The Madras High Court has directed the Tamil Nadu government to monitor allotment of houses to the urban poor under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana – Gramin (PMAY-G) and Indira Awaas Yojana (IAY) schemes.
A division bench of Justices D Krishnakumar and T V Thamilselvei issued the direction while disposing of a PIL petition from one P Shakespheare, recently.
The petition prayed for a direction to the government authorities concerned to take action against the Ariyalur district panchayat secretary and other office-bearers for making illegal allotment of houses and misappropriations, based on petitioner’s representation dated December 6, 2021.
The bench noted that in violation of the rules of the scheme, allotment of houses was made not only to ineligible persons, but also the same person was allotted two or three houses. Such an act by the panchayat secretary and other office-bearers reeks of malafide. This certainly has to be restricted by framing a foolproof mechanism and no erring official should be allowed to go scot-free, the judges said.
“This court has quite often seen that several writ petitions were filed before this Court seeking action against such illegal allotment of houses to ineligible persons and therefore, it is high time for the government to issue suitable instructions to the district collectors concerned for taking necessary action against the illegal allotment of houses,” the bench said.
The court directed the Rural Development and Panchayat Raj secretary to issue necessary instructions to all the district collectors concerned to give pivotal importance to this house allotment issue.
The collectors should take necessary action for verifying the records, genuineness of the allotment of houses to beneficiaries, call for fund utilisation under the scheme in each village panchayat by nominating responsible officers not below the rank of Revenue Divisional Officers to find out whether there is any irregularity.
If any deviation/illegality/irregularity is noted, the collectors concerned shall take necessary disciplinary action against those erring officials.
This exercise shall be completed within six weeks and the district collector concerned shall report to the Rural Development secretary at an earliest within the time limit prescribed by him, the bench added.