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New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday struck down an amendment proposed by the Uttar Pradesh government seeking to allow former state chief ministers to continue living in their official accommodation after demitting office.

Striking down the amendment, a bench headed by justice Ranjan Gogoi said, “It is ultra vires the Constitution of India as it transgresses the quality clause under Article 14 of the Constitution of India."

The ruling is likely to bring under the scanner the allotment of official accommodation of former chief ministers including Mulayam Singh Yadav, Akhilesh Yadav, Mayawati, Kalyan Singh and Narayan Dutt Tiwari.

“Section 4(3) of the Uttar Pradesh Ministers (Salaries, Allowances and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 1981 would have the effect of creating a separate class of citizens for conferment of benefits by way of distribution of public property on the basis of previous public office held by them. Not only does the legislation recognize former holders of public office as a special class of citizens, it would appear to be arbitrary and discriminatory thereby violating the equality clause," the apex court said.

Holding the petition to be non-maintainable, the court added that it was a legislative exercise based on irrelevant and legally unacceptable consideration, unsupported by constitutional sanctity.

The court was ruling on a plea by NGO Lok Prahari challenging the validity of Section 4(3) of the Uttar Pradesh Ministers (Salaries, Allowances and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 1981.

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