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J&K High Court orders eviction of former Ministers illegally occupying govt accommodation

Last Updated on February 23, 2021 at 3:28 pm

Jammu and Kashmir High Court has ordered the Government of Jammu and Kashmir to ensure that all the former ministers, legislators, retired officers and politicians are evicted from government accommodations and ministerial bungalows.

A Division Bench comprising Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey and Justice Vinod Chatterji Koul found it problematic that some former ministers, law makers and politicians are still illegally occupying government accommodations even though they are no longer on their posts.

Earlier, the Court had initiated a suo moto case and these observations and directions are made in the same. The bench said that the occupants who are illegally residing in these accommodations must realize that rights and duties are related to each other like the rights of one person need the duties of another person, whereas, the duties of one person entail the rights of another person.

So, these occupants should know that their act of overstaying in these accommodations is directly infringing the right of other people to reside. The Court observed that these unauthorized occupants must realize the same.

The Court ordered the Chief Secretary and Secretary Estates Department to make sure that all illegal occupants are evicted from government accommodations including ministerial bungalows and special houses.

The Court ordered that the Chief Secretary of the Government of Jammu and Kashmir and the Secretary to Government of Jammu and Kashmir, Estates Department should ensure the eviction of illegal/unauthorized occupants including former Ministers, Legislators, Retired officers, Politicians, Political persons from Government accommodation comprising Ministerial Bungalows and Special Houses according to the judgement given by the Supreme Court in the two cases titled SD Bandi v. Divisional Traffic Officer, Karnakata (2013) and Lok Prahari v. State of Uttar Pradesh & Ors. (2016).

The Court also directed both the departments to recover rent from occupants of the accommodation for the period for which they were illegally occupying these accommodations.

The Court observed that natural resources, public lands and public goods like government bungalows and official residences are public property and are owned by the people of the nation. The government must follow the ‘Doctrine of Equality’ while allocating these resources.