Shyam Lal Gakhar, who as inspector general of police attached with Punjab Lokpal had accused the government of harassing him, has got his reward: a notice to evict him from the 3-acre official house.
The government has slapped on him a penal rent of Rs. 1.97 lakh for each of the six months of overstay, while the going rent is only Rs. 3,000 a month.
He now is IG, policy and rules. In October 2011, as Lokpal inspector general, he was served a similar notice when leading an investigation against chief minister Parkash Singh Badal in a case about the running of Chandigarh private buses in Punjab.
At that time, Gakhar had accused the government of harassing him. Later, he was transferred to the Patiala Range as IG, which allowed him to hold the house. However, after the formation of the SAD-BJP-2 government in the state, he was again posted to Chandigarh on March 23.
"We served him many eviction notices," said AS Pannu, divisional commissioner of Patiala. "Under the new directions of the high court and government guidelines, we will use even force (to evict the house) and ask for attaching his salary."
In 2011, the court of the subdivisional magistrate (SDM) issued the warrants of possession, as the IG had overstayed in his government accommodation. "The department calculated the penal rent for overstay on commercial basis, which is more than Rs. 10 lakh now," said a source dealing with the estate officer.
Another at least 20 overstaying civil and police officials have been asked to vacate official houses. Deputy superintendents of police Arshdeep Singh Gill, Tarun Ratan, Sewa Singh, and Harvinder Singh (Tapa); former SDM Anil Garg; and Indian Police Service officer D Nirbale are prominent among them.
On directions from the divisional commissioner, the estate department has written to the IG of the Patiala range to either clear the house or hold the salaries of violators. Divisional commissioner himself will take action against the violators.
In spite of many attempts, IG Shyam Lal Gakhar could not be contacted for comments.