No more house and staff for life to Ex-CMs in Rajasthan

In a landmark decision, the Rajasthan High Court based at Jaipur has quashed a 2017 law which allowed ex-chief ministers of Rajasthan to avail government accommodation and be helped by 10 staff for their entire lives.

What has happened?

  • A special division bench of the Rajasthan High Court headed by Chief Justice Ravindra Bhat has quashed the Rajasthan Ministers” Salaries (Amendment) Act, 2017.
  • The Rajasthan Ministers” Salaries (Amendment) Act, 2017 provided extra facilities like government accommodation and a staff of 10 people to all the former chief ministers of the state.

Why was the law opposed?

  • A petition against this law had been filed by a set of concerned journalists who had argued in their petition that due to Rajasthan being a ‘financially backward’ state, it should not squander its limited resources to provide this type of extravagant facilities to its former chief ministers as it would put a heavy burden on the state exchequer.
  • Such type of law has now analogs or peers anywhere in India or abroad and is the very anathema to the principles of social justice and equality.

What happens now?

  • Based on this petition, the court held that the law was unconstitutional and hence had no validity for its implementation.

The court, however, has allowed the state to enact a law which would provide the former chief ministers with the services of one staff who would enact their secretarial duties or the state should provide the money to the ex-chief minister to hire such staff.

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