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The Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Act, 1971

The Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Act has been originated on 23rd August, 1971. This Act has been incorporated to bequeath for the eviction of unauthorized Occupants from public premises.

The Central Government provides separate accommodation to its higher officials, Members of Parliament, etc. They also provide several other accommodations for guests such as Guest Hostels, Holiday Homes, etc. In such case once any such Officer vacates his premises he will surrender the accommodation back to the Government. In such accommodations there were several unauthorized occupants who enjoys illegally. Initially only Civil Suits are filed to evict such unauthorized occupants which is very lengthy process and more time consuming .With the intention to evict them from such premises and to regularize, this Act has been established.

In Order to evict such unauthorized occupants, The Central Government shall appoint an Estate Officer through notification in the Official Gazette. Such Officer shall be a Gazette Officer equalant to a Corporate authority to perform his duties as prescribed by this Act within the limit to his Jurisdiction where such unauthorized occupants in public premises. This Officer shall pass a show cause notice to such occupants for eviction by giving an opportunity to be heard within ten days from the date of issue of notice. This Notice contains the grounds for eviction of such unauthorized occupants.  This Notice shall be affixed outside the door as well as in the conspicuous places near those public premises. In case if such occupants were believed to be in the premises, the notice shall be issued to each person through post or even direct hand delivery or in any other manner as prescribed in this Act.

The Estate Officer once after proper enquiry by giving an opportunity to be heard found that there are unauthorized occupants in public premises, and then the Estate Officer shall pass an Order of Eviction. Those persons are given certain time to vacate in the Order and such copies of the Order shall be pasted in the conspicuous places or outside the door. In case if such unauthorized person fails to evict by complying with the Order within thirty days, then the Officer may use force to evict such person if he feels necessary.

The Estate Officer after evicting such person shall dispose of the properties that are in the premises of such unauthorized occupants after giving fourteen days notice and publish in one Newspaper in the Locality and Sell the property. The sale proceeds of the property shall be taken for all expenses bourn by the Central Government including arrears of rent, damages, etc and the remaining if any may be given to the Estate Officer. This Officer shall distribute such remaining amount to whom it belongs to. If he could not find out, this Officer may seek the help of the Civil Court.

The Estate Officer shall have all the powers as that is specified in the Civil Procedural Code, 1908. He can summon and make any person to appear before the Court, examining his Oath, He can demand for any documents to produce before the Court and such other matter as it is prescribed.

Any aggrieved person shall Appeal against the Estate Officers Order in the District Court within whose jurisdiction such public premises is being situated. Such Appeal should be made within fifteen days after the Order passed by the Estate Officer. In case if such person shows the genuine reasons for delay in filing Appeal, such person’s Appeal shall be entertained even after fifteen days. Every Appeal shall be disposed off as soon as possible.

Any person who found to be unauthorized occupants shall be punished with imprisonment with or without fine. In case if such occupants die during the pendency of the Case, then his legal heirs or legal representatives are bound to continue the matter. In this case the Legal representatives have limited liability to pay to the extent of the asset they hold of the deceased.

No Court shall entertain any legal proceedings with regard to unauthorized occupancies and recovery of arrears of rent, etc. Likewise no Court shall take any legal proceedings against the Central Government or its Officers for any action that is taken in good faith in pursuance of this Act. The Central Government shall delegate its powers to the State Governments with the notifications in the Official Gazette. The Central Government shall have enormous powers in framing rules and regulations in pursuance to this Act and such rules and regulations shall be assented by the Houses of the Parliament. This Act has been repealed.

This Act has been initiated to evict such an unauthorized occupants in the public premises that belongs to the Central Government that are given to its Higher level Officials and its Employees. Initially filing a Civil Suit was the only option but now this Act assist them without following more lengthy procedures consuming lots of time.

by C.Srivenkatesh Prabhu.