New Delhi: Former Secretary at the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), Ramesh Abhishek has vacated his government residence after the Department of Estates, under the Ministry of Urban Development, initiated eviction proceedings.
The eviction proceedings gathered momentum after Chennai Financial Markets and Accountability (CFMA), a society registered under the Tamil Nadu Societies Registration Act, 1975, filed a writ petition in the Delhi High Court, raising an important question of law as to whether government servants having their own houses in the vicinity of the place of allotment of government houses are entitled to concessional retention.
This, it contended, often deprives genuine employees or officers, who are entitled to official accommodation by virtue of their service conditions, of residential quarters.
Abhishek, a 1982-batch Bihar cadre IAS officer, had been delaying vacating the high-profile premises at New Moti Bagh here even after his retirement last year. Although he retired on July 31, 2019, he did not vacate the official bungalow following which the Department of Estates sent him to notice on August 19, 2019, cancelling the allotment.
It also made clear that the retired bureaucrat will have to pay the damages, if the premises are occupied beyond the permissible limit, according to the affidavit filed by the Department in the Delhi High Court on July 30.
Reluctant to vacate the spacious government bungalow, the affidavit noted, Abhishek requested a period of further retention. It then allowed him retention for six months until February 1, 2020, but made it clear that no further retention beyond the concessional period already granted shall be allowed on any ground.
His accounts may not be settled finally without obtaining a ‘No Demand Certificate” from the Department, it added.
Abhishek did not vacate the bungalow even after the retention period expired on February 1, following which the Department of Estates initiated eviction proceedings under the Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants), Act, 1971, against him and served him a show-cause notice on February 13, to appear in person to present his case as it became a case of unauthorised occupancy of public premises.
Following the Delhi High Court notice in the writ filed by CFMA, in its affidavit, the government stated that Abhishek has finally vacated the bungalow on July 30, complying with the eviction notice and paying Rs 4.25 lakh as telescopic damages to the Department of Estates, which urged the Delhi High Court to dismiss the petition in this regard.
Recently, the Central government told the Madras High Court that the candidature of Abhishek will not be considered for the post of the SEBI Chairman. Earlier this month, the Madras High Court has directed the Lokpal to ascertain the present status of a complaint filed by 63 moons technologies against Abhishek for alleged misuse of his official position as commodities market regulator in recommending the merger of the Rs 5,600 crore crisis-hit National Spot Exchange Ltd with the company.