Telangana High Court: Married Army Officer’s Spouse Not Entitled to Retain Allotted Premises


LI Network

Published on: December 30, 2023 at 13:00 IST

The Telangana High Court recently concluded that while Rule 4 of the Quartermaster Rules entitles a married army officer to accommodation, it doesn’t confer the spouse with a statutory right to retain the allotted premise.

The Division Bench, comprised of Chief Justice Alok Aradhe and Justice Anil Kumar Jukanti, made this determination during a writ appeal filed by an army colonel’s estranged wife, challenging her eviction from the accommodation allotted to her husband.

The appellant argued that Rule 4 guaranteed her the right to reside in the allotted space and alleged that the eviction notice violated the procedure outlined in the Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorized Occupants) Act, 1971.

The Station Commander’s decision was initially upheld by a Single Bench, leading the appellant to contest this decision as well.

In response, the Deputy Solicitor General highlighted the arrival of new officers awaiting accommodation while the appellant continued to occupy the previously assigned space without authorization.

Upon reviewing Rule 4, the Division Bench clarified that it solely addresses the entitlement of a married officer to accommodation, dismissing the appellant’s claim that it extends rights to her. They noted the change in the officer’s posting from an unrest zone to a peaceful one, rendering the previous allocation invalid.

Although the officer-husband returned to Secunderabad, his current residence in a mess due to his mother’s illness invalidated the spouse’s claim to retain the allotted premises. The appellant was directed to vacate by December 29 or by January 15, 2024, upon providing an undertaking to depart without causing disruption.

The Court also acknowledged the appellant’s unauthorized occupation despite multiple eviction notices and a prior extension till December 31. The competent authority was instructed to ensure the premises’ vacation by the specified dates.

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