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PUBLIC PREMISES (EVICTION OF UNAUTHORISED OCCUPANTS) ACT

Ministry of Law and Justice

Act nº 40 of 1971


  • Act nº 40 of 1971

Preamble

THE PUBLIC PREMISES (EVICTION OF UNAUTHORISED OCCUPANTS) ACT, 1971

[Act, No. 40 of 1971]

[23rd August, 1971.]

PREAMBLE

An Act to provide for the eviction of unauthorised occupants from public premises and for certain incidental matters.

BE it enacted by Parliament in the Twenty-second Year of the Republic of India as follows :--

Section 1. Short title, extent and commencement

(1) This Act may be called The Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Act, 1971.

(2) It extends to the whole of India.

(3) It shall be deemed to have come into force on the 16th day of September, 1958 except sections 11, 19 and 20 which shall come into force at once.

Section 2. Definitions

In this Act, unless the context otherwiserequires,--

(a)1 [* * *]

(b) "estate officer" means an officer appointedas such by the Central Government under Section 3;

(c) "premises' means any land or anybuilding or part of a building and includes,--

(i) the garden, grounds and outhouses, ifany, appertaining to such building or part of a building, and

(ii) any fittings affixed to suchbuilding or part of a building for the more beneficial enjoyment thereof;

(d) "prescribed" meansprescribed by rules made under this Act;

2 [(e) "public premises" means--

(1) any premises belonging to, or takenon lease or requisitioned by, or on behalf of the Central Government, andincludes any such premises which have been placed by that Government, whetherbefore or after the commencement of the Public Premises (Eviction of UnauthorisedOccupants) Amendment. Act, 1980 under the control of the Secretariat of eitherHouses of Parliament for providing residential accommodation to any member ofthe staff of that Secretariat;

(2) any premises belonging to, or takenon lease by, or on behalf of,--

(i) any company as defined in section 3of the Companies Act, 1956, in which not less than fifty-one per cent, of thepaid-up share capital is held by the Central Government or any company which isa subsidiary (within the meaning of that Act) of the first-mentioned company,

(ii) any corporation (not being a companyas defined in section 3 of the Companies Act, 1956, or a local authority)established by or under a Central Act and owned or controlled by the CentralGovernment.

(iii) any University established orincorporated by any Central Act,

(iv) any Institute incorporated by theInstitutes of Technology Act, 1961,

(v) any Board of Trustees constitutedunder the Major Port Trusts Act, 1963,

(vi) the Bhakra Management Boardconstituted under section 79 of the Punjab Reorganisation Act, 1966, and thatBoard as and when re-named as the Bhakra-Beas Management Board under sub-section(6) of section 80 of that Act 3 [* * *].

3 [(vii) any State Government or theGovernment of any Union territory situated in the National Capital Territoryof Delhi or in any other Union territory.

(viii) any Cantonment Board constitutedunder the Cantonments Act, 1924; and]

(3) in relation to the4 [NationalCapital Territory of Delhi],--

(i) any premises belonging to theMunicipal Corporation of Delhi, or any Municipal Committee or notified areacommittee, 5 [*].

(ii) any premises belonging to the DelhiDevelopment Authority, whether such premises are in the possession of, or leasedout by, the said Authority;] 5 [and],

5 [(iii) any premises belonging to, ortaken on lease or requisitioned by, or an behalf of any State Government or anyUnion Territory.]

(f) "rent", in relation to anypublic premises, means the consideration payable periodically for the authorisedoccupation of the premises, and includes--

(i) any charge for electricity, water orany other services in connection with the occupation of the premises,

(ii) any tax (by whatever name called)payable in respect of the premises, where such charge or tax is payable by theCentral Government or the corporate authority;

6 [(fa) "statutory authority", inrelation to the public premises referred to in clause (e) of this section,means,--

(i) in respect of the public premisesplaced under the control of the Secretariat of either House of Parliament, theSecretariat of the concerned House of Parliament,

(ii) in respect of the public premisesreferred to in item (i) of sub-clause (2) of that clause, the company or thesubsidiary company, as the case may be, referred to therein,

