Parliament passes Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Amendment Bill, 2019

Parliament passed Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Amendment Bill, 2019 for speedy eviction of unauthorised occupants from government residential accommodations. The Bill amends Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Act, 1971 which provides for eviction of unauthorised occupants from public premises in certain cases.

The bill provides for strict provisions to evict illegal occupants from government property allotted to government officials and members of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.

Key Features of Bill

Residential accommodation: It has been defined as occupation of public premises by person on grant of license for such occupation. Such license must be given for fixed tenure or for period person holds office.  Further, occupation must be allowed under rules made by Central, State/UT government, or a statutory authority (such as Parliament Secretariat, or Central Government Company or premises belonging to state government).

Notice for eviction: It adds detailed provision laying down procedure for eviction from residential accommodation. It empowers estate officer to issue written notice to person if he/she is in unauthorised occupation of residential accommodation within three working days. This means that the bill now enables estate officer to apply summary proceedings for evicting the unauthorised occupants after a three-day notice.

Order of eviction: After considering the cause shown and making any other inquiries, estate officer can give eviction order. If person fails to comply with order, then estate officer may evict such person from residential accommodation and take possession of it.  For this purpose, estate officer can also use such force as required.

Also, estate officer now does not need to follow elaborate proceedings like serving notice, show cause, inquiry, rather he or she can initiate summary eviction proceedings.

Payment of damages: If any person in unauthorised occupation of residential accommodation challenges eviction order passed by estate officer in court, then he is required to pay damages charges for every month of such occupation or accommodation held during period of litigation.

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