HC asks Govt. to free illegal occupancy
Politicians occupying government accommodations…
BY: Rashid Paul
Srinagar, Feb 22: The J&K High Court on Thursday directed eviction of mainstream political activists “illegally occupying” government accommodations in Jammu on the pretext of militant threats.
The court was hearing a bunch of petitions by the mainstream political activists “staying illegally in the government bungalows and flats” in the summer capital Jammu since decades, and that too without paying rent to the government for it.
Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey observed that the writ petitions by the “illegal occupants” are without any merit, and he accordingly dismissed them all.
He also vacated interim directions that stayed their eviction from these state-owned accommodations.
“Respondents, in particular the respondent, Director Estates J&K, are directed to evict the petitioners from the government accommodation in question forthwith and allot the same to the eligible applicants strictly in terms of the Jammu and Kashmir Estates Department (Allotment of Government Accommodation) Regulations, 2004, notified in terms of Government Order No. 169-GAD of 2004 dated 10.02.2004, and report compliance to that effect,” ordered the judge.
The court observed that it has got a chance, through the instant petitions, to know about the sorry state of affairs in the respondent department.
In one of these cases, there is not even any allotment order in favour of the petitioner and he is continuing in the premises and further seeks to continue. Astonishing it is that the respondent department has allowed the flats to be used without any allotment orders.
This appears to be just a tip of the iceberg. The number of such cases would obviously be quite high and obviously the occupiers of such quarters would not be paying any rent or premium towards the allotment, resulting in a huge loss to the public exchequer, the court said.
“I am of the view that in case such a trend is allowed to remain in place any further, it would amount to contributing towards the wrong,” said Justice Magray.
The petitioners have been in possession and occupation of the premises for years on the orders obtained by them during the pendency of these writ petitions.
The court held that that the eviction proceedings have been hijacked for decades together by the unauthorized occupants, petitioners.
The statusquo order obtained by the petitioners cannot be allowed to run till eternity thereby prejudicing the interests and rights of those who are waiting in line, having earned a right for the allotment of government accommodation.
It cited the Supreme Court in case titled Lok Prahari versus State of Uttar Pradesh and others, which held that “a minister which includes Chief Minister is permitted to retain his residence for 15 days after demitting office”.
The law, therefore, does not favour the unauthorized occupants to continue enjoying the possession of the bungalows they are no more entitled to retain, the court said.