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Supreme Court Stays Contempt Proceedings Against Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari Over Alleged Non-Payment Of Rent Of Govt. Bungalow

Radhika Roy
8 Dec 2020 6:53 AM GMT
Supreme Court Stays Contempt Proceedings Against Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari Over Alleged Non-Payment Of Rent Of Govt. Bungalow
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The Supreme Court on Tuesday stayed the contempt proceedings which was sought to be initiated against Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari by the Uttarakhand High Court which had issued notice on the same. The contempt proceedings stem from the alleged failure of the Governor to follow an order of payment of market rent for a government bungalow which was allocated to him in...

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The Supreme Court on Tuesday stayed the contempt proceedings which was sought to be initiated against Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari by the Uttarakhand High Court which had issued notice on the same. 

The contempt proceedings stem from the alleged failure of the Governor to follow an order of payment of market rent for a government bungalow which was allocated to him in his capacity as a Chief Minister.

A Bench of Justices Rohinton F. Nariman, KM Joseph and Krishna Murari heard the submissions of Senior Advocate Aman Sinha, and proceeded to stay the contempt proceedings and issued notice to the State of Uttarakhand. The matter has been tagged with the pending plea.

The plea filed by Koshyari states "that the aforesaid amount of market rent has been arrived at without any rational (sic) and is highly exorbitant for a residential premises in Dehradun and have been ascertained without affording an opportunity of participation of the petitioner in the process, which renders the process of determination of market rent arbitrary, discriminatory and violative of principles of natural justice," the plea states, towards the total stipulated dues amounting to Rs. 47,57,158/-."

It is contended that no legal order was passed by any lawful authority determining the said market rent was ever supplied to the petitioner or submitted before the High Court but the ascertained amounts were placed before High Court on affidavit, which were approved by the Court without applying any judicial mind to ascertain the legality and correctness of the determination.

"The aforesaid affidavit dated February 12, 2019 was never served upon the petitioner or any other Ex-Chief Minister nor were they given an opportunity to participate in the proceeding of determination of market rent of residential premises allotted them"

Koshyari, while seeking stay of the High Court orde,r has contended that since he is the sitting Governor of Maharashtra, Article 361 of the Constitution shall be invoked, which provides protection to President and Governors for invocation of such proceedings.

The Governor has stated that he was in occupation of the residential premises under an order issued by a lawful authority under a rule, which was not in dispute at the time of allotment and vacated the same as soon as he was required by law to do so.

The Uttarakhand High Court on May 3 last year had ordered former Chief Ministers of the state to pay market rent for the entire period they continued to occupy government accommodation even after they demitted office.

On October 26, the Top Court had stayed Contempt proceedings initiated by Uttarakhand High Court in the case concerning alleged non-payment of rents by former Chief Minister of Uttarakhand, Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank (present Union Human Resource Development Minister).


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