Illegal Occupancy of Land from the Criminal Perspective

The illegal occupancy of land is not a new event in Indonesia. The terms illegal occupancy can be interpreted as the act or condition of holding, possessing of rights or assets illegally, such as occupying a land or house, which is not belong to him, illegally (which is forbidden by law). The illegal occupancy of land is an unlawfully act that can be classified as a criminal offense. As we know, the prices of land are very stable and continue to rise along with the times. The illegal occupancy of land can be harming everyone, especially if the land is used for the business purpose. There are many cases that happened on the illegal occupancy of land, such as (i) physical occupancy of land, (ii) cultivation of land, (iii) sale of land, and so on.

Illegal Occupancy of Land from the Criminal Perspective

Article 2 of Law Number 51 PRP of 1960 on Prohibition to Using the Land without Obtaining the Permission from the Owner of the Land or the Authorized Person (the “Law No 51 PRP/1960”) stated that the utilization of land without obtaining the permission from the owner of the land or the authorized person of the land, shall be construed as the prohibited act, and shall be penalized of imprisonment for the maximum time of 3 (three) months, or a fine with the maximum amount of Rp. 5,000 (five thousand Rupiah), as stated in Article 6 of Law No 51 PRP/1960.The act of person or anyone that shall get penalty, in accordance with Article 6 of Law No 51 PRP/1960 are (i) anyone who uses the land without obtaining the permission from the owner or the authorized person, (ii) anyone who interferes the owner or the authorized person in using the land, (iii) anyone who orders, invites, persuades or suggests by oral or written, to use the land without obtaining the permission from the owner of the land or the authorized person, or interfering the owner or authorized person in using the land, and (iv) anyone who provides the assistance in any manner to anyone, to use the land without obtaining the permission from the owner of the land or the authorized person, or interfering the owner or authorized person in using the land.

One of the case model that is related to criminal offense as stated in Article 6 Law No 51 PRP/1960, can be seen in the Decision of Kisaran District Court Kisaran Number 09/Pid.C/PN-Kis, dated 20 June 2002, regarding to the criminal offense that was committed by a several persons (the “Defendants”), by constructing a building for their gathering place. In the decision, the Kisaran District Court stated that the Defendants have been proven legally and convincingly guilty, committing a crime by using other people’s land and constructed a gathering place without obtaining permission from the owner of the land.

Another article that is related to the illegal occupancy of land is Article 385 of Indonesian Criminal Code, whereas that anyone or any person with intent to benefit himself or another by unlawfully, sells, exchange or encumbers with mortgage, or a building, whereas he knows that there is a person who owns or the land, shall be penalized of imprisonment for the maximum time of 4 (four) years.

Ivor Ignasio Pasaribu, SH

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Illegal Occupancy of Land from the Criminal Perspective
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