Evict Buta Singh from Delhi house, says SC
New Delhi, October 24
After perusing a list submitted by the Centre, which was virtually a “whose who” of the Indian politicians allegedly occupying the bungalows either unauthorisedly or far bigger in size than their entitlement under the rules, a Bench of Mr Justice B N Agrawal and Mr Justice A K Mathur took strong objection to the Bihar Governor Buta Singh continuing to retain the house in Delhi despite being settled in Raj Bhawan of the State.
After finding the name of Buta Singh at the top of the list at number 1, the court anguished, over the failure of the government to implement the eviction orders, observed “How can a Governor have a (government) house in Delhi. Throw him out.”
“The law for eviction has become an utter failure. Persons who have lay down the laws are themselves overstaying,” the court observed, while seeking complete report from the Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Gopal Subramanium about the provisions for the allotment and eviction of houses to the VIPs and government officials by November 6, the next date of hearing.
The government submitted two separate lists, first comprising of 465 names of VIPs and government officials staying illegally in government houses and second of those political leaders who were occupying ministerial bungalows of which they were not entitled to under the law, after a direction was issued by the apex court earlier.
As per the first list, the alleged violators of the rules apart from Buta Singh, Surjeet, Mulayam Singh, included three Congress General Secretaries whose names were withheld, family members of former Prime Minister P V Narasimha Rao, former ministers Jaswant Singh, Rajnath Singh, Satya Narayan Jatiya and Rajmata Gayatri Devi Punjab Kesri Editor Ashwani Kumar and scores of others. Besides, the governments of Jammu and Kashmir, Rajasthan, Jharkhand and Mizoram were also illegal occupants of big bungalows in VIP area of the capital.
The second list of VIPs, occupying houses bigger than their entitlement, contained a total of 36 names, including that of Jyotiraditya Scindia, Omar Abdullah, Amar Singh, Sukhbir Singh Badal, George Fernandes, Maneka Gandhi, Ajit Singh, Nitish Kumar, Vinod Khanna, Jagdish Tytler, A B A Ghani Khan Chaudhary, M Venkaiah Naidu, M M Joshi, Yashwant Sinha, Sharad Yadav, Najma Heptulla, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Ram Jethmalani, Arun Jaitley and others.
Most of the 36 persons were, on one time or the other, ministers in the Centre and now elected to the Lok Sabha or were Rajya Sabha MPs, but had not yet shifted to smaller houses as per their entitlement as members of Parliament.
The government counsel submitted that in many cases the stay was granted by civil courts and the Delhi High Court against the eviction notices issued by the Estate Department of Housing and Urban Development Ministry.
Mulayam “paying rent”
The Samajwadi Party today refuted the Centre’s claim before the Supreme Court that party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav was “unauthorisedly” occupying a bungalow in the national capital saying the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister was paying rent for it. “He is not an unauthorised occupant (of the bungalow). He pays rent of nearly Rs 1.75 lakh per month for it,” SP leader Amar Singh told reporters here. The Additional Soliticor General had submitted a list of alleged “unauthorised” occupants of bungalows in Lutyen’s Delhi before the apex Court today in which Yadav’s name figured. But Singh claimed that the “correct facts” had not been put before the Court. “How can a bungalow be forcibly occupied if rent is being paid for it,” he asked.
“He is not an unauthorised occupant (of the bungalow). He pays rent of nearly Rs 1.75 lakh per month for it,” SP leader Amar Singh told reporters here.
The Additional Soliticor General had submitted a list of alleged “unauthorised” occupants of bungalows in Lutyen’s Delhi before the apex Court today in which Yadav’s name figured.
But Singh claimed that the “correct facts” had not been put before the Court. “How can a bungalow be forcibly occupied if rent is being paid for it,” he asked. — PTI