'Don't protect POA holders in civil disputes'

'Don't protect POA holders in civil disputes'

Neelmani Raju

The police department has issued guidelines to its officers in dealing with civil disputes.

State DGP and IGP Neelamani N Raju in a circular has directed the officers not to provide security to any person approaching police stations with a general power of attorney (GPA). She has asked them to act against people encroaching the government land.

The move comes following reports about police interfering in civil disputes and supporting GPA holders to forcefully take possession of the properties.

"The police officers should not take any action based on the general power of attorney, sale agreement or any other agreement executed by any person, including those owning the site according to the Khata extract,’’ the circular has stated.

The guidelines stated that police officers should strictly follow provisions of the Karnataka Land Revenue Act and Karnataka Land Revenue Rules. The ownership and possession of the agricultural land to be determined solely according to the record of rights and hence protection should be given to persons whose name is entered in column 1a and 12 of the record of rights.

"There is a bar on the officers of any department other than the authorised officers of the revenue department to either enquire into or settle any matters related to agricultural land. So far as the sites, buildings, non-agricultural lands in the village, town or city limits are concerned, Khata extract from the property rights prepared under section 107 (A) of the Karnataka Municipalities Act indicates the owner and occupier of a particular property. The person whose name appears in the Khata extract issued by the local authority is entitled to protection from the police in respect of the property held by him or her,’’ the circular stated.

The guidelines also directed the police to register an FIR under section 447 of the IPC when a complaint is filed alleging illegal possession on any property.

Similarly, the police have been directed to register a case under section 447 of IPC whenever a lessee is alleged to be occupying the land or building beyond the lease period. The circular has directed police officers to register FIRs in cases of encroachment of government land and proceed with the investigation after obtaining a survey report from the tahsildar.

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