Evict ‘illegal’ occupants

Large number of former Ministers, legislators, politicians, bureaucrats etc continue to occupy Government accommodation for years together in a row despite being not entitled to such accommodation by any logic or reason. The only basis keeping them continuously occupying these Government houses, quarters and private houses taken on lease by the Estate Department is their unwarranted, unjustified and unreasonable stand bereft of a conduct expected from them .
In the instant case , it sounds queer that right from the day they ceased their right to possess, use, occupy and hold such accommodation provided by the Government, otherwise,entitled to only those who were active and sitting legislators , ministers in Government and serving bureaucrats in Government , they were committing a gross breach in the established levels of morality, of propriety and were , as such, showing disregard to the law of the land. These persons should have, on their own, set an example by vacating the Government accommodation right from the day they forfeited any right to such perquisites as such houses , flats, quarters etc were public property and in most of the cases, rent of those private houses acquired by the Estate Department on lease for providing such accommodation was paid from the public exchequer.
Requests for vacating the accommodation by the administration followed by reminders and pleas having resulted in no amount of the proverbial stirring of conscience, were followed by serving notices on them indicating that ”enough was enough” too having fallen on the deaf ears, we are constrained to believe, shows only the stubbornness of the illegal occupants and reflects upon their levels of integrity as the act of defiance is committed openly leaving one to take recourse to conjectures and surmises about the below the average levels of probity and impeccability of these defaulters while occupying high offices with higher and sensitive responsibilities. In those high positions, when in office, they are expected to ensure and enforce compliance of rules, regulations and observing high regard for court directives from the public and their juniors in their offices but onceout of position and office , such a conduct speaks volumes about their double stand . Verily, for such acts, people do not have high opinions about them though it cannot be generalised. Simple rule of safeguarding and recovering public funds wherever due is that rent at market rates plus penal charges or interest must be recovered from these defaulters right from the day they were supposed to vacate the premises to the date of their handing over the premises or till the date of forcible eviction , especially of 31 former legislators and all others occupying Governmenthouses illegally and unauthorised(ly).
It is a travesty that for such executive actions of getting such Government accommodation ”checked out” by the occupants on respective due dates and at best within one month there-from, even causing such property to be forcibly evicted , powers for which are vested with the concerned officers ,they hardly utilise those powers and generally do not take action either under some ”invisible” intervention or some other reasons till in many cases, the matter reaches the courts . The height of irresponsible attitude displayed by all these defaulters isthat in spite of the orders of the High court, these people manage to keep such public property illegally occupied. Estates department has filed the status report before the court wherein it is revealed that large number of persons including former ministers, MLAs, Retired IAS Officers, MLCs and “politicians” continue to unauthorised(ly) reside in Ministerial bungalows in both the capital cities of the UT. We feel by not taking action against them even after months and years of illegal and unjustified overstay is tantamount to indirectly legitimising their illegal possession and free usage of such Government property. The defaulters fairly knowing that there was no firm policy in force in the concerned department to remove illegal and prolonged unauthorised occupying of public property, have started thinking in terms of being ”owners” of such property enjoying payment of no rent with free power and water supply . It would be in accordance of fair play, regard for rules and regulations and at the top of it, safeguarding public property that these defaulting and unauthorised occupants were forcibly evicted from such buildings , bungalows, flats and whatsoever was provided to them when they were entitled to the same. Let warning of forcible eviction be invoked though as a last resort after the expiry of the notice period but recovering up to date rent proceeds should never be thought of being optional or at best on voluntary basis.