West Bengal Act XXI of 1984
THE WEST BENGAL GOVERNMENT PREMISES (REGULATION OF OCCUPANCY) ACT, 1984.
Amended West Ben. Act XVIII of 2001.
[3rd July, 1984.]
An Act to provide for the regulation of occupancy of Government premises in West Bengal, meant for the employees of the State Government, with a view to preventing unlawful occupation of such premises and ensuring the use of such premises by the persons for whom, and for the purpose for which, they are intended.
Whereas it is expedient to provide fur the regulation of occupancy of Government premises in West Bengal, meant for the employees; or the State Government, with a view to preventing unlawful occupation of such premises and ensuring the use or such premises by the persons for whom, and for the purpose for which, they are intended;
It is hereby enacted in the Thirty-fifth Year of the Republic of India, by the Legislature of West Bengal, as follows:-
1. Short title, extent and commencement
(1) This Act may be called the West Bengal Government Premises (Regulation of Occupancy) Act, 1984.
(2) It extends to the whole of West Bengal.
(3) It shall come into force on such date as the State Government may. by notification, appoint.
In this Act, unless there is anything repugnant in the subject or context,-
(a) “Appellate Authority” means any authority, superior in rank to the Competent Authority, appointed by the State Government in respect of any Government premises or class of Government premises by notification for the purposes of sub-section (3) of section 11 and sub-section (3) of section 15, and includes different such authorities for different Government premises and different classes of Government premises;
(b) “appointed day” means the date on which this Act comes into force;
(c) “Competent Authority” means an authority, not below the rank of Assistant Secretary to. or Deputy Director under, the Government of West Bengal or Sub-divisional Officer or Executive Magistrate or Sub-divisional Police Officer or Assistant Commissioner of Police or Assistant Engineer or any other officer declared by the State Government to be of rank equivalent to the rank of any officer as aforesaid, appointed by the State Government in respect of any Government premises or class of Government premises by notification for carrying out the purposes of this Act, and includes different such authorities for different Government premises and different classes of Government premises;
(d) “Government premises” means State premises which are not public premises;
(e) “Government Undertaking” means a body corporate constituted by or under a Central or State Act and owned or controlled or managed by the State Government, and includes any company, as defined in section 3 of the Companies Act, 1956, which is under the management of, or in which not less than fifty-one percent of the paid up share capital is held by, the State Government;
(f) “license” means a license granted under section 7 or anything deemed to be a license within the meaning of section 9;
(g) “license fee”, in relation to any Government premises, means the consideration, by whatever name called, payable periodically or otherwise for the authorised occupation of the premises, and includes-
(i) any charge for electricity, water or any other services in connection with the occupation of the premises, and
(ii) any tax, by whatever name called, payable in respect of the premises, where such charge or tax is payable by the State Government or the Government Undertaking having control over the premises;
(h) “notification” means a notification published in the Official Gazette’;
(i) “premises” means any building, shed or hut, used or intended to be used for residential purposes, and includes part of a building, shed or hut and a room or a seat in a room allotted separately, and also includes-
(i) the gardens, grounds, outhouses, garages and godowns, if any, appurtenant thereto, and
(ii) any furniture supplied or any fillings or fixtures affixed for the use of the occupant of such building, garage, godown, shed, hut, room or seal in a room, as the ease may be; –
(j) “prescribed” means prescribed by rules made under this Act;
(k) “public premises” means State premises in respect of which a declaration has been made under section 3 and includes the State premises mentioned in Schedule II:
(l) “specified distance” means the distance specified in any license or, where no such distance is specified, a distance of twenty kilometres, measured in either case by the shortest surface route from any place;
(m) “specified post”, in relation to any Government premises, means any post the headquarters in respect of which arc within the specified distance from such premises or any post specified in respect of such premises in any declaration made under section 5 or any post in consideration of which an authority had lawfully been granted to any person for the occupation of such premises before the appointed day;
(n) “State premises” means any premises belonging to, or taken on lease or license or requisitioned by, or on behalf of, the State Government.
3. State premises may be declared to be public premises.
(1) The State Government may, from time to time, by notification subject to such terms and conditions as it may deem fit, declare any State premises to be public premises.
(2) Notwithstanding the provisions of sub-section (1), it is declared that the State premises mentioned in Schedule II are public premises.