(iii) in respect of the public premisesreferred to in item (ii) of sub-clause (2) of that clause, the corporationreferred to therein,

(iv) in respect of the public premisesreferred to, respectively, in items (iii), (iv), (v) and (vi) of sub-clause (2)of the clause, the University, Institute or Board, as the case may be referredto therein, and

(v) in respect of the public premisesreferred to in sub-clause (3) of that clause the Corporation, Committee orAuthority, as the case may be, referred to in that sub-clause;]

7 [(fb) "temporary occupation" inrelation to any public premises, means occupation by any person on the basis ofan order of allotment made under the authority of the Central Government, aState Government, the Government of a Union Territory or a statutory authorityfor a total period (including the extended period, if any) which is less thanthirty days;]

(g) "unauthorised occupation",in relation to any public premises, means the occupation by any person of thepublic premises without authority for such occupation, and includes the continuancein occupation by any person of the public premises after the authority (whetherby way of grant or any other mode of transfer) under which he was allowed tooccupy the premises has expired or has been determined for any reasonwhatsoever.

1. Clause(a) omitted by the Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants)Amendment Act, 1980 (61 of 1980), section 2 (20-12-1980).

2. Clause(e) substituted by the Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants)Amendment Act, 1980 (61 of 1980), section 2 (20-12-1980).

3. Word"and" omitted and inserted by the Public Premises (Eviction ofUnauthorised Occupants) Amendment Act, 1980 (61 of 1980), section 2(20-12-1980), Act (7 of 1994), section 2 (1-6-94).

4. Substitutedfor the words "union territory of Delhi" by the Public Premises(Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Amendment Act, 1980 (61 of 1980), section 2(20-12-1980), Act (7 of 1994), section 2 (1-6-94).

5. Word"and" in item (i) omitted, word "and" added after item (ii)and item (iii) inserted by the Public Premises (Eviction of UnauthorisedOccupants) Amendment Act, 1980 (61 of 1980), section 2 (20-12-1980), Act (7 of1994), section 2 (1-6-94).

6. Insertedby the Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Amendment Act, 1980(61 of 1980), section 2 (20-12-1980).

7.Insertedby the Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Amendment Act, 1980(61 of 1980), section 2 (20-12-1980), Act (7 of 1994), section 2 (1-6-94).


Section 3. Appointment of estate officers

The Central Government may, by notification in the Offi­cial Gazette,--

(a) appoint such persons, being gazetted officers of Government1[or of the Government of any Union Territory] or officers of equivalent rank of the2[statutory authority], as it thinks fit, to be estate officers for the purposes of this Act;3[*]

3[Provided that no officer of the Secretariat of the Rajya Sabha shall be so appointed except after consultation with the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha and no officer of the Secretariat of the Lok Sabha shall be so appointed except after consultation with the Speaker of the Lok Sabha;

Provided further that an officer of a statutory authority shall only be appointed as an estate officer in respect of the public premises controlled by that authority; and]

(b) define the local limits within which, or the categories of public premises in respect of which, the estate officers shall exercise the powers conferred, and perform the duties imposed, on estate officers by or under this Act.

1. Inserted by the Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occu­pants) Amendment Act, 1980 (61 of 1980), section 3 (20-12-1980), section 2, (7 of 1994), section 3 (1 -6-94).

2. Substituted for the words "corporate body" by the Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occu­pants) Amendment Act, 1980 (61 of 1980), section 3 (20-12-1980), section 2.

3. Word "and" omitted and to clause (a) provisos inserted by the Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occu­pants) Amendment Act, 1980 (61 of 1980), section 3 (20-12-1980).


Section 3A. Eviction from temporary occupation

1[(3A) Eviction from temporary occupation

Notwithstanding anything contained in section 4 or section 5, if the estate officer, after making such inquiry as he deems expedient in the circumstances of the case, is satisfied that any persons who were allowed temporary occupation of any public premises are in unauthorised occupation of the said premises, he may, for reasons to be recorded in writing, make an order for the eviction of such persons forthwith and, thereupon, if such persons refuse or fail to comply with the said order of eviction, he may evict them from the premises and take possession there­of and may, for that purpose, use such force as may be necessary.]

