No life-long bungalows to ex-CMs: Rajasthan HC

Jaipur: Former chief ministers of Rajasthan cannot avail life-long facilities like government bungalow, telephone and car, ruled the Rajasthan High Court here on Wednesday as it declared the Rajasthan Ministers’ Salaries (Amendment) Act 2017 “illegal”.

Announcing the verdict, a division bench of state Chief Justice S. Ravindra Bhatt and Justice Prakash Gupta observed that Rajasthan is an economically backward state and such life-long facilities for ex-CMs was a misuse of public funds.

The high court ruling came on a plea filed by senior journalist Milapchand Dandiya challenging the law that gave life-long facilities such as a government bungalow, car, driver, telephone services and a staff of 10 to former chief ministers of the state.

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Dandiya’s plea questioned the Rajasthan law referring to a Supreme Court order that quashed a similar Uttar Pradesh legislation, which granted permanent accommodation to the state’s former chief ministers.

The Rajasthan law was enacted by the former Vasundhara Raje government through an amendment in the Rajasthan Ministers’ Salaries Act, 1956.

The new law made state chief ministers, who completed their five-year tenure, eligible for a government accommodation either in Jaipur or in any district headquarter.

Former chief ministers Vasundhara Raje and Jagannath Pahadiya are among those taking benefits under the law.

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