October 12, 2020 12:49:12 am
THE MAHARASHTRA Administrative Tribunal (MAT) recently overturned a decision by the Mumbai Police to evict a police constable from his house at the police quarters in Ghatkopar West that was first allotted to his father while he was in the service.
In 2018, the Mumbai Police’s Quarter Allotment Committee had ordered the applicant, Anil Karande, to move out of a 425-square-foot house at the police quarters that had been allotted to his father, Pandurang, who retired as a sub-inspector the previous year. Constable Karande’s application for continuation of the service quarters was rejected by the committee on the grounds that he was only entitled to a 350-square-foot house due to his rank.
The committee had allotted Karande a house in the department’s quarters in Saki Naka. But when Karande refused to shift, the committee sent him an eviction notice and ordered him to pay Rs 1.24 lakh for overstaying.
Karande’s lawyer, A V Bandiwadekar, had argued that a government resolution (GR) issued by the Maharashtra Home Department in 2000 allowed the offspring of retired policemen, who had followed their parents into the police department, to retain their service quarters.
In a more recent GR, issued in 2016, the home department had decided that police constables were entitled to 500-square-foot houses. However, in 2015, the committee had taken the decision to allot 350-square-foot service quarters to police constables.
MAT member A P Kurhekar observed in his order that as a GR is a policy decision of the government, it would prevail over the committee’s decision. Quarter allotments must be in consonance with the government’s decisions, he noted.
“Consequently, the decision taken by the Quarter Allotment Committee, headed by Assistant Commissioner of Police, are superseded and quarter allotment now has to be in terms of the GR dated 1st December, 2016, read with GR dated 10th October, 2000, which inter alia provides for transfer of service quarter of retired police personnel in the name of his son, if employed in the police department and staying with him,” Kurhekar observed.
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