A division bench of the court comprising Chief Justice S.J. Mukhopadhaya and Justice K.M. Thaker gave the ruling while hearing a case of Khodsinh Waghela vs State of Gujarat.
Waghela approached the high court challenging a notice issued to him by the executive engineer of the capital project department of the government, asking him to vacate his quarter No. 135/6 in sector 23 of Gandhinagar.
Waghela submitted that order of allotment was issued in his favour and he is serving in the police department. He submitted that despite the fact of him being in a government service the notice was issued.
The counsel for the government submitted that Waghela was transferred to another district in 2004 and in 2009 was again posted to Gandhinagar.
The petitioner did not apply for fresh allotment after his posting in Gandhinagar, the counsel submitted.
However, the counsel for the petitioner contended that the petitioner in the meantime had paid the market rent and after being posted in Gandhinagar was ready to file a fresh application for allotment of the accommodation.
The division bench observed: “It is brought to our notice that the petitioner was transferred out of Gandhinagar district in 2004 and, therefore, he cannot take advantage of the earlier order of allotment dated May 17, 2004. In view of his transfer out of Gandhinagar district, and as per government guidelines, he should have vacated the quarter.
“However, he remained in occupation by flouting guidelines and continued to stay in it for more than five years without any allotment. He cannot take advantage of such illegal occupation mainly on the ground that he had paid the market rent.”
The division bench refused to entertain the petitioner’s plea and ordered the petitioner to vacate the quarter.
However, the court noted the petitioner may file a fresh application for allotment which the authority will consider in accordance with law along with other applications. However, the court clarified that while deciding so the authority will have to give preference to those who had applied earlier.
The division bench of the court in May had ordered the state government authorities to conduct a survey in the state capital to trace illegal occupancy in government quarters and bungalows.
The court had suo moto taken up the issue following a news report which stated that family members and relatives of government officials and those on high posts were misusing the government facility and even overstaying after the due period.