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Supreme Court says it would hold the state’s chief secretary liable if the State fails to comply with orders on eviction of VVIP squatters

The Supreme Court, on Wednesday (October 10), directed the Uttar Pradesh government to ensure that its earlier verdict ordering eviction of all former chief ministers from their government-allotted bungalows is complied with within the next four months.

The court has also said that the state government must collect, within these four months, the rent payable by these VVIP squatters for staying on these official bungalows as per the rules for calculation of such dues.

The bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and KM Joseph was hearing the petition filed by NGO Lok Prahari, which had two years ago, won a legal battle in the top court to evict former chief ministers of the state from their government-allotted bungalows. The petitioners had claimed that allowing VVIP squatters was causing grave financial losses to the State’s treasury.

During proceedings in the case , on Wednesday, the counsel for Lok Prahari informed the bench that the court’s orders were yet to be fully implemented.

Chief Justice Gogoi then sternly told the counsel appearing for the State of UP: “do it by eviction or do it by any other means… we give you four months to implement the directions”. The bench made it clear to the counsel for Uttar Pradesh government that the state must collect the rents due from the former chief ministers against their stay in official bungalows, evict the squatters and fine tune the system for future allotments of government bungalows.

It said that failure to comply with the directions would result in the Supreme Court holding the state’s chief secretary liable for the lapse.

— India Legal Bureau

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