The Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Amendment Act, 2014

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The Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Amendment Act, 1971 was amended 3 times before in 1980, 1984, and 1994 and this proposal is 4th amendment proposal to the main Act. Present Bill was introduced in Lok Sabha by Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu to deal with problem regarding eviction of unauthorised occupants from public premises effectively. Minister Venkaiah Naidu also stated that, stricter time frames are incorporated to complete the eviction process in the Bill so that it can prevent misuse of the procedures.

The Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Amendment Act, 2014 was enacted to amend the Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Amendment Act, 1971 (PP(E) Act) by parliament in 66th year of republic of India and which shall come into force as notified by the Central Government in the Official Gazette.

Under the Principal Act “Public Premises” means premises which belong to Central Government and which has been placed under the control of Secretariat of either House of Parliament for providing residential accommodation to Secretariat staffs. Premises also include premises leased to any Company or Corporation or University or Board of Trustees.

Section 2 of the principal Act has been amended with regard to certain words like company will be as per the Companies Act 2013, Metro railway will have meaning under Section 2 of Metro Railway (Operation and Maintenance) Act 2002, and meaning of State Government will be as per the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi.

Section 4 of the principal Act also has been amended with regard to eviction of unauthorised occupation of any public premises by estate officer after issuing notice.

Section 5 also has been amended which states that estate officer should do the act as stated under Section 4 expeditiously as possible and should write down if any compelling reasons prevents the person to vacate in such period stated in notice. With regard to time limit, estate officer has right to order eviction of premises which should be done within 15 days but this time limit can be extended by estate officer if he feels necessary after considering the reasons that prevented a person from vacating the premises within 15 days period.

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Section 7 of principal act which relate to power to require payment of rent in respect of public premises is amended and also with regard to simple interest and compound interest has been amended. Section 9 of the act also has been amended regarding the appeal in exceptional cases after expiry period to appellate officer and disposal of such appeals within specified time usually one month from the date of appeal.

To provide for speedy machinery for eviction of unauthorised occupants from public premises this act was enacted which includes premises of government companies and corporations under central Act.

As the companies Act 1956 is now re-enacted as Companies Act 2013 the clause (e) of section 2 of the PP(E)Act 1971 which deals with definition of public premises has been amended as per the new Companies Act where not less than 50% of paid up capital is under Central Government and partly by one or more state governments. Major Ports Trust Act, 1963 is being amended and include successor company under this new Act to the existing Board of Trustees and thus bring changes in section 2 of PP(E) Act 1971.

Words like Municipal Corporation is substituted by Corporation or corporations in section 3 of the Delhi Municipal Corporation Act 1957 which is recommended by Parliamentary Standing Committee on Urban Development.

Supreme Court in the case of S.D. Bandi vs. Divisional Traffic Officer, Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) &Ors (05/07/2013) had given 20 suggestions with regard to unauthorised occupancy in its judgment dated 5/7/2013 which aimed at smooth and speedy eviction of unauthorised occupants from public premises in a prescribed time limit. This Bill’s main objective is to achieve the objectives that are stated by Hon’ble Supreme Court without any further delay.

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by Sushma Javare.