The Punjab government told the Punjab and Haryana high court on Friday that it had issued an eviction notice to former cabinet minister Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, who has been illegally occupying government accommodation since March 2012.
The information was submitted before the bench headed by justice Rajesh Bindal through an affidavit filed by Ramesh Kumar, undersecretary in the Punjab government's general administration department.
The officer also stated that House number 46, occupied by Bhattal in Sector 2, Chandigarh, in the Punjab chief minister's pool had been further allotted to leader of the Opposition Sunil Kumar Jakhar.
The court was also told that eviction proceedings had been initiated against Bhattal, but still Rs. 66.65 lakh were yet to be recovered from her from March 22 to November 15, 2012, on account of penal rent. Kumar also submitted a list of houses occupied by various ministers and also the vacant ones.
However, petitioner Rajinder Kumar's counsel SPS Tinna, countering the affidavit, argued that the state government had not initiated eviction proceedings under the Public Premises (Eviction of unauthorised occupants) Act, 1971, and no notice under Section 4 of the Act had been issued to Bhattal. He added that it was also evident from the fact that no copy of the eviction notice had been placed on record by the government authorities.
The court was also told that the authorities were trying to mislead the court under political influence. The bench posted the case for further arguments on January 15.