For 4 decades,illegal occupants in houses for ‘poor’https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/chandigarh/for-4-decades-illegal-occupants-in-houses-for-poor/

For 4 decades,illegal occupants in houses for ‘poor’

Rehabilitation loophole: HC directs UT to find out cases of double fraud,resale of houses by ‘poor’

Rehabilitation loophole: HC directs UT to find out cases of double fraud,resale of houses by ‘poor’

Thanks to the magnanimity shown by the Chandigarh Administration,people after having illegally purchased houses from the “poor” allotted to them under the rehabilitation scheme,continued to stay,without any check,for nearly four decades.

A survey conducted by the administration,on the directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court,revealed that in hundreds of instances,illegal purchasers have been living for several decades,in some cases even 38 years. The survey report was submitted in court,last week,in response to a public interest litigation (PIL) demanding action against those who had illegally sold houses given for rehabilitation to third parties.

Explaining the modus operandi of “poor” people,the administration told the court that the “poor” after having sold houses allotted to them shifted to another colony. And,again applied for a house from the administration under the rehabilitation scheme.

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Shocked,the high court has now asked the administration to find out cases where double fraud have been committed by the “poor”. The administration has also been directed to apprise the court what action it intends to take against the “poor”,who fraudulently sold and those who purchased these houses.

Only after the high court gave a ‘wake up call’ that the administration officials got up from their deep slumber to investigate the fraudulent activities being carried out. Apart from houses,commercial sites too were sold and rented out. Consider this: in certain instances,the survey report read that the files of the original allottees were not even available in the official records. There are umpteen residential and commercial sites of which the administration has no record.

Those have been explained in the report as “no record available,no name in the register” while in some “no file is available”.

The administration stated that a staggering number of 3,654 houses and commercial sites of the 13,666 houses and sites given to “poor” people for rehabilitation were illegally sold. The survey of all the rehabilitated colonies in the city revealed that 26.74 per cent of the houses and sites given for rehabilitation had been illegally disposed of by the “poor” owners.

In the 11 rehabilitated colonies,13,233 houses were given,of which 3,558 had been found “resold”. Of the 433 commercial sites given in such colonies,96 were “resold”. A survey was initiated by the administration,pursuant to the High Court directions,on December 1,2012.

An affidavit was filed by Rahul Gupta,Assistant Estate Officer,Chandigarh,last week. The court has directed the administration to frame a policy,so that such “fraud” do not take place in future.

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