Responding to reports that he retained a bungalow in Ahmedabad allotted to him by the Gujarat government for over a year until at least late 2016 – more than a year after he was appointed to the Election Commission – Chief Election Commissioner A K Joti on Sunday said that he had not sought any undue favours from the state government.
“I was allocated a house in Delhi only after one year of being appointed in the EC. I requested the Gujarat government to allow me to keep possession of the house in the Dafnala area of Ahmedabad as I could not have lived with my wife for a year in Delhi's Gujarat Bhavan. I have paid the rent as per Gujarat government norms,” Joti was quoted by Times of India as saying.
The CEC added that once he was allotted a house by the government of India, he immediately vacated the Ahmedabad bungalow in October 2016.
He denied taking any undue favours from any government, adding that “all the facts are on record”.
Joti’s elucidation comes after a media report cited court documents filed before the Guwahati bench of the Central Administrative Tribunal, alleging that Joti was given a bungalow in Ahmedabad when he was in the Gujarat government.
However, he continued to stay in the bungalow even after he was appointed to the Election Commission, said the report.
The report claimed that the documents which belonged to the case files of 'Satish Verma IPS versus the state of Gujarat' available at the CAT, Guwahati, state that Joti had not vacated the bungalow allotted to him by the Gujarat government in Ahmedabad while he was in government service until at least late 2016 – more than a year after he had taken charge of a constitutional position that requires his complete independence from political parties and governments.
On this, Joti said that if the government had favoured him, he could have got a house in Delhi as soon as he moved to the Capital.
A K Joti was appointed to the Election Commission in May 2015, and on July 6, 2017, was appointed the chief election commissioner.