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House tresspass

(Querist) 12 January 2013 This query is : Resolved 
Dear sir /Mam

I live in a 18 floor building apartment in Mumbai .my house being on the 2nd floor. I was out of india when , on a social networking (facebook)site I got a message in a housing society residency FORUM , from the people who stay on 1st floor right below us. that water is leaking in their house through the celling.i replied that since I am out of town and when I will come back I will help them sort out the issues . after this I never got any messages from them . after 2 months when I came back from abroad , I came to know through the building watchman that "MY HOUSE WAS BROKEN INTO BY THE PEOPLE LIVING ON 1ST FLOOR . THEY MADE A DUPLICATE KEY TO MY HOUSE AND CALLED A PLUMBER AND FIXED THE SO CALLED ISSUE." MY question is 1) We were not intimated that in our absence they broke open my door 2) quiet a number of times the guy would talk on society forums but he never told me that he broke into my house ! 3) after we came back ,he still has the duplicate key to my house which .he has not even had the courtesy to come and talk and give it back to us .4)Does this come in criminal Tresspass? what action can I take against him?? Looking for Urgent reply .
Also it seems that he called a police officer and the building manager along with him when he broke open the door to my house .
Plz mail me at or on this forum itself
any help regarding the matter would be good .
Devajyoti Barman (Expert) 12 January 2013
Since no damage or theft of your property was made , no case for criminal trespass would lie.
amy (Querist) 12 January 2013
Dear Mr Barman ,

I would like to rectify that ,
No intimation from the1st floor people was given to us 2) when he broke open the door to my house ,no family or friend of the family was there .3) he still has the duplicate key to my house 4) even after he came to know we have come back ,he yet has not come and told us abt all this (we came to abt all this through a watchman) . I feel quiet uneasy that people barge into my house in my absence and don't even inform . I yet have to check for my belongings . when I had gone out ,I did not close each and every room . I have no idea as to how many men came to my house .What charges can I press against him ,if not criminal trespass into my house.
Devajyoti Barman (Expert) 12 January 2013
You have to allege damage of property and theft of articles to file such cases.
The plea of proper defence is already there.
amy (Querist) 12 January 2013
under which section of indian penal code would this cme? and wht abt the duplicate key of my house which he still has in his possesion?? I am sceptical now to leave my house as he still has the keys
Devajyoti Barman (Expert) 12 January 2013
lodge the complaint with police and let them decide their course of investigation.
amy (Querist) 12 January 2013
ok thanx for the reply
Raj Kumar Makkad (Expert) 12 January 2013
If no damage has occurred to your house after getting convinced then there is no requirement to lodge any police complaint rather you have every right to demand the duplicate key of your house thereafter from that neighbour.

If police and society secretary had accompanied when the lock of your house was broken so at least at that time, full care was made by that neighbour.

You should not forget that a neighbour can also not face the loss to his property for a long time due to your long term absence.
Sudhir Kumar, Advocate (Expert) 13 January 2013
So you are informed that water is leaking from your house and you are only promising the occupant down below that you will repair only when you are in town and for two months you never turn up nor do any arrangement for opening of house.

So the leaking water may be causing damage to the property besides inconvenience. You expect the neighbors bear with the inconvenience at you whims.

The facts explained by you do not indicate if society of neighbours were aware of you phone number. You left no scope for contact (as apparent from your blog). But you got the message from social netweorking site that your house is causing inconvenience to someone below floor. Needless to say that problem would have been severe that one had to get the house opened. You conveyed that you will not repair till you are back in town. So it was a complete and unconditional refusal to take immediate action.

Your neighbor if vicious would have lodged a complaint of causing inconvenience. He should have when he called police to break open the door. Requested police to seal the house, after removing of leakage and making to run to courts to get orders for removing of de-sealing and spend to live in hotel till then. There appears to be a dereliaction of duty of police in your favour for not sealing the house. Would it have suited you?

The persons appears to be gentle enough that he has not (as you described) recovered cost of this exercise from you. You never said that you demanded the duplicate key and he refused. You are free to demand it from him and you are liable to pay the expenditure he has incurred on the repairs. You are also free to change the lock.

Tress pass is dealt with one section of IPC. But whole IPC is the law of land and other section are there. The situation explained (which will be proved by your own evidence) by you will save him from application of this section as he as acted out of necessity and for self defence.

Experts above have already elaborated that there is no offense (unless some facts are yet to be revealed by you).

If you still feel that you have a right to file criminal case then go to thana and file case against neighbour, all society office bearers, all watchmen, locksmith, SHO and the member of the police party.

You should be apologetic to the person and thankful to him for not taking police (you know how do they act) help for causing you to abandon your work and come to town the forthwith.

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