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PIL against illegal occupation of govt quarters: HC issues notices

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OST Bureau
Cuttack, Dec 12:

The Odisha High Court on Wednesday asked the state government to file a status report on the unauthorised occupation of government quarters in the state capital within six weeks.

RTI Activist Pradip Pradhan, Petitioner
RTI Activist Pradip Pradhan, Petitioner

A division bench of the court, Chief Justice AK Goel and Justice AK Rath issued notices to the State Chief Secretary, General Administration (GA) Department Secretary and the Estate Officer while admitting a PIL filed by social activist Pradip Pradhan.

Seeking intervention of the court in removing illegal occupants from government quarters and collection of the outstanding penalty rent which is calculated to be over Rs 50 crore, the petitioner has alleged that more than 400 government quarters across the state are now illegally occupied by both present and retired government employees.

Officers of administrative, police, forest departments of both state and all-India cadres are illegally occupying government quarters, he said, adding that senior political leaders, including former MPs and MLAs have been illegally occupying more than 150 government quarters in the capital city without paying the penalty rent.

Despite several petitions and representations made to concerned government officials including estate managers against these illegal occupants under Odisha Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorized Occupants) Act,” no action has been taken by the government till date, the petitioner alleged.