Public servants extending their stay in govt accommodations would attract penalty: HC

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New Delhi, Dec 2: Coming down heavily on public servants who retain their government accommodation beyond the allotted, the Delhi High Court on Friday said such "unauthorised occupation" would attract charges.

The HC has also directed the Centre to initiate recovery proceedings against such allottees.

Delhi HC

A bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Sangita Dhingra Sehgal said," If the allottee retains the government accommodation beyond the retention period permitted to him/her by the Directorate of Estates, he/she will be liable to pay the licence fee at damages rates for the period of unauthorised occupation and thus, the government may initiate recovery proceedings against the allottee under the Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Act."

The bench gave the order while rejecting the plea of an army officer who had appealed against a single judge's verdict upholding an Estate Officer's direction to vacate his accommodation and pay Rs. 9.4 lakhs as damages for unauthorised use and occupation of his official accommodation from July 2008 to July 2011.

The petitioner had joined the Indian Army in December 1984 and in 2001 he was allotted the accommodation here when he was serving at the Headquarter of the Ministry of Defence (MoD).

In May 2008, he was transferred out of and Delhi and was asked to vacate his accommodation in two months. The Estate Officer had proceeded against him and directed him to vacate the premises.

(With inputs from agencies)

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