1. Inserted by Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Amendment Act (7 of 1994), section 4 (1-6-94).


Section 4. Issue of notice to show cause against order of eviction

(1) If the estate officer is of opinion that any personsare in unauthorised occupation of any public premises and that they should beevicted, the estate officer shall issue in the manner hereinafter provided anotice in writing calling upon all persons concerned to show cause why an orderof eviction should not be made.

(2) The notice shall--

(a) specify the grounds on which theorder of eviction is proposed to be made; and

1 [(b) require all persons concerned, thatis to say, all persons who are, or may be, in occupation of, or claim interestin, the public premises,--

(i) to show cause, if any, against theproposed order on or before such date as is specified in the notice, being adate not earlier than seven days from the date of issue thereof, and

(ii) to appear before the estate officeron the date specified in the notice along with the evidence which they intend toproduce in support of the cause shown, and also for personal hearing, if suchhearing is desired.]

(3) The estate officer shall cause thenotice to be served by having it affixed on the outer door or some otherconspicuous part of the public premises, and in such other manner as may beprescribed whereupon the notice shall be deemed to have been duly given to allpersons concerned.

2 [x x x x x x x].

1. Clause(b) substituted by the Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants)Amendment Act, 1980 (61 of 1980), section 4 (20-12-1980).

2. Omittedby the Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Amendment Act, 1980(61 of 1980), section 4 (20-12-1980), (7 of 1994), section 5 (1-6-94).


Section 5. Eviction of unauthorised occupants

(1) If, after considering the cause, ifany, shown by any person in pursuance of a notice under section 4 and 1 anyevidence produced by him in support of the same and after personal hearing, ifany, given under clause (b) of sub-section (2) of section 4], the estate officeris satisfied that the public premises are in unauthorised occupation, the estateofficer may make an order of eviction, for reasons to be recorded therein,directing that the public premises shall be vacated, on such date as may bespecified in the order, by all persons who may be in occupation thereof or anypart thereof, and cause a copy of the order to be affixed on the outer door orsome other conspicuous part of the public premises.

(2) If any person refused or fails tocomply with the order of eviction 2 [on or before, the date specifiedin the said order or within fifteen days of its publication under sub-section(1) whichever is later,] the estate officer or any other officer duly authorisedby the estate officer in this behalf may evict that person from, and takepossession of, the public premises and may, for that purpose, use such force asmay be necessary.

1. Substitutedfor the words "any evidence he may produce in support of the same and aftergiving him a reasonable opportunity of being heard" by the Public Premises(Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Amendment Act, 1986 (61 of 1980), section 5(20-12-1980).

2. Substitutedfor the words "within thirty days of the date of its publication undersub-section (1)" by the Public Premises (Eviction of UnauthorisedOccupants) Amendment Act, 1986 (61 of 1980), section 5 (20-12-1980).


Section 5A. Power to remove unauthorised constructions, etc.

1 [5A. power to remove unauthorised constructions, etc

(1) No person shall--

(a) erect or place or raise any building or 2 [any movable or immovable structure or fixture,]

(b) display or spread any goods,

(c) bring or keep any cattle or other animal, on, or against, or in front of, any public premises except in accordance with the authority (whether by way of grant or any other mode of transfer) under which he was allowed to occupy such premises.

3 [(2) Where any building or other immovable structure or fixture has been erected, placed or raised on any public premises in contravention of the provisions of sub-section (1), the estate officer may serve upon the person erecting such building or other structure or fixture, a notice requiring him either to remove, or to show cause why he shall not remove such building or other structure or fixture, from the public premises within such period, not being less than seven days, as he may specify in the notice; and on the omission or refusal of such person either to show cause or to remove such building or other structure or fixture from the public premises or where the cause shown is not, in the opinion of the estate officer, sufficient, the estate officer may by order, remove or cause to be removed the building or other structure or fixture from the public premises and recover the cost of such removal from the person aforesaid as an arrear of land revenue.

