The Patna High Court on Tuesday said former chief ministers of Bihar cannot occupy government bungalows allotted to them for a lifetime. The court directed former state chief ministers, including incumbent Nitish Kumar, to vacate these bungalows, IANS reported. Kumar still retains a bungalow he was allotted during his last term as chief minister, while residing in another official bungalow.
Former Chief Ministers Lalu Prasad Yadav, Rabri Devi, Jitan Ram Manjhi and Jagannath Mishra also continue to hold on to their official bungalows, as does Satish Prasad Singh, who was chief minister for five days in 1968.
On January 8, the Patna High Court had issued notices to the Bihar government and all former chief ministers, as well as Nitish Kumar, for being allotted official bungalows for a lifetime. The court also sought to know why it should not quash a law passed in 2010, which allows for bungalows to be allotted for life.
The court had issued the notice while rejecting a plea filed by Rashtriya Janata Dal leader and former Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav against the verdict of a single-judge bench in October last year. The bench had turned down his petition against the state government’s direction to vacate the government bungalow.
On February 8, the Supreme Court dismissed Yadav’s plea against the order passed by the Patna High Court’s division bench. A bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna imposed a fine of Rs 50,000 on Yadav for challenging the High Court decision.