The Supreme Court on Monday stayed contempt proceedings, initiated against Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal 'Nishank' for allegedly not complying with the Uttarakhand High Court order on payment of rent by former Chief Ministers for occupying government bungalows.
A bench comprising Justices Rohinton Fali Nariman, Navin Sinha and Hrishikesh Roy said: "Contempt proceedings stayed in the meanwhile". The order came on a plea filed by Pokhriyal.
In May, last year, the Uttarakhand High Court ordered former Chief Ministers to pay the market rent for the period they occupied the government accommodation after demitting office. It had pronounced "illegal" all government orders since 2001, which provided housing and other facilities to former Chief Ministers.
The order was passed on a plea by a Dehradun-based NGO. Later, this NGO filed a plea in the High Court alleging non-compliance of its order.
The High Court had directed the state government to compute all amount due and payable towards amenities -- electricity, water, petrol, oil and lubricants -- provided to the former Chief Ministers, and this process be completed within four months and the final amount be communicated to the former Chief Ministers.
Within six months from the date of communication of dues, the concerned amount should be deposited with the state government, it had said.