The Supreme Court on Monday quashed an amendment made in Uttar Pradesh state laws allowing former chief ministers to occupy government bungalows. The top court said that such a legislation is “arbitrary, discriminatory and unsupported by the Indian Constitution”, Live Law reported.

In invalidating the amendment, the court struck down Section 4(3) of the UP Ministers (Salaries, Allowances and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 2016. The former Akhilesh Yadav-led Samajwadi Party government had made the amendment.

“Such laws create a separate class. Once public servants demit office there should be nothing to distinguish them from a common man,” the court said.

A bench of Justices Ranjan Gogoi and R Banumathi was delivering a verdict on a Public Interest Litigation that non-governmental organisation Lok Prahari had filed. According to the PIL, in a verdict in August 2016, the Supreme Court had said that allotment of government bungalows to former chief ministers was bad in law and they should hand over possession of these houses. Lok Prahari alleged that the amendment was made only to circumvent the court’s verdict.

“We have extensively relied on the preamble of the Constitution which embodies the principle of equality and recognises only a single class of citizens,” the court said on Monday. “In a democratic republic government, public servants must act in a manner such that ultimate authority is vested in the citizens.”