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Karnataka High Court Refused To Obstruct Officials From Conducting Survey And Removing Encroachment Over The Property.

By - King Stubb & Kasiva on January 3, 2023

In the case of Uma Shankar Mohapatra v State of Karnataka, the petitioners filed a petition under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure for quashing FIR for the offenses punishable under Section 143 (Punishment for a member of an unlawful assembly), 353 (Assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty) and 149 (Every member of unlawful assembly guilty of offense commit­ted in the prosecution of common object). The petitioners are the residents and owners of an apartment, Shilpitha Splendour Annex.

The respondent filed a complaint to the police alleging that the Karnataka High Court passed an order for removing encroachment over a property. It is also stated that as per the order, wire fencing had to be done and so Bruhut Bengaluru MahanagaraPalike (BBMP) officials went to survey the property and the Assistant Director of Land Records & Survey Settlement and police personnel went for removing the encroachment in the property. However, it was alleged that the petitioners staying in the Shilpitha Splendour Annex apartment were gathered illegally and prevented the public servant from discharging duty and executing the order.

While the Petitioners claimed that they were owners of the apartment and there is no illegal intention in assembling together, the Karnataka High Court, however, stated that the petitioners had the intention to prevent the public authority from discharging duty. Justice K Natarajan further stated that there is a prima facie material being the photographs and video clippings of them obstructing the duty, to show that the petitioners have committed a cognizable offense.

On the basis of the above, the Court held that Section 149 attracts in the present case. Since the Petitioners obstructed the discharge of public duty while surveying the encroachment and fencing, the Karnataka High Court held that the Petitioners have committed an offense under Section 353 of the IPC. Therefore, this petition was dismissed by the Court which refused to quash a case against the residents for obstructing the officials.

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