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SC judgment may leave Mulayam, Mayawati, Akhilesh looking for new homes in Lucknow; all you need to know

Former Uttar Pradesh chief ministers Akhilesh Yadav, Mulayam Singh Yadav and Mayawati may soon be looking for new private accommodations, vacating government bungalows in state capital Lucknow. This comes after the Supreme Court on Monday trashed the amendment to a Uttar Pradesh legislation, which allowed former state heads to retain government accommodation even after demitting the office. The three former chief ministers of the state are currently residing in government bungalows in Lucknow. In its order, the bench headed by Justice Ranjan Gogoi said the legislation violated the concept of equality and was ultra vires to the Constitution since it transgresses the concept of equality under the Constitution. It further held the amendment was arbitrary, discriminatory and violates the concept of equality. It added that once a chief minister demits his\/her office, there is nothing to distinguish them from the common man. On April 19, the Court had reserved its verdict on an NGOs plea, challenging amendments to the UP legislation, which allowed ex-chief ministers of the state to continue occupying government bungalows. After the verdict, it is expected that similar legislation in other states might also come under challenge. The NGO had challenged amendments made by the erstwhile Akhilesh Yadav government to the UP Ministers (Salaries, Allowances and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 1981. The NGO also challenged another UP law of 2016 called The Allotment of Houses under Control of the Estate Department Bill-2016. The law regulated the allotment of government accommodation to trusts, journalists, political parties, speaker and deputy speaker of the legislative assembly, judicial officers and government officials. In a 2016 verdict, the top court had suggested that the practice of allotting government bungalows to former chief ministers of Uttar Pradesh was bad in law and they should hand over possession of bungalows occupied by them in two months. The court had also said the state government should recover appropriate rent from occupants of these bungalows. Reacting to the verdict, Srikant Sharma, the official spokesperson of the UP government said, Government will study the courts order and thereafter the order will be accepted as per law.