NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Friday sought the Centre’s response on the issue of former ministers, ex-MPS and retired bureaucrats occupying official bungalows. A Bench headed by Chief Justice R M Lodha took suo motu cognisance of a letter written by former CAG Vinod Rai alleging that 22 former Union ministers and retired bureaucrats were illegally occupying government accommodation. The Bench appointed senior advocate Shyam Divan as amicus curiae to assist the court in the matter.
Rai cited a news report published on May 8 that named former ministers Lalu Prasad, A Raja, S M Krishna, Mukul Roy, Pawan Kumar Bansal, Subodh Kant Sahai, Mukul Wasnik, Harish Rawat and others as illegal occupiers of ministerial bungalows.
The list of illegal occupiers was given by government in response to an RTI application filed by activist Subhash Chandra Agrawal that stated that Raja resigned as minister in November 2010, but retained bungalow 2-A, Moti Lal Nehru Marg. Maran relinquished his post in July 2011, Bansal resigned in May 2013, and Krishna has not been in the Union Cabinet since October 2012, but all occupied Type VII or Type VII category houses. The unauthorised occupation of government accommodation is in violation of the apex court’s last year verdict delivered on July 7 in which it had allowed authorities to use reasonable force for their eviction. It had also set a time-frame up to two months for the people concerned to vacate the official accommodation after the end of their entitlement period.