In this blog post, Yash Koshal, from RDVV-Jabalpur, describes how can a person file a harassment complaint against a neighbor.
India is a densely populated country. As a lot of people stay in flats or live in duplex sharing common walls, at times, it happens that maintaining a quite decent relation with your neighbors, you sometimes have arguments with your neighbors on some issues related to your house.
It can be issues of any type. E.g. having a problem regarding sound or late night party etc. Sometimes, matter even gets serious and situation of filing complaint also occurs. Here we will discuss what are the options available for the person being harassed by the neighbors.
Is Calling Police an Option?
Yes, calling a police if your neighbor harasses you is an option to go with. You have the option to call the police by just dialing the police number 100 and police will come to the place mentioned by you in the phone call. They will come to the spot and ask you the problem and then will take the action against them. And, when they will reach the spot you should be having sufficient proof to prove the harassment by neighbors.
- Harassment Through Nuisance
You may be living in an apartment or in a duplex, often it happens, when you hear loud music sound from the neighbor’s house, you try to ignore that sound for as long as possible but sometimes, such noise may make life difficult. This type of nuisance is defined in Section 268 of the Indian Penal Act.
Section 268 of the Indian Penal Code defines nuisance when the person is guilty of a public nuisance when he does any act which causes injury, danger or annoyance to the public or the people in general who live or occupy the property in the neighborhood.
A common nuisance is not excused on the ground that it causes some convenience or advantage.
If this type of harassment is faced by you from your neighbor then, you can file an application under Section 268 of IPC in the court of magistrate.
Punishment of nuisance is defined in Section 290 of IPC, which is mere Rs. 200 but the court can do much more.
As a matter of fact, calling 100 is most effective as, after a visit or two from the police, such nuisance is likely to stop. In extreme cases, police may even confiscate the instruments that are used to cause nuisance like – loudspeakers or sound boxes, or drones, cameras or such other tools.
Sometimes, police does not intervene despite laws being there as they do not like extra work on their plate or because the other party is very influential. In such cases, you may need to take help of legal experts. We recommend you get in touch with ClikLawyer.com.
- Harassment Through Mischief
When you live in a duplex, you are sharing a common wall. If your neighbor starts construction in that common wall you do not have the right to stop him from constructing because it is his legal right but if during the construction work your property gets damaged, you can ask him to compensate for the loss suffered by you but if your neighbor refuses to pay you the amount then you can file a case under –
- Section 425 of IPC which states that whoever with intent to cause, or knowing that he is likely to cause, wrongful loss or damage to the public or to any person, causes the destruction of any property, or any such change in any property or in the situation thereof as destroys or diminishes its value or utility, or affects it injuriously, commits mischief.
- You can file suit for declaration and mandatory injunction in a civil court as well.
- You can claim damages in the same suit.
- Harassment Through Trespass
If you live in an apartment and park your vehicle in the parking allotted to you but you notice someday that the place which has been allotted to you is been occupied by some other person then, you will simply ask the person to vacate the parking space occupied by him but if he/she refuses to do that, after being told or warned many times, will amount to criminal trespass.
441 of IPC defines Criminal Trespass.
Whoever enters into or upon property in the possession of another with intent to commit an offence or to intimidate, insult or annoy any person in possession of such property, or having lawfully entered into or upon such property, unlawfully remains there with intent thereby to intimidate, insult or annoy any such person, or with intent to commit an offence, is said to commit “Criminal Trespass”.
If this type of harassment is faced by you from your neighbors, you can file an application under Section 441 of IPC in the court of magistrate. And the punishment of criminal trespass has been defined in Section 447 of IPC in which three months imprisonment is mentioned or fine of 500 rupees or with both.
- Sexual Harassment
There have been a number of cases registered with the police in which the neighbor who was trusted the most and was never expected to commit anything of that kind, committed sexual harassment of various natures such as-
- Passing lewd comments
- Trespass for causing sexual harassment
- Even insertion of cameras for the recording of activities in a neighborhood house
If this type of harassment is faced by you from your neighbor, you can file a complaint with the local police. The best way to do this is to call 100 and narrate the problem you are facing. It is important to collect and preserve evidence and then giving the same to the police.
Harassment in India is becoming a very common issue nowadays. There are various types of harassment faced by the people in India through mischief, trespass, nuisance and sexual harassment. There are various laws made keeping in mind the types of harassment. If one wants to get justice then he must follow the laws to get justice.
If you are aware of any other kind of harassment faced by the people in your neighborhood, feel free to mention about it in comments below. Also drop your views regarding how else the case of harassment be tackled. Don’t forget to share the article.