U’khand HC sets Feb 15 deadline for ex-CMs to vacate bungalows

Nainital: With most former chief ministers yet to vacate the bungalows allotted to them, the Uttarakhand High Court today set them a deadline of February 15 warning them of stern measures including forced eviction if they fail to meet it.

Uttarakhand Chief Justice K M Joseph who quashed President's rule in the state has been transferred to the High Court of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.
Uttarakhand Chief Justice K M Joseph.

Taking serious note of most former chief ministers shying away from vacating the premises allotted to them, a division bench of Chief Justice K M Joseph and Justice V K Bisht said they should file an affidavit in the court by December 14 saying they will vacate the premises allotted to them by February 15, the petitioner’s counsel Kartikeya Hari Gupta said.

In case they fail to meet the fresh deadline, the court will have to pass strict orders to ensure that the former chief ministers vacate the bungalows including taking recourse to forced eviction, the Chief Justice said.

Initially the court had asked the former chief ministers to vacate the premises by January 31.

However, it slightly modified the order when the former chief ministers sought extension of the deadline through their lawyers.

The only former chief minister to have vacated his premises in response to an earlier court order in this regard is Bhagat Singh Koshiyari.

The rest of them including N D Tiwari, Bhuvan Chandra Khanduri, Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank and Vijay Bahuguna are yet to follow suit.

The court also directed the state government to file an affidavit by December 14 when the petition comes up for hearing again specifying the amount it plans to recover by way of rent from the former chief ministers.