New Delhi: Overstaying in official bungalows by former ministers, ex-members of parliament and retired bureaucrats has again come under judicial scrutiny with Supreme Court on Friday.
Seeking Centre’s response on the issue was former Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) Vinod Rai who also brought the issue to notice.
A bench headed by chief justice R.M. Lodha took suo moto cognisance of a letter written by Rai who annexed a news report of a national daily alleging that 22 former Union ministers and retired bureaucrats are illegally occupying government accommodation.
The bench also appointed senior advocate Shyam Divan as amicus curiae to assist the court in the matter. The news report published on 8 May named former ministers Lalu Prasad, A. Raja, S.M. Krishna, Mukul Roy, Pawan Kumar Bansal, Subodh Kant Sahai, Mukul Wasnik, Harish Rawat and others as illegal occupiers of ministerial bungalows.
The list of illegal occupiers was given by government in response to a Right to Information (RTI) application filed by an activist Subhash Chandra Agrawal.
The reply under RTI said Raja resigned as minister in November 2010 but retained bungalow 2-A, Moti Lal Nehru Marg.
The report said Maran relinquished the post of Union minister in July 2011, Bansal resigned in May 2013, and Krishna has not been in the Union Cabinet since October 2012 - but all occupied Type VII or Type VII category houses.