Shimla, July 28
Taking a serious note of the discrepancies in allotment of Govt. accommodation the High Court of Himachal Pradesh, has directed the Secretary (GAD) and Director of Estate, to the Government of H.P., to adopt a fair and transparent procedure in matters of allotment of Govt. accommodation, strictly in conformity and compliance of the H.P. Allotment of Government Residential (General Pool) Rules, 1994.
The matter came to light before the Bench comprising Justice Tarlok Singh Chauhan and Justice Sandeep Sharma, who passed these orders, on a writ petition filed by one Sumit Sharma.
The petitioner has alleged that he was allotted accommodation i.e. Set No.54, Block-H, Type-II, Nabha Estate in the year 2021.Adding, the accommodation did not suit him as it was away from the road and there are stairs making it difficult for his aged and ailing parents to live with him in the said accommodation. As such, he applied for change of accommodation through proper channel on 22.3.2021. The petitioner was informed on 17.04. 2021 that his request for change of accommodation could not be acceded to as the accommodation was in possession of one Rajesh Sharma, who was due to retire on 30.4.2022 and as such his request could in accordance with the instructions be considered only after retirement of said Rajesh Sharma.
The petitioner was informed vide letter dated 11.8.2021, by the respondent Department that they had not received any intimation from Rajesh Sharma regarding vacation of the accommodation and it was further reiterated that the respondent-department was already in receipt of the request made by the petitioner and one Rajesh Kumar for change of accommodation.
The petitioner remained under the impression that his request for change of accommodation would be dealt with in accordance with law, but he was surprised to know that on 23.8.2021, the Director of Estate to the Govt. of H.P., issued a letter to Secretary GAD, conveying approval for change of accommodation in favour of respondent one Chaman Lal.
Aggrieved by the action of the respondents in allotting the accommodation in question in favour of respondent Chaman Lal, the petitioner approached the High Court for quashing and setting aside the impugned allotment dated 23.8.2021 and directing the respondents to allot Set No.156, Block-J, Type-II in favour of the petitioner.
Showing strong displeasure over the action of the respondents, the Court observed that “how an illegal action, resting on inflated ego of a high-ranking officer of the State, can result in prolonged litigation causing immense suffering to the petitioner is best reflected in the instant case”. The Court further observed that the entire scenario shocks the conscious of this Court to come across such a systematic fraud committed by those who are at the helm of these affairs. The allotment of accommodation had to be in accordance with the Rules, that too, in a fair and transparent manner without indulging in any favourtism or nepotism.
The court has directed Secretary (GAD) and Director Estate, to the Govt. of H.P., to vacate the accommodation of respondent Chaman Lal, on or before 2.8.2022 at 10.00 A.M. and thereafter ensure that the accommodation in question is fully habitable with proper electricity and water connection and hand over the same to the petitioner latest by 16.8.2022.
The Court has ordered that the details of application as per “first come first serve” and other details, along with the order(s) of allotment made from time to time, shall be uploaded on the official website within 24 hours of the order(s) of allotment.
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