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The Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Amendment Act, 2015

The Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorized Occupants) Amendment Act, 2015 (Act no. 2 of 2015) was enacted by the Parliament of India with the aim and object to further amend the provisions of the Original Act, i.e. the Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorized Occupants) Act, 1971 (Act no. 40 of 1971). The said Original Act was enacted with the object to make provisions of speedy machinery for the eviction of unauthorized occupants from public premises, including the premises of Government companies and those of corporations established by or under the Central enactment. Moreover, it was seen earlier period that the Delhi Metro Railway Corporation- DMRC had requested that the metro properties may be declared as public premises by amending the provisions of the said Original Act of 1971, and also requested to confer powers of an Estate Officer under the said Act and also for declaring the appointment of the officers of the DMRC as to be appointed by the Central Government for dealing with the problems of eviction in a more expeditious manner. Thus, the present Amending Act was introduced in the form of the Bill in the Lok Sabha by Minister of Urban Development of India.

The present Amending Act is as such was notified in the Official Gazette on 13th day of March, 2015, the same day on which it was given assent by the President of India. The Amending  Act is as such primarily having an objective to bring the properties of the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation and other Metro Railway property which may come up in future and also the properties of New Delhi Municipal Council- NDMC within the ambit of the Original Act of 1971. As such, the provisions of the present Amending act have extended the definition of the public premises to include premises of the companies in which at least 51 per cent of the shares are owned by the Central Government and partly by one or more State Government (including subsidiaries of these companies). And also such companies are carrying on the business of the Public transport, like Metro railways. Moreover the premises belonging to the Municipal Corporation of Delhi or any Municipal Committee or notified area Committee are also included in the definition of the Public Premises. The said modifications in the definition are made under section 2(e)(2) of the Original Act of 1971.

Moreover, the Amending Act is also offering changes in the provisions for the time bound processes for determination of the issue of premises which are in unauthorized occupation. Thus, the section 4 of the Original Act is amended to provide that the Estate Officer when he satisfied to the effect that the premises are in unauthorized occupation, then he may order the eviction of the premises and order such eviction to be done within the Fifteen days period from the date of order. Moreover, in the process, the Estate officer when receives information that anyone is in unauthorized occupation of the premises, then he must make an order within 7 days from that, and direct such person to show the cause as to why he should not be evicted. And when it appears that he is in arrears of rent payable, then such officer can order for payment of such rent or damages, with notice to him. Moreover, the explanation should be provided in Seven days period. Also, the Amending Act seeks that the appeals from such orders should also be decided quickly.

Also, it is notable that the Companies Act of 1956 was replaced and re- enacted in the year 2013 as the Companies Act of 2013, thus, the present Amending Act is seeking to change the reference of the Companies Act in the Original Act too. Also, in relation to the Major Port Trusts Act, 1963, the several changes are also sought in the Original Act of 1971. Thus, with all such other and aforesaid amendments, the present Amending Act is enacted.

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