3 (3) Where any movable structure or fixture has been erected, placed or raised, or any goods have been displayed or spread, or any cattle or other animal has been brought or kept, on any public premises, in contravention of the provisions of sub-section (1) by any person, the estate officer may, by order, remove or caused to be removed without notice, such structure, fixture, goods, cattle or other animal, as the case may be, from the public premises and recover the cost of such removal from such person as an arrear of land revenue.]

1. Inserted by the Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Amendment Act, 1980 (61 of 1980), section 12(20-12-1980), 1984 (35 of 1984), section 9 (12-11-1984).

2. Substituted for the words "other structure or fixture" by the Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Act, 1980 (61 of 1980), section 6 (20-12-1980), 1984 (35 of 984), section 2 (a) (12-11-1984).

3. Substituted by the Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Act, 1980 (61 of 1980), section 6 (20-12-1980), 1984 (35 of 984), section 2 (a) (12-11-1984), section 2(b) (12-11-1984).


Section 5B. Order of demolition of unauthorised construction

15B. Order of demolition of unauthorised constructions

(1) Where the erection of any build­ing or execution of any work has been commenced, or is being carried on, or has been completed, on any public premises by any person in occupation of such premises under an authority (whether by way of grant or any other mode of transfer), and such erection of building or execution of work is in contraven­tion of, or not authorised by such authority, then, the estate officer may, in addition to any other action that may be taken under this Act or in accordance with the terms of the authority aforesaid, make an order, for reasons to be recorded therein, directing that such erection or work shall be demolished by the person at whose instance the erection or work has been commenced, or is being carried on, or has been completed, within such period, as may be specified in the order,2[* ******* *.]

Provided that no order under this sub-section shall be made unless the person concerned has been given, by means of a notice3[of not less than seven days] served in the prescribed manner, a reasonable opportunity of showing cause why such order should not be made.

(2) Where the erection or work has not been completed, the estate officer may, by the same order or by a separate order, whether made at the time of the issue of the notice under the proviso to sub­section (1) or at any other time direct the person at whose instance the erection or work has been com­menced, or is being carried on, to stop the erection or work until the expiry of the period within which an appeal against the order of demolition, if made, may be preferred under section 9.

(3) The estate officer shall cause every order made under sub-section (1), or, as the case may be, under sub-section (2), to be affixed on the outer door, or some other conspicuous part, of the public premises.

(4) Where no appeal has been preferred against the order of demolition made by the estate officer under sub-section (1) or where an order of demolition made by the estate officer under that sub-section has been confirmed on appeal, whether with or without variation, the person against whom the order has been made shall comply with the order within the period specified therein, or, as the case may be, within the period, if any, fixed by the appellate officer on appeal, and, on the failure of the person to comply with the order within such period, the estate officer or any other officer duly authorised by the estate officer in this behalf, may cause the erection or work to which the order relates to be demolished.

(5) Where an erection or work has been demolished, the estate officer may, by order, require the person concerned to pay the expenses of such demolition within such time, and in such number of instalments, as may be specified in the order.]

1. Inserted by the Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Amendment Act, 1980 (61 of 1980), section 6 (20-12-1980).

2. Omitted by the Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Amendment Act, 1980 (61 of 1980), section 6 (20-12-1980), 1984 (35 of 1984), section 3 (a) (12-11-1984).

3. Inserted by the Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Amendment Act, 1980 (61 of 1980), section 6 (20-12-1980), 1984 (35 of 1984), section 3 (a) (12-11-1984), section 3 (b) (12-11 -1984).


Section 5C. Power to seal unauthorised constructions

1[5c. Power to seal unauthorised consstructions

(1) It shall be lawful for the estate officer, at any time, before or after making an order of demolition under section 5B, to make an order directing the sealing of such erection or work or of the public premises in which such erection or work has been completed in such manner as may be prescribed, for the purpose of carrying out the provisions of this Act, or for preventing any dispute as to the nature and extent of such erection or work.

