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Govt Bungalow Row: Maha Guv Koshyari Moves SC Against Contempt Proceedings

Referring to Article 361 of the Constitution which provides protection to President and Governors from invoking any such proceedings, Koshyari sought a stay on the high court order. 

After the Uttarakhand High Court issued a notice on a plea for initiating a contempt proceeding against him for his failure to follow its order to pay market rent for a government bungalow allocated to him as a former chief minister, Maharashtra governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari has now moved the Supreme Court against it.

Contending that he is the sitting Governor of Maharashtra and referring to Article 361 of the Constitution which provides protection to President and Governors from invoking any such proceedings, Koshyari sought a stay on the high court order.

The amount of market rent has been arrived at without any rational and is highly exorbitant for residential premises in Dehradun and have not been ascertained without affording an opportunity to hear him, the plea said.

Senior advocate Aman Sinha will represent Maharashtra Governor in the matter before the apex court.

The Uttarakhand High Court, in May last year, had ordered former chief ministers of the state to pay market rent for the period they occupied government accommodation after demitting office. All government orders since 2001, which provided housing and other facilities to former chief ministers, were deemed illegal by the high court. On a plea by a Dehradun-based NGO, this particular order was passed. The NGO, later, filed a plea in the high court alleging non-compliance of its order.

In an identical matter last year, Sinha had argued against contempt proceedings initiated against Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal for allegedly not complying with the Uttarakhand High Court order on payment of rent by former chief ministers of the state for occupying government bungalows.

 

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