HC orders recovery of rent from occupants of government accommodation

HC orders recovery of rent from occupants of government accommodation

Disposes litigation about eviction of unauthorised persons

Srinagar: The J&K High Court on Thursday disposed of a litigation about eviction of unauthorised occupants from government accommodations with a direction to Chief Secretary and Secretary Estates department to take all possible steps for the process.
The court of Justice Vinod Chatterji Koul and Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey said that directions passed by the court from time to time in the matter of eviction of unauthorized/illegal occupants from government accommodation and recovery of rent should be strictly implemented by the authorities concerned.
The court directed the Chief Secretary and the Secretary Estates Department to ensure recovery of rent/arrears of rent from the occupants of the accommodation for the period for which they were in authorized/unauthorizedly occupying the said accommodation as land revenue.
“At the very outset, we wish to observe that it is unfortunate that some former Ministers/ Legislators/ Retired Officers/ Politicians/ Political persons, etc., have illegally/ unauthorizedly managed to continue to stay in the residential accommodation provided to them by the government of Jammu and Kashmir though they are no longer entitled to such accommodation.
“Many of such persons continue to occupy residential accommodation commensurate with the office (s) held by them earlier and which are beyond their present entitlement,” the bench said.
The Court recorded that the unauthorized occupants must realize that rights and duties go correlative to each other, in as much as the rights of one person entail the duties of another person, whereas, the duties of the person entail the rights of another person.
“In this context, the unauthorized occupants must appreciate that their act of overstaying in the premise directly infringes the right of another. No law or direction can entirely control this act of disobedience, but for self-realization among the unauthorized occupants,” the court said.
The court also noted that the natural resources, public lands and the public goods, like government bungalows/ official residence are public property that belongs to the people of the country.
“The ‘Doctrine of Equality’, which emerges from the concepts of justice and fairness, must guide the State in the distribution/ allocation of the same. Any former Minister/ Legislator/ Retired Officer/ Politician/ Political person, once he/ she demits the office, is on a par with the common citizen, though by virtue of the office held, he/ she may be entitled to security and other protocols as per assessment of the concerned filed agency. But allotment of Government bungalow, to be occupied during the lifetime of such persons, would not be guided by the constitutional principle of equality,” the court recorded.

 

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