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What legal provisions exist in Indian law to combat property encroachment?

What legal provisions exist in Indian law to combat property encroachment?

Published At July 3, 2024

Answer

In India, the legal provisions to combat property encroachment are robust and multifaceted, ensuring protection for rightful property owners. The key legal framework includes the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Code of Civil Procedure (CPC).

Section 441 of the IPC defines property encroachment as the unlawful entry into another person’s property with the intent to commit an offence, threaten, or annoy the property owner. Penalties for encroachment under Section 447 of the IPC include a fine of up to ₹500 and/or imprisonment for up to three months, depending on the severity of the offence.

Property owners can seek legal redress through civil suits under the CPC. Order 39, Rules 1, 2, and 3 of the CPC allows property owners to apply for temporary or permanent injunctions. A temporary injunction prevents further encroachment for a specific period, while a permanent injunction aims to cease encroachment permanently.

For proving illegal possession of the property, property owners must present strong documentary evidence. Essential documents include the original purchase agreement, title deed, utility bills in the owner’s name, mutation certificate and revenue records. These documents help establish legal ownership and support claims for compensation.

In cases where mutual resolution is preferred, options include mediation, renting out the encroached property or negotiating a joint sale and division of proceeds. Understanding and utilizing these legal provisions effectively can significantly aid property owners in protecting their rights and combating encroachment issues.

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