(2) Where any erection or work or any premises in which any erection or work is being carried on has, or have been sealed, the estate officer may, for the purpose of demolishing such erection or work in accordance with the provisions of this Act, order such seal to be removed.

(3) No person shall remove such seal except--

(a) under an order made by the estate officer under sub-section (2); or

(b) under an order of the appellate officer made in an appeal under this Act.]

1. Inserted by Public Premises (Eviction of unauthorised Occupants) Amendment Act, 1984 (35 of 1984), section 4 (12-11-1984).


Section 6. Disposal of property left on public premises by unauthorised occupants

(1) Where any persons have been evicted from any public premises under section 5 [for where any building or other work has been demolished under section 5B] the estate officer may, after giving fourteen days' notice to the person from whom possession of the public premises has been taken and after publishing the notice in at least one newspaper having circulation in the locality, remove or cause to be removed or dispose of by public auction any property remaining on such premises.

1[(1A) Where any goods, materials, cattle or other animal have been removed from any public premises under section 5A, the estate officer may, after giving fourteen days' notice to the persons owning such goods, materials cattle or other animal and after publishing the notice in at least one newspaper having circulation in the locality, dispose of, by public auction, such goods, materials, cattle or other animals.

(1B) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-sections (1) and (1 A), the giving or publication of any notice referred to therein shall not be necessary in respect of any property which is subject to speedy and natural decay, and the estate officer may, after recording such evidence as he may think fit, cause such property to be sold or otherwise disposed of in such manner as he may think fit.]

(2) Where any property is sold under sub-section (1), the sale proceeds thereof shall, after deducting the expenses of the sale and the amount, if any; due to the Central Government or the2[statutory authority] on account of arrears of rent or damages or costs, be paid to such person or persons as may appear to the estate officer to be entitled to the same :

Provided that where the estate officer is unable to decide as to the person or persons to whom the balance of the amount is payable or as to the apportionment of the same, he may refer such dispute to the civil Court of competent jurisdiction and the decision of the court thereon shall be final.

1[(2A) The expression "costs", referred to in sub-section (2), shall include the cost of removal recoverable under section 5A and the cost of demolition recoverable under section 5B.]

1. Inserted by the Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Amendment Act, 1980 (61 of 1980), section 7 (20-12-1980).

2. Substituted for the words "corporate body" by the Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Amendment Act, 1980 (61 of 1980), section 7 (20-12-1980), section 2.


Section 7. Power to require payment of rent or damages in respect of public premises

(1) Where any person, is in arrears ofrent payable in respect of any public premises, the estate officer may, byorder, require that person to pay the same within such time and in suchinstalments as may be specified in the order.

(2) Where any person is, or has at anytime been, in unauthorised occupation of any public premises, the estate officermay, having regard to such principles of assessment of damages as may heprescribed, assess the damages on account of the use and occupation of suchpremises and may, by order, require that person to pay the damages within suchtime and in such instalments as may be specified in the order.

1 [(2A) While making an order undersub-section (1) or sub-section (2), the estate officer may direct that thearrears of rent or, as the case may be, damages shall be payable together withsimple interest at such rate as may be prescribed, not being a rate exceedingthe current rate of interest within the meaning of the interest Act, 1978.]

(3) No order under sub-section (1) orsub-section (2) shall be made against any person until after the issue of anotice in writing to the person calling upon him to show cause within such timeas may be specified in the notice, why such order should not be made, and untilhis objections, if any, and any evidence he may produce in support of the same,have been considered by the estate officer.

1. Insertedby the Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Amendment Act, 1980(61 of 1980), section 8 (20-12-1980).


Section 8. Power of estate officers

An estate officer shall, for the purpose of holding any inquiry under this Act, have the same powers as are vested in a civil court under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, when trying a suit in respect of the following matters, namely :--

(a) summoning and enforcing the attendance of any person and examining him on oath;

(b) requiring the discovery and production of documents;

(c) any other matter which may be prescribed.

