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Tuesday, Dec 10, 2019

Chandigarh admn imposes penal rent of ₹3.4 lakh on former Haryana chief secretary

Official accommodation in Sector 7 was not surrendered even when DS Dhesi was deputed in Delhi

chandigarh Updated: Dec 03, 2019 06:31 IST
Munieshwer A Sagar
Munieshwer A Sagar
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
         

UT administration has imposed a penal rent of ₹3.43 lakh on former Haryana chief secretary DS Dhesi for delay in surrendering his official accommodation in Chandigarh, it is learnt. Interest at 12% has also been levied on the penal rent.

The government accommodation refers to a Sector-7 house allotted to Dhesi, said a UT official, privy to the development. The penal rent has been imposed for the period between June 2010 and April 2011, when Dhesi was away at Delhi on deputation.

A 1982-batch IAS officer, Dhesi had served on several key posts in Haryana before he retired as the chief secretary of the state on June 30, 2019. “The matter of over-staying in the accommodation and non-payment of dues came to light when the no-dues certificate was to be issued on the retirement of the officer,” the UT official added.

On a four-and-a-half years’ central government deputation, Dhesi served in the department of commerce, Government of India, where he worked as joint secretary and additional secretary dealing with trade issues of Africa and West Asia. He is currently the chairman of the Haryana Electricity Regulatory Commission.

In the latest letter, issued by UT administration on November 22, 2019 to the Haryana chief secretary, details of the penal rent to be paid by Dhesi have been mentioned. This is the third letter on the matter to be issued within two months.

Dhesi did not immediately respond to calls and messages for comments.

WHAT THE RULES SAY

As per rules, in the case of retirement, dismissal and removal of service, the employee has to vacate the house in four months. In case of transfer outside Chandigarh, the official needs to vacate the house in six months. On deputation outside India, a period of one year is allowed.

Significantly, after directions from the Punjab and Haryana high court, the UT administration has been initiating drives to vacate official residences in case occupants have overstayed or failed to surrender them.

Door-to-door checking of all government houses of each type has also been undertaken. During the drive, details such as Aadhaar card, addresses and date of birth are verified. UT has also decided to check subletting of government houses by the allottees.

Recently, the UT house allotment committee had issued eviction notice on former IAS officer and UT home secretary Anil Kumar for over staying in a Sector-16 house.

PENAL RENT

The penal rent for over-staying in an official accommodation involves payment of 50 times the normal licence fee (government accommodation rent), besides interest at 12%. If the amount is not paid, the interest piles up for the period of non-payment of dues.