Ex-lawmakers occupying government housing without sanction to face heat

The court said the un-authorised occupants must not be allowed to retain government accommodations, including ministers’ bungalows and special houses and A-Type Quarters at the cost of public exchequer.

D A RASHID
Srinagar, Publish Date: Nov 14 2018 1:04AM | Updated Date: Nov 14 2018 1:04AM
Ex-lawmakers occupying government housing without sanction to face heatRepresentational Pic

The High Court on Tuesday directed the government to act sternly against former ministers, ex-legislators and others who have occupied government accommodations without sanction. 

 A bench of Justice Ali Muhammad Magrey also directed the inspectors general of police Kashmir and Jammu to provide assistance to director estates in case he faces resistance from the unauthorised occupants during eviction process. 

The court said the un-authorised occupants must not be allowed to retain government accommodations, including ministers’ bungalows and special houses and A-Type Quarters at the cost of public exchequer. 

“It is also made clear that any resistance made by any of the un-authorized occupants, including former ministers and former legislators shall be dealt with sternly and the authority shall proceed to evict them,” the court said, adding the law abiding functionaries are otherwise required to implement the law of the land. 

While the court said the execution of eviction process for the public interest shall be monitored by the chief secretary, it directed secretary estates department to file the latest status report with the approval of the chief secretary in terms of the directions passed. 

The Court also directed the secretary estates department to file details of the state functionaries who are allotted the accommodation that will be available after eviction. 

“He shall update the status with reference to the eviction of the un-authorised occupants by next date,” the court said. 

On October 23 this year, the Court had directed the government to clarify within three weeks its stand on eviction of unauthorised occupants from government accommodations. 

In terms of the said order, principal secretary estates department filed an affidavit stating the department has maintained the quota earmarked for the functionaries of the government in tune with the regulations of 2004. 

The affidavit reveals that the public persons including legislators and ex-legislators have a reserved quota under regulation 4 (e) and the allotment of accommodation to such persons is also considered on case to case basis. 

 The State administrative Council, according to the affidavit, has adopted Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for vacating government accommodation. 

The affidavit reveals that former ministers who have vacated one ministerial bungalow either at Srinagar or Jammu, are allowed to stay in the ministerial bungalows previously allotted in their favour up to 31 March 2019 at the place they have opted for retention on the payment of rent/licence fee twice the prescribed rates. 

The affidavit said that those former ministers who have not vacated the ministerial bungalows at both the places would be evicted from one of the bungalows, either at Jammu or Srinagar, in accordance with Jammu and Kashmir Public Premises (Eviction of Un-authorized occupants) Act, 1988. It further stated that the eviction proceedings have been initiated against those former ministers, MLAs/MLCs. 

The court was informed that the former ministers, MLAs/MLCs are allowed government accommodation at only one place of their choice for the entire year or till such time he/she is a member of either house of the Legislature in accordance with the Standard Operating Procedure referred above.

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