JABALPUR: The Madhya Pradesh High Court here today directed the state government to have the bungalows allotted to former chief ministers in Bhopal vacated within a month.
With this order, former chief ministers Kailash Joshi, Digvijay Singh and Uma Bharti are set to lose their government bungalows in the state capital.
A division bench of Chief Justice Hemant Gupta and Justice A K Shrivastava held that section 5 (1) of the MP Mantri Vetan Thatha Bhata Adhiniyam 1972 (MP Minister's Salaries and Allowances Act), incorporated last year, was "unconstitutional", said advocate Vipin Yadav, the lawyer of petitioner Raunak Yadav.
Former chief ministers had got government bungalows thanks to this amendment to the act, advocate Yadav said.
The court also disposed of the PIL.
"My client had moved the court arguing that allotment of bungalows to former chief ministers was in violation of Article 14 (right to equality) of Constitution," Yadav said.
During the argument today, Yadav said that he drew the court's attention of last month's Supreme Court order to former chief ministers of Uttar Pradesh to vacate their government bungalows.
The Apex Court's order had come on a PIL regarding an amendment passed by the UP Assembly which allowed former chief ministers to occupy government bungalows for lifetime.
The apex court on May 7 struck down the amendment to the UP Ministers (Salaries, Allowances and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 1981, saying it violated the principle of equality.