The Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (CrPc)
145. Procedure where dispute concerning land or water is likely to cause breach of peace.
(1) Whenever an Executive Magistrate is satisfied from a report of a police officer or upon other information that a dispute likely to cause a breach of the peace exists concerning any land or water or the boundaries thereof, within his local jurisdiction, he shall make an order in writing, stating the grounds of his being so satisfied, and requiring the parties concerned in such dispute to attend his Court in person or by pleader, on a specified date and time, and to put in written statements of their respective claims as respects the fact of actual possession of the subject of dispute.
(2) For the purposes of this section, the expression “land or water” includes buildings, markets, fisheries, crops or other produce of land, and the rents or profits of any such property.
(3) A copy of the order shall be served in the manner provided by the Code for the service of a summons upon such person or persons as the Magistrate may direct, and at least one copy shall be published by being affixed to some conspicuous place at or near the subject of dispute.
(4) The Magistrate shall then, without reference to the merits or the claims of any of the parties, to a right to possess the subject of dispute, peruse the statements so put in, hear the parties, receive all such evidence as may be produced by them, take such further evidence, if any as he thinks necessary, and, if possible, decide whether and which of the parties was, at the date of the order made by him under subsection (1), in possession of the subject of dispute:
Provided that if it appears to the Magistrate that any party has been forcibly and wrongfully dispossessed within two months next before the date on which the report of a police officer or other information was received by the Magistrate, or after that date and before the date of his order under sub-section (1), he may treat the party so dispossessed as if that party had been in possession on the date of his order under sub-section (1).
(5) Nothing in this section shall preclude any party so required to attend, or arty other person interested, from showing that no such dispute as aforesaid exists or has existed; and in such case the Magistrate shall cancel his said order, and all further proceedings thereon shall be stayed, but, subject to such cancellation, the order of the Magistrate under sub-section (1) shall be final.
(6) (a) If the Magistrate decides that one of the parties was, or should under the proviso to sub-section (4) be treated as being, in such possession of the said subject, he shall issue an order declaring such party to be entitled to possession thereof until evicted there from in due course of law, and forbidding all disturbance of such possession until such eviction; and when he proceeds under the proviso to sub-section (4), may restore to possession the party forcibly and wrongfully dispossessed.
(b) the order made under this sub-section shall be served and published in the manner laid down in sub-section (3).
(7) When any party to any such proceeding dies, the Magistrate may cause the legal representative of the deceased party to be made a party to the proceeding and shall thereupon continue the inquiry, and if any question arises as to who the legal representative of a deceased party for the purposes of such proceeding is, all persons claiming to be representatives of the deceased party shall be made parties thereto.
(8) If the Magistrate is of opinion that any crop or other produce of the property, the subject of dispute in a proceeding under this section pending before him, is subject to speedy and natural decay, he may make an order for the proper custody or sale of such property, and, upon the completion of the inquiry, shall make such order for the disposal of such property, or the sale-proceeds thereof, as he thinks fit.
(9) The Magistrate may, if he thinks fit, at any stage of the proceedings under this section, on the application of either party, issue a summons to any witness directing him to attend or to produce any document or thing.
(10) Nothing in this section shall be deemed to be in derogation of the Magistrate to proceed under section 107.
In section 145, –
(a) In subsection (1), for the words “whenever an Executive Magistrate” the words “Whenever in Greater Bombay, a Metropolitan Magistrate and elsewhere in the State, an Executive Magistrate” shall be substituted;
(a) for sub-section (10), the following sub-section shall be substituted, namely.
“(10) In the case of an Executive Magistrate taking action under this section nothing in this section shall be deemed to be in derogation of his power to proceed under Section 107. In the case of a Metropolitan Magistrate taking action under this section, if at any stage of the proceeding, he is of the opinion that the dispute calls for an action under Section 107, he shall after recording his reasons, forward the necessary information to the Executive Magistrate having jurisdiction, to enable him to proceed under that section.”
[Vide Maharashtra Act 1 of 1978, sec.2 (w.e.f 15-4-1978)].