Chandigarh: HC fines man ₹5 lakh for unauthorised occupation of govt house - Hindustan Times
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Chandigarh: HC fines man 5 lakh for unauthorised occupation of govt house

By, Chandigarh
Sep 28, 2023 09:30 AM IST

In October 2003, Chandigarh sent him a notice demanding penal rent from April 2003 and also rejected his application for retaining the category of house he was occupying

The Punjab and Haryana high court has directed a Punjab government employee to pay a penal rent of 5 lakh for unauthorised occupation of a government house allotted to his father in Chandigarh.

His father was a superintendent and he was given employment as a clerk, so he was entitled to a lower-category house. (iStock)
His father was a superintendent and he was given employment as a clerk, so he was entitled to a lower-category house. (iStock)

The father of the petitioner employee, Gurnam Singh, died in 2001. Singh was given compassionate employment as a clerk. But he continued with the possession of the government house even in 2004, irrespective of the rules, prescribing that the family could have retained it for one year after the death of his father. Singh continued with the possession and moved out of the house in 2023, when he constructed his own house.

In October 2003, UT sent him a notice demanding penal rent from April 2003 and also rejected his application for retaining the category of house he was occupying. Because his father was a superintendent and Singh was given employment as a clerk, he was entitled to a lower-category house.

In 2005, high court stayed the penal rent and allotment cancellation notice to the employee, acting on the plea filed on January 31, 2005 filed by him. Subsequently, in 2006 it also allowed him to retain the house, as an interim measure, which originally was allotted to his father. He moved out of the house in 2023 when he constructed his own house.

It said that when the case came up before the court initially, it was not brought to the knowledge of the court that the house to be allotted to him would be of a different category than the house he was occupying; an interim order in his favour was passed in this background. “..it is apparent that the petitioner has continued to occupy the house which was not authorised to him as per status and post and he could only occupy the house of the category available to the post but on account of the interim orders passed by the court, he continued to hold occupancy for more than 17 years,” it said adding that even though he was not required to pay penal rent as stay order was passed by the high court. However, UT administration cannot be denied completely their right to claim legal dues.

“…accommodation cannot be occupied illegally or unauthorizedly and if it is found to be illegal or unauthorised, not only directions have to be issued to vacate the premises but penal rent along with interest may be imposed on such occupant,” the court observed directing that the petitioner would have to pay 5 lakh as penal rent to UT in 10 equal instalments.

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