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Monday, December 2, 2013

Furnishing details of tenant to Police ~ offenders attract Sec 188 of IPC !!

Most of us are law-abiding and even small things shake us badly…. Do you know that you are likely to be penalized under Sec 188 of Indian Penal Code ? Do you know -   Thomas Babington Macaulay, 1st Baron Macaulay, PC (1800 – 1859) a British historian, an essayist and reviewer; who is likely to impact us now too ?!?

Indian Penal Code (IPC) is the main criminal code of India. It is a comprehensive code, intended to cover all substantive aspects of criminal law. It was drafted in 1860 and came into force in British India during the early British Raj period in 1862. However, it did not apply automatically in the Princely states, which had their own courts and legal systems until the 1940s. The Code has since been amended several times and is now supplemented by other criminal provisions. The draft of the Indian Penal Code was prepared by the First Law Commission, chaired by Thomas Babington Macaulay.

Many of us live in our own flats [some in own palatial houses !] ~ while some contrive to apply for loans and have another property – may be as a tax saving or as a means of investment …. ~ and leave that on rent … which sometimes may not cover the interest even !

Tenancy is the possession of land or property as a tenant; tenant refers to the occupier of such leasehold estate and a tenement in law - is anything that is held, rather than owned. This usage is a holdover from feudalism, which still forms the basis of all real-estate law in the English-speaking world, in which the monarch alone owned the title to all the land within his kingdom. Under feudalism, land itself was never privately "owned" but rather was "held" by a tenant (from Latin teneo "to hold") as a fee, being merely a legal right over land known in modern law as an estate in land.

Getting back to the reality of your second property on rent – do you know your tenant fully….especially in the wake of Puttur encounter and some hardcore terrorists of North East being arrested in the city.  Now the news is that the  City Police Commissioner Mr. George has ordered that the landlords living in the city limits should  furnish the details of their tenants so as to create a ‘tenant database’ which may come in handy to crack-down on criminals. George told the media that the landlords were requested to furnish the details of their tenants beginning December 1 with the respective police station limits. He also noted that the initiative taken by his predecessor JK Tripathy after the Velachery encounter will be implemented in full-scale. The database will be collated at police district levels at the respective Deputy Commissioner offices and the data will be pooled at a later stage into a common server either at the Intelligence Section (IS) or at Crime Records Bureau.

“The tenant enumeration was already in vogue in other metros including Delhi, Mumbai, and Kolkata and in even small cities like Pune,” he said. Recalling the recent incident of the arrest of terror suspects Panna Ismail and Bilal Malik, he noted that the duo along with ‘Police’ Fakrudeen were indulging in scrap business for about six months suppressing the fact that they were wanted by the police in two States. “The landlords can take in anyone as their tenants as they wish, but they will have to provide details of those tenants within 15 days once the tenant occupies the portion. There won’t be any interference of the police in terms of the selection of the tenant. However, the information passed on to the police station will be duly verified physically and those who are faking their previous place of stay won’t be able to evade the radar,” he said.

Last year, the Madras High Court granted interim injunction on petitions challenging the Police Commissioner's order, and slowly the move faded into oblivion. 

Now the Police has actively initiated this step of collection of data towards creating a database of tenants in Chennai. The city police began issuing tenant information forms to house owners from Sunday. Completed forms with tenant details, including a passport-sized photograph, should be submitted by owners at police stations within 60 days. The house owners can submit the completed forms in person or even send them through post or courier. The information collected will remain confidential, under the supervision of the deputy commissioner of the police district concerned,” the Police officer said.

House owners who rent property to tenants after the specified 60-day period can submit the forms 15 days after the rental agreement is processed. House owners who fail to submit the forms will face legal action under Section 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) of IPC, sources said.

Section 188 in The Indian Penal Code, 1860 : 188. Disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant.-- Whoever, knowing that, by an order promulgated by a public servant lawfully empowered to promulgate such order, he is directed to abstain from a certain act, or to take certain order with certain property in his possession or under his management. disobeys such direction, shall, if such disobedience causes or tends to cause obstruction, annoyance or injury, or risk of obstruction, annoyance or injury, to any persons lawfully employed, be punished with simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to one month or with fine which may extend to two hundred rupees, or with both: and if such disobedience causes or tends to cause danger to human life, health or safety, or causes or tends to cause a riot or affray, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees, or with both. Explanation.- It is not necessary that the offender should intend to produce harm, or contemplate his disobedience as likely to produce harm. It is sufficient that he knows of the order which he disobeys, and that his disobedience produces, or is likely to produce, harm. Illustration An order is promulgated by a public servant lawfully empowered to promulgated such order, directing that a religious procession shall not pass down a certain street. A knowingly disobeys the order, and thereby causes danger of riot. A has committed the offence defined in this section.

The forms are available both in Tamil and English – one can use the following links to download the forms:

Don’t wait ….. act soon… you may need to fill this up, when you don't own a house .... but are occupier as a tenant too....... !!

With regards – S. Sampathkumar.

2nd Dec 2013.

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