Bengaluru: The High Court declined to dismiss the FIR against the residents of Shilpitha Splendour Annex Apartment in Mahadevapura on charges of obstructing Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) officials from clearing an encroachment on a rajakaluve and fencing the area that had been recovered from the encroachment.
Justice K. Natarajan said that photographs and video clips show that the petitioners tried to stop BBMP officials. There is prima facie material to show that there is a cognisable offence. The petition is therefore devoid of merit and should be dismissed. He dismissed the plea submitted by 22 apartment residents and said that the police were free to continue their investigation and file a chargesheet.
BBMP Executive Engineer Malathi, along with surveyors and police officers, was carrying out the High Court’s order directing them to survey the encroachment of rajakaluve and remove the same in Mahadevapura in March 2020, she made a complaint with the Mahadevapura police against the petitioners for allegedly gathering illegally and preventing them from performing their duty.
The petitioners claimed that the encroachment had already been cleared up and the area had been surveyed, hence there was nothing else to be surveyed. They claimed that they have not committed any offence because they were the apartment’s residents.
The court said that the petitioners, who are the apartment’s owners, must be inside the apartment, but the court ruled that because they gathered together to stop a public official from performing their duty, they violated Section 149 of the IPC and Section 143 of the IPC for unlawful assembly for committing an offence on the public servant. The petitioners’ obstruction of the complainant along with other officials provides a clear case of attracting Section 353 of the IPC against them.