New Delhi: A bill to evict unauthorised occupants from public premises was taken up for consideration in the Lok Sabha today with the members expressing concern that the government might misuse powers to harass MPs.

Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu moved the Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Amendment Bill, 2014, for consideration and passage.

While Congress members said the amendments could be “draconian” in case of hospitals and orphanages, Trinamool Congress said the NDA government was acting in haste to evict the members from the accommodation which they have been using for years.

“We are strengthening the hands of Urban Development Ministry. But if that means that the Members will be given notices for eviction, that would be very unfortunate,” Saugata Roy (TMC) said.

Stating that the government could not be given a “free hand”, Roy said the members from opposition are sought to be victimised under the Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Amendment Bill.

Sushmita Dev (Cong) said since the government gives lands to many entities, including hospitals and orphanages, the “draconian” provisions could be misused for vacating those premises.

Naidu, however, said that the bill has taken into account four recommendations of the Standing Committee and 18 relevant judgements of the Supreme Court. It would ensure “speedy eviction” of unauthorised occupancy.

The bill seeks to redefine public premises. The new definition would also include companies in which the Centre or state government has over 51 per cent equity.

It proposes that metro properties be declared public premises by amending the Public Premises Act 1971 and conferring powers of Estate Officers on officers of DMRC to be appointed by the Centre for dealing with problem of eviction in a more expeditious manner.

The Bill proposes to amend the Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Act, 1971.

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