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What constitutes illegal possession of property in India?

What constitutes illegal possession of property in India?

Published At June 26, 2024


Illegal possession of property in India occurs when an individual unlawfully occupies or remains on someone else’s property without permission. This can involve coercion, fabrication of documents or exploiting legal loopholes. Key legal provisions addressing this include Sections 441, 442 and 443 of the Indian Penal Code, which define and penalize various forms of criminal trespass. Section 441 specifically deals with entering or remaining on property with the intent to commit an offense or to intimidate, insult, or annoy the lawful possessor, classifying such actions as criminal trespass​.

Furthermore, the Specific Relief Act, 1963 provides remedies for dispossessed property owners. Section 5 allows for recovery of possession based on title, while Section 6 focuses on regaining possession through proof of prior lawful possession and subsequent illegal dispossession. This is framed to prevent individuals from taking the law into their own hands and provides a legal pathway for reclaiming property​​.

Preventative measures, such as regular monitoring of vacant properties, establishing well-defined tenancy agreements, and maintaining physical boundaries, can help protect property from illegal occupation. Legal recourse includes filing police complaints and civil suits to restore possession​​.

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