Ex-CMs Not Entitled To Lifetime Allotment Of Govt. Bungalows, Holds Patna HC [Read Judgment]
“There is no provision in the Constitution that such an elected representative can claim or ask for a price after he demits office. A claim of this nature reflects as if it is something parasitical.”
The Patna High Court has struck down an amendment brought to Bihar Special Security Group Act, 2000 relating to life time allotment of Government premises for residential purposes to Ex-Chief Ministers, who have already demitted office.
The bench comprising Chief Justice Amreshwar Pratap Sahi and Justice Anjana Mishra observed that there is no provision in the Constitution that such an elected representative can claim or ask for a price after he demits office.
The bench said that there is no such concept of a life time privilege available for elected representatives after demitting office merely because they are in politic. It observed:
"This is a blatant example of over spending from the public exchequer and drawing from the well of finances that are already deficit. It is high time that the boundaries of such expenditure are re-drawn and funneling of State finances is checked. Not only has the Legislature exceeded in its authority against public interest, but the executive fiat of the State has also travelled beyond its legal and ethical limits, that is witnessed by the executive instructions which are examples of bureaucratic skills that eludes all ingenunities. The authority to confer such benefits on themselves in an unmeasured fashion is clearly unconstitutional and tends to reflect predatory instincts for usurping public exchequer. It is a collective expression of acquiring public property perpetually in the name of public service. The attitude therefore is divorced from morality and withers the faith of the public."
The court further observed that the law makers of the country have a patriotic duty to take right decisions and not claim compensations as presently involved under the garb of security. It said:
"To create a sanctuary for oneself that involves heavy finances and public resources, has to be viewed strictly under the parameters of the Constitution, that too even for a person who demits a public office which he has occupied for a fixed tenure on being elected by people. There is no provision in the Constitution that such an elected representative can claim or ask for a price after he demits office. A claim of this nature reflects as if it is something parasitical. It is a legacy of a continued red carpet treatment riding rough shod over the law. The legislation and the executive instructions are not based on reason so as to be called rational. They are not even moderate and therefore, there is no rationale behind the action under scrutiny. The apostle of modern India- Mahatma Gandhi and one of his disciples Shri Lal Bahadur Shashtri are examples who believed that democracy meant a Government of the People, by the People and for the People. In the present case, the extension of benefits after demitting office reflects a Government by the Law Makers unto themselves."
The court, quashing all the allotments made under the act, also called upon the allottees to vacate the premises allotted to them unless they are otherwise entitled to retain the same under any other law of allotment for the time being in force in the State of Bihar.