Lutyens House
Lutyens House
Litigation News

Delhi HC directs removal of former Government employees, ex MPs from illegally occupied Government accommodation

Aditi Singh

The Delhi High Court has directed the Central Government to undertake the removal of more than 550 former Government employees and 11 former Members of Parliament from their illegaly occupied government accommodation.

The Order was passed by a Division Judge Bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice C Hari Shankar in a Public Interest Litigation preferred by Anti Corruption Council of India.

The PIL alleged that several persons had been illegally occupying government accommodations in the city.

Pursuant to the Court’s direction, the Directorate of Estate, Central Government submitted two Annexures to the Court listing names of illegal occupants.

While Annexure -1 listed names of 11 former Member of Parliament, Annexure -2 listed names of 565 other former Government employees.

The Court noted that out of total 576 illegal occupants, several had been in illegal occupation for over a decade and in some cases, for over two decade as the oldest occupant of the Government accommodation was since 1998.

It was also noted that the outstanding amounts, in certain cases ran into hundreds of lakhs of rupees, which was ultimately public money.

The Court recorded that when an enquiry was raised with respect to the issuance of notice for recovery of the amount, the Central Government counsel was caught unaware.

Stating that the officers of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs had been absolutely ineffective in rendering their duties, the Court remarked,

“This shows the indifferent and callous approach of the Union of India, especially of few handful officers of Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs. Prima facie, it appears that there is connivance from the officers of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs. Connivance over such a long time amounts to conspiracy under the Indian Penal Code. By their action, there is a huge loss to the Union of India, which is also an offence under the Indian Penal Code.”
Delhi High Court

In view of the above, the Court directed the Directorate of Estate to specifically give immediate intimation to the 11 former MPs and nine former Government employees to vacate the government accommodations by February 19, 2020.

List of MPs in unauthorised occupation
List of MPs in unauthorised occupation
List of MPs from Rajya Sabha
List of MPs from Rajya Sabha

In case the accommodation is not vacated, the Court has directed the Directorate of Estate to remove the occupants from Government accommodations along with their respective belongings within one week after February 19, 2020.

The Court has clarified that in case there is stay order with respect to the accommodation from a competent court or authority, the occupants need not be removed.

As far as the remaining occupants are concerned, the Court has directed the Directorate of Estate to issue notice to vacate the accommodation.

The Court has also directed the Directorate of Estate to initiate proceedings against all the occupants for recovery of dues.

Given the fact that officer who was present in Court had completely failed to assist the Court, it was concluded that he was not entitled to salary for that day.

Since the Counsel for Union of India was not ready to apprise the Court of the facts of the case, the matter was adjourned with costs of Rs 10,000 to be deducted from the next month salary of the Secretary, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs.

Petitioner was represented by Advocate Hussain Mueen Farooq, A.K. Singh, B Sudha, A Imran, Prem Chand, Osama Abbasi, Md Imran Pandith, Mohit Adarsh, Ajeet Kumar Sharma and Vineet.

Centre was represented by Advocates Jitesh Vikram Srivastava, Syed Husain Adil Taqvi.

The matter would be heard next on February 27.

Read the Order:

Anti-Crruption Council of India order_watermark.pdf
Preview
Bar and Bench - Indian Legal news
www.barandbench.com