January 29, 2023

‘Non-payment of dues’: SC stays contempt proceedings against Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank

The Uttarakhand High Court had on May 3 last year ordered the former chief ministers of the state to pay market rent for the entire period they continued to occupy government accommodation since demitting office.

The Supreme Court on Monday stayed the Uttarakhand High Court’s contempt proceedings against Union Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal for allegedly failing to pay rent for the government bungalow he was staying in.

A bench headed by Justice R F Nariman stayed the contempt proceedings on a plea filed by the Union Minister of Education.

The Uttarakhand High Court had on May 3 last year ordered the former chief ministers of the state to pay market rent for the entire period they continued to occupy government accommodation since demitting office. The high court had declared all government orders from 2001 providing housing and other facilities to former chief ministers in the state as illegal and unconstitutional.

The court had directed that all amount due and payable towards amenities such as electricity, water, petrol, oil and lubricants provided by the state to the former chief ministers shall be computed by the state government within four months from the date of receipt of the copy of the order.

After the last year’s order, the NGO had filed a plea in the high court alleging non-compliance of the order.

In August this year, the Uttarakhand High Court issued show-cause notices to three former chief ministers and the state chief secretary while hearing a contempt petition over non-compliance of its order to clear dues for facilities used by the state’s ex-CMs for years. Among the former chief minister named in the plea were Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank and Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari.

 

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