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Throw Buta Singh out of govt bungalow: SC
By BS Correspondent | October 25, 2005 00:13 IST
The Supreme Court judges Monday came down heavily on Bihar Governor Buta Singh and 464 other VIPs who were occupying official bungalows in the capital though they had no right to do so.
Buta Singh's name was on the top of the list produced by the government on the orders of the court. This provoked a bench comprising Justice BN Agrawal and Justice AK Mathur to ask the Additional Solicitor-General Gopal Subramaniam how the Bihar governor could occupy his bungalow in Delhi. "Throw him out," the judges remarked.
"Buta Singh is governor of Bihar. What is he doing here. How can he be occupying a house here. The governor cannot have a house here," the bench said.
Singh has been in unauthorised possession of 9, Lodhi Estate since March 6, 2004.
The judges said the law of eviction had become an utter failure because the people who laid down the law were themselves violating it by overstaying. "The list shows the expanse of the problem," the judges observed.
The list of leaders overstaying in their government bungalows included three general secretaries of the Congress, Communist Party of India-Marxist leader Harkishan Singh Surjeet, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav, Bharatiya Janata Party leaders Rajnath Singh and Jaswant Singh.
The judges, while dealing with the eviction of a state government servant in Bangalore, had observed earlier that this problem was not confined to the states, but the national capital was also affected by it.
They turned that case into a public interest litigation and asked the attorney-general to produce the list of those who were overstaying in the government accommodation. The list produced today sparked the vitriolic comments by the judges.
The court expressed its anguish over the failure to implement the provisions of the Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised occupants) Act, 1971.
The list also includes the unauthorised occupation of the house allotted to former prime minister PV Narasimha Rao, which is now being used by his family members. Eviction proceedings have been initiated in this case. The names of several bureaucrats and journalists also figured in the list of those who have been overstaying in government accommodation.
The case will be heard again on November 16.
Meanwhile, the Samajwadi Party today refuted the Centre's claim before the Supreme Court that Mulayam Singh was "unauthorisedly" occupying a bungalow in Delhi saying the UP 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 in New Delhi.