Two former Uttarakhand chief ministers on Wednesday moved the state high court seeking review of its order for recovery of rents at market rate for official bungalows occupied by them even after demitting office. A division bench of Chief Justice Ramesh Rangnathan and Justice Alok Kumar Verma of the Uttarakhand High Court is likely to hear the two former chief ministers' plea Thursday.
Former CMs Bhagat Singh Koshyari and Vijay Bahuguna sought the review of the high court's order contending that they were not told about the basis on which the rent dues were computed. Among other reasons, Bahuguna argued that even after quitting as the chief minister, he continued to be a member of the state assembly and was entitled to a government accommodation.
Accordingly, he should not be made to pay rent for that duration, he argued in his petition. The two former chief minister also contended that their bungalows were located in cantonment area while the rents were calculated at municipal rates.
They also argued that they had been authorised to stay in those houses by the state government and therefore could not be treated as illegal occupants. On a public interest litigation, the high court had earlier asked the state government to recover rents from all together five former chief ministers at market rates for the official bungalows occupied by them after demitting office.
Besides Koshiyari and Bahuguna, the three other former chief ministers who have been ordered to pay rents at market rates are late N D Tiwari, Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank and Bhuwan Chandra Khanduri.
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