Former prime ministers HD Deve Gowda, Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Manmohan Singh and former presidents Pratibha Patil and Pranab Mukherjee may lose their Lutyens’ Delhi government accommodations if the Supreme Court accepts suggestions by ex-solicitor general Gopal Subramanium.
Subramanium was appointed as amicus curiae by a bench of Justices Ranjan Gogoi and Navin Sinha had on August 23 last year to assist the court in deciding a PIL by NGO ‘Lok Prahari’. The PIL challenges a law enacted by the Uttar Pradesh government that entitles former CMs to official accommodations.
“We are of the view that the issue raised in this writ petition gives rise to questions of considerable public importance, which may also have an impact on pari materia (similar) legislation in force in different states and also central legislations, if any. We are of the view that there is necessity for indepth consideration and examination of the several facets of the issue involved.”
Subramanium said after the holders of top constitutional posts demit office they are back to being ordinary private citizens and, hence, ought to be granted no greater privilege than that afforded to other citizens of India. He also added that allocation of official bungalows to former Presidents, PMs and CMs violated the right to equality.
The matter has been posted for hearing by a bench of Justices Gogoi and R Bhanumathi on January 16.