Nainital / Dehradun: The Uttarakhand High Court on Wednesday dismissed the pleas of former chief ministers Bhagat Singh Koshiyari and Vijay Bahuguna seeking review of its order to the state government to recover from market-rate rents from them for overstaying in their official bungalows.
A bench of Chief Justice Ramesh Ranganathan and Justice R C Khulbe turned down their pleas, saying they are devoid of merit and not legally sustainable.
The time taken in the revie proceedings will not affect the duration of six months from the date of the order (May 3, 2019) within which the respondents were directed to pay rent dues as per market rate," said Kartikeya Hari Gupta, the counsel for a Dehradun-based NGO, which had moved the court for recovery of rents from the former CMs.
Both former chief ministers had argued before the court that before computing the rent dues, they should have been heard by the state.
Countering their argument, Gupta told the court that this ground was completely false and baseless as their counsel were not only heard but specifically asked during the arguments if they wanted to reply on the computation of rent.
None of the counsel dispued the amount of rent at that time, argued Gupta, adding this make them ineligible to take up this argument in review pleas. The counsel for Vijay Bahuguna sought to justify his client's overstay arguing that he had been a judge of the Bombay High Court, besides being a former MLA and MP. The court, however, said past services as a high court judge or an MLA or MP cannot be a ground for allotment of palatial bungalows as former chief minister.