President Ram Nath Kovind all set to be Sonia Gandhi’s neighbour : The Tribune India

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President Ram Nath Kovind all set to be Sonia Gandhi’s neighbour

Final touches being given to his retirement home, 12 Janpath

President Ram Nath Kovind all set to be Sonia Gandhi’s neighbour

A security personnel stand guard at the 12 Janpath, new residence of President Ram Nath Kovind whose term in office expires today, in New Delhi on Sunday. Tribune photo: Manas Ranjan Bhui

Tribune News Service

Aditi Tandon

New Delhi, July 24

President Ram Nath Kovind whose term in office expires today will shift into his new residence, 12 Janpath, by Monday.

The President was allotted 12 Janpath as his retirement home in June this year after the Urban Affairs Ministry completed the eviction process of the bungalow occupied previously by the family of late union minister Ram Vilas Paswan.

President Kovind's personal belongings have been shifted to the bungalow located at a stone's throw from Congress president Sonia Gandhi's house 10 Janpath over some days now.

Final shifting is being done today ahead of President and his wife Savita Kovind’s occupancy of the residence starting Monday.

Droupadi Murmu, the President Elect, India’s 15th head of state, will be sworn in tomorrow.

President Kovind's new residence, 12 Janpath, is famous for being one of the largest bungalows in the Lutyens Zone of central Delhi.

It was in August 2021 first allotted to Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw who could not move in because Jamui Lok Sabha MP and late Ram Vilas Paswan's son Chirag Paswan had not vacated the house. Vaishnaw therefore moved to another official house, 32, Prithviraj Road, pending eviction of 12 Janpath occupants.

It was after the Delhi high court dismissed Paswan family’s petition for more time to vacate the premises in March this year that the Directorate of Estate under the Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry began eviction proceedings against Chirag Paswan, who finally vacated 12 Janpath on March 30 this year. The place had been the late Ram Vilas Paswan’s residence for nearly three decades.

Under The President's (Emoluments and) Pension Act, 1951, a past President is entitled to a monthly pension of Rs 1.5 lakh and several other benefits, including free furnished residence.

The Act states that the Past President is also for the remainder of his life entitled to the use of a furnished residence (including maintenance), without payment of rent, two telephones (one for internet and broadband connectivity), one mobile phone with national roaming facility and a motor-car, free of charge or to such car allowance as may be specified in the rules; to secretarial staff consisting of a Private Secretary, one Additional Private Secretary, one Personal Assistant, two peons, and office expenses up to Rs 60,000 per annum; medical attendance and treatment free of charge; travel anywhere in India accompanied by one person by the highest class by air, rail or steamer.

The law says that the spouse of every past President will also, for the remainder of life, be entitled to medical attendance and treatment, free of charge.

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