai on the illegal occupation of government accommodation.

Rai on July 18, 2014, wrote the letter based on media reports that said 22 former ministers and bureaucrats were in unauthorised occupation of government accommodations.


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