List demanded of officers overstaying in govt houses
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Unimpressed with the undue time being taken by the Chandigarh Administration in evicting babus and others who have been overstaying in government houses, the Punjab and Haryana High Court on Monday sought a list of officers who have been unauthorisedly occupying government houses.
Also, the administration was directed to conduct a survey and submit a list of tenements unauthorisedly occupied by private individuals. In addition, the number of houses under the control of Chandigarh for the purpose of allotment was sought.
Slamming the administration for coming up with formulas for babus to ensure that they are given additional charge in Chandigarh to retain government houses, Justice Rajesh Bindal remarked "rules are in books only".
Impleading Punjab and Haryana as respondents in a petition, challenging the arbitrary house allotments by the administration, Justice Bindal also asked Punjab and Haryana to submit "status" of houses available to the two states in their pool. The High Court was informed that of the total houses belonging to A category, 22 (A category houses) were with Haryana and 22 with Punjab.
A list of officers, posted in Chandigarh, who were in occupation of houses in districts other than in Chandigarh, was also demanded.
On the issue of occupation of a government house by a former bureaucrat of Punjab, the High Court cornered the administration. The court was told that 50 times of the market price was charged from the "defaulter" as penal rent. When asked whether the bureaucrat had paid the penal rent, the counsel for Chandigarh Administration replied in the affirmative. Justice Bindal made it clear that penal interest could not be claimed as a "matter of right".
The court also directed the administration to repair the houses which were in a dilapidated condition so that these could be allotted to government employees.
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