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What are the penalties for illegal possession of property in India?

What are the penalties for illegal possession of property in India?

Published At June 28, 2024


Illegal possession of property in India is a serious offence, governed by multiple laws to safeguard property rights and ensure legal ownership. Various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Specific Relief Act provide the framework for addressing and penalizing such illegal activities.

  • Criminal Trespass (Section 441 IPC): This involves entering someone else’s property without permission with the intent to commit an offense or intimidate the owner. Penalties include imprisonment for up to three months, a fine of up to 500 rupees, or both (Section 447 IPC)​​.
  • House Trespass (Section 442 IPC): This is an aggravated form of criminal trespass, involving unlawful entry into a building used as a residence or for storage. It is punishable by imprisonment for up to one year, a fine of up to 1,000 rupees, or both (Section 448 IPC)​.
  • Lurking House Trespass (Section 443 IPC): This involves trespassing with the intent to conceal entry, punishable by up to two years of imprisonment and a fine (Section 453 IPC)​.
  • Extortion (Sections 383-389 IPC): If someone uses threats to induce another person to deliver property, it constitutes extortion. Penalties vary, with basic extortion carrying up to three years of imprisonment or a fine, while aggravated forms involving threats of death or grievous hurt can lead to more severe penalties​​.
  • Specific Relief Act (Section 6): This civil remedy allows a person dispossessed of property to seek restoration of possession through a court order. The act provides mechanisms to reclaim property and safeguard against illegal dispossession without requiring the dispossessed person to prove title​.
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