Section 9. Appeals

(1) An appeal shall lie from every order of the estate officer made in respect of any public premises under1[section 5 or section 5B]2[or section 5C] or section 7 to an appellate officer who shall be the district judge of the district in which the public premises are situate or such other judicial officer in that district of not less than ten years' standing as the district judge may designate in this behalf.

(2) An appeal under sub-section (1) shall be preferred,--

(a) in the case of an appeal from an order under section 5,3[within twelve days] from the date of publication of the order under sub-section (1) of that section;4[*]

(b) in the case of an appeal from an order5[under section 5B or section 7, within twelve days], from the date on which the order is communicated to the appellant:

Provided that the appellate officer may entertain the appeal after the expiry of the6[said period] if he is satisfied that the appellant was prevented by sufficient cause from filing the appeal in time7[and]

7[(c) in the case of an appeal from an order under section 5C, within twelve days from the date of such order;]

(3) Where an appeal is preferred from an order of the estate officer, the appellate officer may stay the enforcement of that order for such period and on such conditions as he deems fit.

8[Provided that where the construction or erection of any building or other structure or fixture or execution of any other work was not completed on the day on which an order was made under section 5B for the demolition or removal of such building or other structure or fixture, the appellate officer shall not make any order for the stay of enforcement of such order, unless such security, as may be sufficient in the opinion of the appellate officer, has been given by the appellant for not proceeding with such construction, erection or work pending the disposal of the appeal.]

(4) Every appeal under this section shall be disposed of by the appellate officer as expeditiously as possible.

(5) The costs of any appeal under this section shall be in the discretion of the appellate officer.

(6) For the purposes of this section, a presidency-town shall be deemed to be a district and the chief judge or the principal judge of the city civil Court therein shall be deemed to be the district judge of the district.

1. Substituted for the word and figure "section 5" by the Pubic Premises (Eviction of unauthorised Occupants) 'Amendment Act, 1980(61 of 1980), section 9 (20-12-1980).

2. Inserted by the Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Amendment Act, 1984 (35 of 1984), section 9 (a) (12-11-1984).

3. Substituted for the words "within fifteen days" by the Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Amendment Act, 1984 (35 of 1984), section 9 (a) (12-11-1984), section 10 (20-12-1980).

4. Omitted by the Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Amendment Act, 1984 (35 of 1984), section 9 (a) (12-11-1984), section 10 (20-12-1980), 1984 (35 of 1984), section 9 (b) (i) (12-11-1984).

5. Substituted for the words and figure "under section 7, within fifteen days" by the Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Amendment Act, 1984 (35 of 1984), section 9 (a) (12-11-1984), section 10 (20-12-1980), 1984 (35 of 1984), section 9 (b) (i) (12-11-1984), (61 of 1980), section 10 (20-12-1980).

6. Substituted for the words "said period of fifteen days" by the Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Amendment Act, 1984 (35 of 1984), section 9 (a) (12-11-1984), section 10 (20-12-1980), 1984 (35 of 1984), section 9 (b) (i) (12-11-1984), (61 of 1980), section 10 (20-12-1980).

7. Inserted by the Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Amendment Act, 1984 (35 of 1984), section 9 (a) (12-11-1984), section 10 (20-12-1980), 1984 (35 of 1984), section 9 (b) (i) (12-11-1984), (61 of 1980), section 10 (20-12-1980), 1984 (35 of 1984), section 9-(b) (ii), (iii) (12-11-1984).

8. Inserted by the Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Amendment Act, 1984 (35 of 1984), section 9 (a) (12-11-1984), section 10 (20-12-1980), 1984 (35 of 1984), section 9 (b) (i) (12-11-1984), (61 of 1980), section 10 (20-12-1980), 1984 (35 of 1984), section 9-(b) (ii), (iii) (12-11-1984).


Section 10. Finality of orders

Save as otherwise expressly provided in this Act, every order made by an estate officer or appellate officer under this Act shall be final and shall not be called in question in any original suit, application or execution proceeding and no injunction shall be granted by any Court or other authority in respect of any action taken or to be taken in pursuance of any power conferred by or under this Act.