4. License for occupation of Government premises.
A license may be granted by a Competent Authority to any person for the occupation of any Government premises only if he is in the employment of, and holds any specified post under, the State Government.
5. Declaration relating to Government premises to specified posts.
The State Government may, from time to time, by notification, declare that a license in respect of any Government premises may be granted to any person if such person holds the post specified in the declaration in respect of those premises,
6. State Government employees on deputation to a Government Undertaking
Any person in the employment of the State Government shall, on deputation to a Government Undertaking, be deemed to remain in the employment of the State Government and any post held by such person in that Undertaking shall be deemed to be a post under the State Government.
7. License for occupation of Government promises.
No person shall occupy, or remain in occupation of, any Government premises except on the authority, and subject to the terms and conditions, of a valid license granted in his favour by the Competent Authority.
Explanation. – For the removal of doubts it is declared that a license which has been, or stands, terminated under any provision of this Act shall not be deemed to be a license for the purposes of this Act.
8. Persons not in the employment of, or not holding any post under, the State Government.
No person in occupation of any Government premises on the appointed day shall remain in occupation thereof if he is not in the employment of, or does not hold any specified post under, the State Government, or is not the person to whom lawful authority had been granted for the occupation of such premises.
Explanation. – For the removal of doubts it is declared that any person who has retired from the service or the State Government or from any of the All India Services shall not be deemed to he in the employment of, or to hold any post under, the State Government.
9. Authority for occupation of a Government premises to be deemed to be license.
Subject to the provisions of section 8, the authority, howsoever described, by which any person is lawfully in occupation of any Government premises on the appointed day shall be deemed to be a license for the purposes of section 7.
10. Terms and conditions of license.
(1) The terms and conditions specified in Schedule I shall be deemed to be a part of the terms and conditions of every license and they shall be in addition to such other terms and conditions as may be determined by the Competent Authority or may have been determined in respect of anything deemed to be a license under section 9.
(2) Where the terms and conditions specified in Schedule I are inconsistent with the other terms and conditions of any license, such other terms and conditions shall, to the extent they are inconsistent, be void.
11. Termination of license.
(1) Every license in respect of it Government premises shall, subject to the provisions of sub-section (2), stand automatically terminated upon-
(i) the death of the licensee, or
(ii) the expiry of the period of validity of the license, or
(iii) the cessation or the licensee’s employment under the State Government by reason of his retirement, resignation, discharge or dismissal or by any other reason, or
(iv) the licensee ceasing to hold any specified post under the State Government by reason of his transfer from any such post or by any other reason:
Provided that for the purposes of this section a person shall not be deemed to have ceased to hold any post by proceeding on leave, or on being suspended, from that post, if he does not accept any other employment during the period of his leave or suspension,
(2) A license in respect of a Government premises may be terminated, by order, by the Competent Authority in accordance with the terms and conditions of the licensee:
Provided that no such order shall be made without giving the licensee an opportunity of being heard.
(3) An appeal shall lie to the Appellate Authority against an order made under sub-section (2), or an order or the Competent Authority refusing to renew a license, within fifteen days from the date or communication of the order to the licensee.
(4) The decision of the Appellate Authority on such order shall, subject to the provision of section 23, be final,
12. Payment of any amount after termination of license not to revalidate the license.
Where payment of any amount as consideration for the occupation of any Government premises is tendered by the licensee or any other, person after the termination of his license, the acceptance of that amount by, or on behalf of, the State Government or any other authority shall not be construed as revalidating or renewing or extending the license or conferring any right upon the licensee or any other person to remain in occupation of the said Government premises, but the amount may be adjusted against the compensation payable under section 15.
13. Consequence of violation of the provisions of the Act
Where any person occupies, or remains in occupation of, any Government premises in violation of any of the provisions of this Act. [he Competent Authority may lake such steps and use such forte as may be necessary to take possess ion of the premises;
Provided that, except in respect of a room or a .scat in a room allotted separately, no such steps shall be taken-
(a) before the expiry of a period of thirty days-
(i) from die appointed day in a ease where there has been a violation of the provisions of section 8, or
(ii) from the date of termination of a license under sub-section (1) of section 11 or from the date of communication to the licensee of an order under sub-section (2) of section 11 terminating a license in any oilier ease (not being a case where no license has been granted), or
(b) during the pendency of any appeal under sub-section (3) of section 11 and for a period of thirty days following the disposal of such appeal:
Provided further that upon an application from any person in occupation of any Government premises on grounds of extreme hardship, the Competent Authority may extend the said period of thirty days by such further period, not exceeding ninety days, as the Competent Authority may deem fit.
