Polity and Governance

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

What’s in News Recently, a bill for speedy eviction of unauthorized occupation of public premises/government residential accommodations was passed in the upper house of the parliament. The bill termed as Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Amendment Bill, 2019 has been already been passed by the lower house. The bill claims to have a deterrent effect. Objective of the Bill •The amendments aim to facilitate smooth and speedy eviction of unauthorized occupants from Government residential accommodations. •The vacant residences will be available for allotment to eligible persons on the maturity of their turn on the waiting list. •This will decrease the waiting time for availing the facility of residential accommodation. Background The Government of India has to evict unauthorized occupants from Government accommodations under the provisions of the Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Act, 1971. However, the eviction proceedings take an unusually long time, thereby reducing the availability of Government accommodations to new incumbents. Reason for the New Bill Under the existing Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Act, 1971 as amended by Public Premises Eviction[PPE] Amendment Bill, 2015, the eviction proceeding take around 5 to 7 weeks time. However, it takes much longer, even years, to evict unauthorized occupants. The proposed PPE amendment bill, 2019, has done away with elaborate proceedings to be followed by the estate officer like serving notice, show cause, inquiry, rather he or she can initiate summary eviction proceedings. Residential Accommodation Occupation It has been defined in the new bill as the occupation of public premises by a person on the grant of license for such occupation. The license is to be given for a fixed tenure or for the period person holds office in accordance with rules and instructions issued in this regard by the Central government, State government, a Union Territory administration or a statutory authority (like, Parliament Secretariat, or Central Government Company or premises belonging to state government). Notice For Eviction The bill enables the estate officer to apply summary proceedings for evicting the unauthorized occupants after a three-day notice. A detailed provision has been added laying down the procedure for eviction from residential accommodation. The estate officer has been empowered to issue written notice to the person if he/she is in unauthorized occupation of residential accommodation within three working days. Order of Eviction After taking into consideration the cause shown by the occupant and making due inquiry, the estate officer can give the eviction order. If the unauthorized occupant fails to comply with the order, then the estate officer may evict such occupant from the residential accommodation and take possession of it. The estate officer can also use such force as required for such eviction. Payment of Damages If the person in unauthorized occupation of residential accommodation challenges the eviction order passed by the estate officer in any court, then he shall pay damages for every month for the residential accommodation held by him during the period of litigation. Importance of the Bill •The Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Amendment, 2019 shall facilitate speedy and smooth eviction of unauthorized occupants in Government residencies. •The amendment will benefit the eligible occupants of such residencies, as it will decrease the waiting time for them.

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