New Delhi: Parliament on Tuesday passed a bill for speedy eviction of unauthorised occupants from government residential accommodations, with Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri saying the legislation will have a deterrent effect.
The upper house passed by voice vote the Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Amendment Bill, 2019, which has strict provisions to evict illegal occupants from government property allotted to members of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha and government officials.
The bill, which has been passed by Lok Sabha on 31 July, would enable the estate officer to apply summary proceedings for evicting the unauthorised occupants after a three-day notice.
Cutting across party lines, MPs supported the bill, even though some opposition members expressed apprehension about the misuse of its provisions.
Responding to the debate on the Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Amendment Bill, 2019, Minister of Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri said it also has provisions for seeking damages on a monthly basis from the occupants for holding the property during the litigation period.
"Passage of this bill will have a deterrent value," said Puri. He added that there are over 3,000 unauthorised occupants of government accommodations. "Many of them (cases) are pending in court," said Puri.
He said that this time 300 new MPs have been elected and several of them are waiting for their new accommodation. Lok Sabha results were declared on 23 May and all members
who lost elections were supposed to vacate the homes by 23 June, but even after more than two months the ministry is still issuing routine notices, he said.
The Centre has to evict unauthorised occupants from government accommodations under the provisions of the PPE Act, 1971. However, the eviction proceedings take unusually long
time, thereby reducing the availability of government accommodations to new incumbents.
Under the proposed bill, the estate officer will not be required to follow elaborate proceedings like serving notice, show cause, inquiry, rather he or she can initiate summary eviction proceedings.
The proposed amendments would enable the estate officer to apply summary proceedings for evicting unauthorised occupants from residential accommodations and to levy damage charges for accommodation held during the period of litigation.
Among those who supported the Bill were Amar Patnaik (BJD) and Ram Nath Thakur (JDU) P Wilson (DMK) suggested that at least 15 days should be given for vacating the residential houses allotted to government officials.
Anil Desai (SS) also supported the bill, and said, "There is an apprehension of misuse of the power being given under the bill by estate officer." BP Baishya (AGM) also supported the Bill and asked the government to come out with a mechanism for speedy allotment of accommodation to Members of Parliament.
Madhusudan Mistry suggested that Members of Parliament should be giving House Rent Allowance of Rs 50,000 to Rs 60,000 per month instead of allotting houses. He said that the condition of the House is not good and on an average, an MP gets 110 square meters of space.
A Navaneethakrishnan (AIADMK), Binoy Viswam (CPI), Manish Gupta (TMC) and VP Nishad and K Somaprasad (CPM) also participated in the debate
Updated Date: Aug 06, 2019 23:32:53 IST