(1) Whoever occupies, or remains in occupation of, or a Hows any person to occupy, any Government premises in violation of any of the provisions of this Act shall, without prejudice to any other action that may he taken against him under this Act, be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months or with fine which may extend to five thousand rupees, or with both.
(2) Any offence punishable under sub-section (1) shall be a cognizable offence.
15. Compensation payable for unlawful occupation
(1) Where any person has occupied any Government premises in violation of any of the provisions of this Act. he shall be liable to pay as compensation such amount, not exceeding the market rental value of the premises assessed in the prescribed manner, as the Competent Authority may, by order, determine after giving such person an opportunity of being heard.
(2) Where any damage beyond normal wear and tear has been caused to any Government premises while in the occupation of any person, such person shall be liable to pay for the repair of such damage such compensation, not exceeding the cost of repair, as may be determined, by order, by the Competent Authority, after giving him an opportunity of being heard.
(3) An appeal shall lie to the Appellate Authority against every order of the Competent Authority made under sub-section (1) or sub-section
(2) within fifteen days from the date of communication of the order to the 1 appellant,
(4) The decision of the Appellate Authority on such order shall, subject to the provision of section 23, be final.
16. Period for payment or compensation.
The amount of compensation determined under section 15 by the Competent Authority or the Appellate Authority as the case maybe, shall be payable by the person liable to pay such compensation within thirty days of the communication thereof to the said person.
17. Recovery of compensation.
Any arrears of license fee or compensation determined under section 15 shall be recoverable with interest calculated thereon at six per centum per annum as a public demand under the Bengal Public Demands Recovery Act, 1913.
18. Proceeding for realisation of arrears of license fee or compensation.
Where any person against whom any proceeding for the realisation of arrears of license fee or compensation as a public demand is to be, or has been, taken under section 17 dies before the proceeding is taken or during the pendency thereof, the proceeding may be taken or as the case may be, continued against the heir or the legal representative of that person.
19. Power of Competent Authority to remove property.
(1) Where possession of any premises has been taken under section 13, the Competent Authority may, after giving fourteen days’ notice to the person from whom possession has been taken, remove or cause to be removed or dispose of by public auction any property remaining in such premises.
(2) Where any properly 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 Competent Authority on account of arrears of license fee or compensation or costs, be paid to such person as may appear to the Competent Authority to be entitled to the same.
20. Competent Authority and Appellate Authority to be public servants.
The Competent Authority and the Appellate Authority shall be deemed to be public servants within the meaning of section 21 of the Indian Penal Code.
21. Protection or action taken in good faith.
No suit, prosecution or other legal proceeding whatsoever shall lie against any person for anything in good faith done or intended to be done under this Act.
22. Removal of difficulty
If any difficulty arises in giving effect to the provisions of this Act, the State Government may make such order or do such tiling, not inconsistent with the provisions of this Act, as appears to be necessary or expedient for removing the difficulty;
Provided that no such order shall be made Lifter the expiry of a period of two years from die daLe of publication of this Act in the Official Gazette.
23. Power of State Government to review.
The State Government may call for and examine the records of any proceeding before the Competent Authority or the Appellate Authority within thirty days from the date of any order made by the Competent Authority or the Appellate Authority, as the case may be, and make such orders thereon as it in ay think fit.
24. Act to override other laws.
(1) The provisions of this Act shall have effect not withstanding anything to the contrary contained in any oilier law for the time being in force or in any judgement, decree 01 order of any court, tribunal or other authority or in any instrument having effect by virtue of any enactment other than this Act or in any contract, express or implied, or in any custom or usage.
(2) In particular, and without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing provisions, the West Bengal Public Land (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Act, 1962 and the West Bengal Government Premises Tenancy Regulation) Act, 1976 shall not apply to Government premises.
25. Bar to jurisdiction to courts.
No court shall have jurisdiction 10 decide or to deal with any question which is required to be decided or dealt with under the provisions of ibis Act and no court shall have jurisdiction to entertain any suit or proceeding in respect of any such question.
