New law aims at speedy eviction of ‘illegal occupants’ in govt houses

According to the amendment law, estate officers will issue a show-cause notice, seeking reply of unauthorised occupants within three days.
The Centre on Monday notified the newly amended Public Premises (eviction of unauthorised occupants) Act, 2019, aimed at ensuring speedy eviction of “illegal occupants” from government accommodations(HT Photo)
The Centre on Monday notified the newly amended Public Premises (eviction of unauthorised occupants) Act, 2019, aimed at ensuring speedy eviction of “illegal occupants” from government accommodations(HT Photo)
Updated on Sep 17, 2019 12:24 AM IST
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New Delhi | ByAnisha Dutta

The Centre on Monday notified the newly amended Public Premises (eviction of unauthorised occupants) Act, 2019, aimed at ensuring speedy eviction of “illegal occupants” from government accommodations, a task which would usually take a minimum of five to seven weeks.

According to the amendment law, estate officers will issue a show-cause notice, seeking reply of unauthorised occupants within three days. Under the previous version of the law, eviction proceedings from “public premises” used to take around five to seven weeks, and four more weeks if the occupants filed appeal before the district court under the Act.

“However, eviction proceedings take much longer period than the timeline prescribed in the act. Sometimes, it takes years to evict the unauthorised occupants, especially, if the unauthorised occupant approaches higher courts,” an official at the ministry of housing and urban affairs said on the condition of anonymity. “ The occupants would usually challenge the eviction notices seeking flimsy excuses from the courts which in turn would drag the entire process for months and sometimes even years.”

The Lok Sabha Housing Committee in August had issued a notice to nearly 200 former MPs asking them to vacate their accommodations immediately, and also threatened to cut their power and water supply if they failed to comply with the notice. According to officials, nearly half of them are yet to vacate their accommodations.

“ It is often seen that the unauthorised occupants do not vacate government accommodation after the end of eligibility, as per the terms and conditions of the licence... and use dilatory tactics to hold the accommodation by challenging the eviction order before an appellate officer or before the High Court and obtaining stay on the eviction order,” ministry spokesperson Rajeev Jain said.

In a bid to check this delay, it was also proposed to insert a new sub-section in the act to the effect that if the person challenges the eviction order passed by the estate officer in any court, he has to pay the damages for every month for the residential accommodation held by him after the licence expires.

According to the amended law, if the person challenges the eviction order passed by the estate officer in any court, he has to pay the damages for every month for the residential accommodation held by him in an unauthorised manner.

“The amount would depend on the licence held by the occupant, if the licence amount was for 1000 the occupant will have to pay nearly 50 times that amount each month,” Jain added.

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Tuesday, January 18, 2022