Sunday, 26 August 2018

Notes on offence of Mischief and Criminal Trespass

Mischief(S 425 of IPC)
Under S 425,a person commits mischief if he-
1) with intent to cause or knowing that he is likely to cause wrongful loss or damage to public or any person-
2) Causes destruction of any property or any such change in any property( or in the situation therof),as destroys or diminishes its value or utility,or affects it injuriously.
Criminal Trespass(S 441 of IPC)
1)Entry into or upon the property in the possession of another.
2) If such entry is lawful,then unlawfully remaining upon such property,
3) Such entry or unlawful remaining must be with intent-

a) to commit an offence;or
b)to intimidate,or insult,or annoy any person in possession of property.
The use of criminal force is not a necessary ingredient.
Supreme court has reiterated that in criminal trespass,the intention to commit an offence is an essential ingredient.Therefore,mere occupation,even if illegal without such intent can not amount to criminal trespass.
Following six points regarding offence of criminal trespass:
1) Trespass can only be committed in respect of immovable corporeal property such as land,houses etc.
2) the essence of offence is intention with which it is committed.
3) A person entering on the land of another in the exercise of a bonafide claim of right will not be guilty,though the claim is unfounded.But if the entry is made with intent to annoy,it does not matter whether it was made under a claim of right.

4) The word annoy must be taken to mean annoyance that would generally and reasonably affect an ordinary person,and not what would specially and exclusively annoy a particular individual for example a fanciful person of a peevish temper.
5) The property must be in actual possession of person other than trespasser.It is de facto and de jure possession that is necessary.
6) The remaining becomes unlawful if accused remains against the wish express or implied,of the person in actual possession.

House trespass(S 442 of IPC)
Whoever commits criminal trespass by entering into or remaining in any building,tent or vessel used as a human dwelling or a building used as a place of worship or for custody of property is said to commit house trespass.
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