The Delhi High Court issued a notice to the central government to file an affidavit within a week and share the names of all the ex-MPs, MLAs and other government officials who are yet to vacate their government accommodation in the national capital.
As per a report in Livelaw, a division bench of Chief Justice DN Patel, and justice Hari Shankar also asked the central government to mention the amount that needs to be recovered from these ex-MPs, MLAs and government officials towards the payments of dues for overstaying in government dwellings.
The notice was issued over the PIL filed by the Anti Corruption Council of India. The PIL included the demands that
- The central government provides the details of all the ex-MPs, MLAs and government officials who have been overstaying in government bungalows
- The centre provides the details of the expenses incurred by the government for providing accommodation to present MPs and MLAs, who have been staying outside due to non-availability of government dwellings
The petitioners reportedly also stated that over 100 ex-government officers are also overstaying in their government accommodations in an illegal manner as they are not authorised to stay in these bungalows after the completion of service.
The petitioners have also argued that due to non-availability of government accommodations, many MPs are staying in expensive hotels on the Taxpayers’ money. They also added that an RTI enquiry seeking the above details has failed to get any response from the government.
The Delhi HC’s notice also reportedly included that, if the central government fails to furnish the affidavit within a week, the secretary will have to make a personal appearance before the court.
It is notable here that after the 17th Lok Sabha took the oath, ex-MPs were asked to vacate their government bungalows in Delhi. In August, when many of the ex-MPs still did not vacate the bungalows, the Lok Sabha housing committee, headed by CR Patil, had served a notice to over 200 former MPs who continued to occupy Lutyens bungalows.
The 17th Lok Sabha saw more than 260 MPs who have been elected for the first time in the lower house of the parliament. The government of India has been constructing duplex flats to accommodate the new MPs in Delhi’s North Avenue.
After 2014 elections too, a larger number of MPs had refused to leave their houses and it took a long time and lots of efforts in getting the houses vacated to accommodate newly elected MPs.
As per reports, even till October, over 50 ex-MPs were still occupying government bungalows in Delhi’s Lutyens area. On October 17, the 12-member committee led by Patil had sought the help of Delhi police to evict the 27 ex-MPs who were still occupying the government bungalows.