Harassment from neighbour by illegal construction

Question

Sir, I’m a defence personal and posted in West Bengal. I have a house in Delhi where my father is living alone. Two of my neighbours are harassing my father by illegal construction in the proximity of my home. Recently they dug the land along with the wall of our house for laying their water pipeline. They are also threatening my father because they have many contacts in local police. Please help

Question asked on 02/10/2015

Answered by: Advocate Shivendra

You may file a complaint before the vice chairman of the Delhi Development Authority against such illegal construction. If the DDA sanctions their house plan, then they are bound to construct their home according to the plan. Every house plan has details about the construction of water and sewage facility.

Section 14 of the Delhi Development Act 1957 says that

After the coming into operation of any of the plans in a zone, no person shall use or permit to be used any land or building in that zone otherwise than in conformity with such plan.

If the construction of a house violates the approved plan, then section 31 of the said Act empowers the officer of the authority to stop the further development in addition to the prosecution of the owner.

Therefore, you should file a complaint before the DDA to take appropriate action against them. Their construction may create an imminent danger to your home and also may cause irreparable loss to you if DDA does intervene and stop the alleged illegal development.

Subsection 2 of Section 31 further empowers the DDA to take the assistance of police officer to remove the person by whom the development has been commencing and all his assistants and workers from the place of construction.

The above Act does not prevent the victim from availing other legal recourses available to him. So, you should file a complaint before the sub-divisional magistrate under section 145 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) because the said construction is causing the breach of peace. The executive magistrate has the power to stop the development as well as take a bond from your neighbour under section 107 of the CrPC for keeping peace in the vicinity.

You said that they have good contact in the police department so the police will not assist you in this case. You may file a complaint before the Metropolitan Magistrate under section 200 of CrPC for the offence of criminal intimidation. They are committing a crime which is punishable under section 504/506 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). The magistrate may issue summon to them and called for without any investigation. So you can evade the police interference in this case. The magistrate has vast power under Section 200 of CrPC.

You have the above said remedies against the ongoing illegal construction. However, there is more than one remedy available, but first of all, you should file a complaint before the vice chairman of the Delhi Development Authority. The authority has vast power to stop the illegal construction and compel the person to do construction according to the sanctioned plan.

If you get threats from them, then you can file a complaint under section 200 CrPC because then you can avoid the police influence in your case. If the Magistrate satisfies from the evidence adduced along with the allegation that they committed the offence, then he can issue process and commence a trial.

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Shivendra Pratap Singh

Advocate, Lucknow

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