The Uttarakhand High Court today once again asked former chief ministers of the state occupying government bungalows here to specify a time-frame for vacating them. Hearing a petition filed by activist Avdhash Kaushal in 2010, a division bench comprising Justice K M Joseph and Justice V K Bisht asked the five ex-CMs to give a written undertaking by tomorrow, spelling the time-frame for vacating the bungalows, petitioner's lawyer Kartikeyan Gupta said. The directive came after the state government submitted to it copies of its orders, asking the former CMs to vacate their official bungalows by December 16. The High Court had asked the state government on October 7 to explain the steps taken by it to evacuate the government bungalows occupied by former CMs, years after demitting office. The notices have been issued to five former CMs, including N D Tiwari, Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank, Bhuvan Chandra Khanduri, Bhagat Singh Koshiyari and Vijay Bahuguna. The High Court also rejected Bahuguna's request for extension of the two-month deadline to six months to vacate his premises.
It also turned down Tiwari's request for exemption on grounds of sickness. Armed with a recent Supreme Court order directing former chief ministers of Uttar Pradesh to vacate government bungalows occupied by them for years in Lucknow after demitting office, Kaushal, a Padmashree awardee, had sought early hearing and disposal of his six-year-old petition on a similar matter at the Uttarakhand High Court.
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