26. Power to make rules.
(1) The State Government may make rules for carrying out the purposes of this Act,
(2) In particular, and without prejudice to the generality or the foregoing power, such rules may provide for all or any of the matters which may he, or are required to be, prescribed.
(3) Every rule made under this section shall be laid, as soon as may he after it is made, before the State Legislature while it is in session, for a total period or thirty days, which may be comprised in one session or in two successive sessions.
27. Power to relax.
The State Government may, if it considers necessary so to do, dispense with or relax the requirement of any of the provisions of this Act in respect or any Government premises to such extent and subject to such conditions as it may deem fit.
[See Section 10.]
Terms and conditions applicable to all licenses in respect of Government premises.
1. Subject to the provisions of item 2 and section 11, a license shall remain valid for the specified period and such period may be renewed from time to time by the Competent Authority. For this purpose specified period shall mean-
(i) the period specified in the license or, where nothing is specified in die license a period of three years from the date of issue of the license and such dale, in the ease of anything deemed to be a license under section 9, shall be the appointed day, or
(ii) any period for which the license is renewed by the Competent Authority.
2. An application for the renewal of a license shall be made to the Competent Authority in the prescribed manner. No such application shall be refused by the Competent Authority if the licensee continues to be eligible to hold the license in accordance with the provisions of this Act. A license shall remain valid during the pendency of an application for its renewal.
3. An application for the renewal of a license shall state inter alia the licensee’s post and place of posting.
4. A license shall cease to be valid if the licensee fails to lake possession of the premises covered by it (hereinafter referred to as the premises) within fifteen days of its issue or within such period as the Competent Authority may, upon an application by the licensee, grant.
5. The licensee shall use the premises for the purpose for which they have been allotted to him and shall not use them for any other purpose.
Example.- Where a flat is allotted to any person for the purpose of this residence there will be a violation of this condition if he does not himself ordinarily reside in it and allows his dependents or any other person to reside in it or keeps it vacant.
6. The licensee shall not assign or transfer the premises in any way to any person or put any person in possession of the premises.
7. The licensee shall not add to, or alter, any fixtures of the premises or make any structural alterations in the premises without the express permission in writing of the Competent Authority.
8. The licensee shall not cause, or suffer to be caused, any damage to the premises beyond the normal wear and tear through the proper use and occupation of the premises.
9. The licensee shall allow any officer duly authoriscd in (his behalf by the Competent Authority 10 inspect (he premises as and when necessary.
10. The licensee shall pay such license fee for the premises as may be determined from lime to time by the Competent Authority.
11. The license fee in respect of each month shall be payable by the first week or (he following month in such manner as may be stipulated by the Competent Authority. The licensee shall send to the Competent Authority as and when required by it a statement showing the details of the license Tee paid by the licensee, and such statement shall he in such form, and shall he authenticated in such manner, as may be stipulated by the Competent Authority.
12. The licensee, if he is in occupation of Government premises on the appointed day, shall inform the Competent Authority in writing within one month from (hat day about the post held by him, the headquarters of his post and the date of his retirement on superannuation based upon the entries contained in his Service Book.
13. The licensee shall inform the Competent Authority in writing about every change in his post or place of posting and every change in his status by reason of his going on leave, or being placed under suspension or by any other reason within a week of the change taking place.
14. A license may be terminated upon-
(a) the acquisition by the licensee of any other premises by way of ownership, tenancy or otherwise either in his own name or in the name of any member of his family dependent on him;
(b) the violation by the licensee of any of (he terms and conditions of the license;
(c) the licensee being placed under suspension, or upon proceeding on leave of my kind, for a period exceeding six months:
Provided that where, by reason of any declaration made under section 5, the post from which the licensee has proceeded on leave is a specified post in respect of the premises occupied by him and the authority granting the leave has not certified that upon the expiry of the leave the licensee is likely to return to that post, the license may be terminated at any time after the commencement of the leave;
(d) the expiry of one calendar month’s notice given by the Competent Authority to the licensee.
15. Upon the expiry or termination of any license, the licensee shall deliver vacant possession of the premises to the Competent Authority, or to any other person authorised by the Competent Authority in this behalf, in the same condition in which the licensee look possession of the premises.