My mother (age : 55 years) owns a piece of land in our native place. She inherited this land from her mother as a result of property partition in the 1980's. In 1992, my father , who was then an employee of a nationalized bank , availed housing loan and built a house. They then gave it up for rent and the house has been occupied by numerous tenants since then.
The piece of land in question is adjoined to a private road (not maintained by municipal corporation). The road is shared by around 4-5 houses on one side and by 6 houses on the other. At the end of the road are sites owned by Harijan families since more than 3 - 4 decades. Over the course of time, the road has been widened to 7 feet to around 9 feet over its stretch. My parents also contributed 3.5 feet to the road when they built the compound that went to widen the part of the road in front of our house. Please note that this road has been used by animals , vehicles and pedestrians for more than 50 years now and my parents and tenants of our house have been using it since the year 1992, that is, roughly for 23 years.
Our family has one document that mentions 6 lincs of land has been left for water, animals and people to walk.
Since 2 months (4th Feb, 2014), a neighbor , who bought a piece of land adjacent to the road and built a house there a little more than 10 years ago, has started demanding money for use of the aforementioned private road in front of his house from my parents.( His house stands nearer to the main road than ours while our house stands closer to the end of the road where Harijan families reside.) My father who is now a senior citizen was physically and verbally assaulted by this person on 4th Febraury, 2014, for which he lodged a police complaint. The police let him off with a warning that he can no longer make physical assaults on my father or other members of our family. We have a copy of that warning.
The argument of this person is that he owns the land on which the private road is present (please note he does not provide any document to sustain this claim and claims that he has purchased land along with road) and that we have to pay him money( 2 lakh for now) to use the road. If we fail to give him the money, he has threatened to not let anyone occupy our house after the existing tenants vacate the house and also to make sure the existing tenants are forced to leave. Also currently, he prevents repairmen and other workers from visiting our house for repairs or other maintenance work by either assaulting them physically or harassing them verbally.
My parents have been away from my native place because of my father's transferable bank job until he retired in the year 2011. Now that he has retired, he intends to use one part of the house to reside there when he visits our native place. This might have come to the knowledge of the person/neighbor and that is possibly his motive to extort money from my parents. My father, who had his first experience with such an antisocial person, was hurt physically and psychologically from the attack.
The person in question is a PWD sub-contractor in Kundapur and has developed good contacts with various government offices such as municipal bodies, tahsildar office etc. in the course of his work. My parents have written complaints to both municipal office and Tahsildar's office asking them to specify if he can disallow our access to the road. So far municipal office has not provided any satisfactory reply and we are awaiting a response from the Tahsildar's office.
We have recently come to know that he has a history of assaulting other neighbors and trying to extort money from them.
What are our legal rights and how can we avail them?
Name of place: Kundapur, Udupi district, Karnataka State
Asked in Civil Law from Kundapur, Karnataka
1) since you have been exercising right of way for period of 23 years your neighbour cannot stop your access to the road .
2) in addition you have mentioned that you have also contributed land for road widening .
3) if access to road is blocked file civil suit for an injunction restraining your neighbour from blocking access to the road .
4) install CCTV cameras in front of your house . if neighbour assaults your father it would be recorded . if any verbal threatts are issued record his conversation .
5) if cops dont take any action on your complaint file complaint before magistrate under section 156(3) of CR Pc to direct cops to investigate and submit report .
6) it would be better if you involve your other neighbours and local hariajns in the dispute . collective action work wonders
file a suit for permanent injunction against that person.
Advocate, New Delhi
Fist file Police complaint. If police refuse to file complaint file P.C.R. Please hire a local advocate, he will do the needful.
1. Since right to way has been availed by you for a continuous period of 23 years the same cannot be denied now unless and until he is backed by a court order to this effect. If he denies you this right then you will be enclothed with the right to move court for the enforcement of your right to way.
2. If your father is subjected to assault then immediately file a police complaint against him in the nearest police station whereupon the police may arrest him after conducting an inquiry. If no action is taken against him by police then you may file the criminal case directly in court.