The Union Cabinet Wednesday approved changes to law to ensure speedy eviction of unauthorised occupants from government accommodations and make these available to eligible employees, reducing the waiting period. An official release stated that the Cabinet had given its approval for “amendment in Section 2 and Section 3 of the Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Act, 1971 (PPE Act, 1971), by inserting definition of ‘residential accommodation occupation’ in a new clause in section 2 of the Act and inserting provisions relating to eviction from ‘residential accommodation occupation’ in a new sub-section 3B below sub-section 3A of Section 3 of the Act”.
The amendment, it said, will enable the 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, as non-vacation of such residences leads to unavailability of houses to new incumbents”.
Now, the estate officer “can make such inquiry as he deems expedient in the circumstances of the case” and will “not have to follow the elaborate procedures prescribed as per sections 4, 5 and 7 of the Act”.
“Estate officers can even make an order for the eviction of such persons forthwith following the procedure proposed in the new section. 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 amendment, the release stated, will facilitate smooth and speedy eviction of unauthorised occupants from government residences. Currently, eviction proceedings are unusually long. Beneficiaries of changes to the law include employees of the central government offices who are eligible for general pool residential accommodation (GPRA) and wait for their turn.