The cabinet on Wednesday approved changes in a law that empowers an estate officer to fast track eviction of ministers, members of Parliament and bureaucrats overstaying in government-allotted residences long after they cease to hold official positions. People who overstay in official accommodations take recourse to courts, Minister of State for Coal and Power Piyush Goyal told reporters in New Delhi.
Goyal was announcing the decision to amend the Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorized Occupants) Act taken at the cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The minister said such people, including “ministers, MPs and government officers”, usually take the benefit of law to make possible their stay after they no longer hold official positions.
The proposed amendments aim to fast track their removal and they will have to pay penalties for overstay, he said. “The changes in the law will enable an estate officer to apply summary proceedings for evicting unauthorised occupants from residential accommodations allotted for a fixed tenure or for a period he/she holds office on the basis of an order of allotment on licence basis,” according to an official statement.
The changes were proposed as non-vacation of such residences usually leads to unavailability of houses for new incumbents. An estate officer, as per the new rules, will not need to follow “elaborate procedures” and can even make an order for the eviction of such persons forthwith following the procedure proposed in the amendments.
“If such persons refuse or fail to comply with the said order of eviction, estate officer may evict them from premises and take possession thereof and may, for that purpose, use such force as may be necessary,” the statement said. “The amendment will thus facilitate smooth and speedy eviction of unauthorised occupants from government residences.”