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

The Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorized Occupants) Amendment Bill, 2019 was announced by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, in Lok Sabha. The Bill amends the Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorized Occupants) Act, 1971. The Act provides for the removal of unauthorized occupants from public premises in some cases.

Aim of the bill

  • To avail speedy and smooth eviction of occupants of government accommodation on expiry of their terms and conditions.
  • The Government allot residential accommodation to its employees, members of parliament, and other VIPs duration of their service or till the term of their office on a license basis
  • Following the current allotment rules, after the ending of the terms and conditions of the licence, the occupants of such residential accommodations become unauthorized for continue in such accommodation and should leave the same.

The need to bring "Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorized Occupants) Amendment Bill"

It is often seen that the unauthorized occupants don’t empty the government accommodation after the expiry of the terms and condition of the licence according to the rules and use slack strategies to withhold the accommodation. For checking this delay, it is considered to put a new sub-section 3A in Section 7 of the Act to the effect that if an individual challenges the eviction order given by the estate officer in any court, he has to pay the damages every month for the residential accommodation held by him. The eviction proceedings of unauthorized occupants from residential accomodation or “public premises” take about 5 to 7 weeks as per the existing provision.

The provision of the bill

Residential accommodation The Bill clarifies ‘residential accommodation occupation’ as the occupation of public premises by an individual on the approval of a license for such occupation. It is necessary to provide license for a fixed period of time, or for the period the person holds the government office. Moreover, the occupation should be permitted as per the rules created by the state, central or union territory government, or a statutory body like a central govt. company, parliament secretariat and premises belonging to a state govt.
Notice for eviction The Bill adds provision placing down the process for eviction from residential accommodation. It needs an estate officer from a central govt. to issue a written notice to a person if he is in illegal or unauthorized occupation of a residential accommodation. The notice will need the person to show cause of why an eviction order should not be implement against him, within 3 working days. The written notice should be fixed to a noticeable or conspicuous part of the accommodation, in a given manner.
Eviction order The estate officer will make an order for eviction, after taking into account the cause shown, and any other inquiries. If the person couldn’t comply with the order, the estate officer may expel or evict such person from the residential accommodation, and take possession of it. For this purpose, the estate officer can take such necessary steps.
Payment of damages If the person in illegal or unauthorized occupation of the residential accommodation question the eviction order of the estate officer order and challenge the eviction order in court, he will have to pay damages every month of such occupation.

Implication of the move

The Act will provide speedy and smooth eviction of unauthorized occupants from Government premises, and those vacant residences will be available for allotment to eligible persons on the maturity of their turn in the waiting list. This will reduce the waiting time for availing the facility of Government premises for residential accommodation.