Author : Monalisha Singh
As per the definition of Black’s dictionary, if any person enters on the property which belongs to the other person without any lawful authority, entitlement or right (either express or implied) then the person doing so is liable for the offense of Criminal Trespass. In simple sense, criminal trespass is any act whereby a person illegally enters in the premise which belongs to some other person. In many countries, trespass has been recognised as a civil offense but in India the case is quite different. In ordinary case, trespass in India is also treated as civil wrong but any trespass done with the criminal intention is called criminal trespass. The act of criminal trespass is a punishable offense under the Indian Penal Code, 1860.
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CRIMINAL AND CIVIL TRESPASS
There is a big difference between these two. In the case of civil trespass there is no requirement of intent but in the case of criminal trespass, the intention is very much required to commit the criminal trespass. The offense which annoys or insults any person who is in possession of property is said to have committed the offense of criminal trespass.
INGREDIENTS OF CRIMINAL TRESPASS
- There must be an entry into the property which is in possession of other person.
- Even when the entry is legal, then to remain upon such property unlawfully.
- That unlawful entry must be done with the intention to: –
- Annoy, insult or intimidate the person who is in the possession of the property.
- And with purpose to commit the offense
The Section 441 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 interprets the term criminal trespass and Section 447 delineates the punishment for it.
Section 441 of the IPC states that when any person enters into the premise which is in the possession of any other person with the intention to annoy, insult or intimidate that person or who legally enters the premise but unlawfully remains there with the intention to commit an offense has committed the offense of crim. trespass .
Section 447 of IPC states that when any person commits this offense then that person shall be punished with the imprisonment for a term may extend to three month with fine or which may extend to Rs. 500 or with both.
In the case of Mathuri and ors. v. State of Punjab, the Supreme Court held that for establishing that the entry into the premise was with the intent to commit an offense, it is important on the part of the court to be contended that the aim with which entry was done was to annoy, intimidate or insult. Merely entry into the premise for some other reason can never constitute the offense of crim. trespass.
In the case of Issac Isanga and ors. v. State of Maharashtra and ors. , the main complainant stated that the petitioner unlawfully entered into their head office (of company) in order to demand 20 million dollars for the purpose that the petitioner has an international arrest warrant against the complainants and the non compliance of the same could result into complainant facing dire ramification. In this case it was held by the court that as there was a business transaction so the act was justified and it cannot be levelled as it.
If the offense of trespassing of house will further aggravated by the forcible nature of entry, by passages which in normal conditions never intended for human entrance, then the offense becomes house trespass.