The term “trespass” means to enter someone’s land or property without their permission. The trespass into the property of another is civil wrong, for which the plaintiff can sue for damages. If the trespass is done with a criminal intention then it becomes a criminal trespass.
1. Criminal Trespass [Section 441]
2. Aggravated forms of Trespass
- House Trespass [Section 442]
- Lurking House Trespass [Section 443]
- Lurking House Trespass by night [Section 444]
- House Breaking [Section 445]
- House Breaking by night[Section 446]
Under section 441 of Indian Penal Code, 1860 defines Criminal trespass as:
- The person who enters upon the property of another with any intent to commit an offence or to intimidate or annoy any person in possession of such property is said to commit the offence.
- If such person enters the property of another lawfully and remains there unlawfully with the intent to annoy such person is also guilty of the offence.
In Olga Tellis V Bombay municipal Corporation[i] [AIR 1945 SC 545] here unauthorised entry into the Government land was not held as criminal trespass, because their intention was only to find out habitat in that slum. The court held that they were not having any intention to annoy or cause disturbance to any person and hence the court declared that they were not liable for the offense of criminal trespass.
Under section 447 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 deals with the punishment for criminal trespass. Whoever commits criminal trespass shall be punished with the imprisonment, which may extend up to three months or with fine which may extend up to five hundred rupees or with both.
THE AGGRAVATED FORMS OF CRIMINAL TRESPASS
Under section 442 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 defines House Trespass as:
Whoever commits criminal trespass by entering into any building or remaining in any building, tent or vessel used as a human dwelling is said that he/she has committed the offence
Any person, who commits criminal trespass in any building used as a place for worship or as a place for the custody of property, is said to commit house trespass.
Whoever commits house trespass shall be punished with the imprisonment which may extend up to one year or with fine, which may extend to one thousand rupees, or with both.
LURKING HOUSE TRESPASS
The term “lurking” means to remain hidden. Under section 443 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 defines lurking house trespass as:
Whoever commits house trespass, after taking sufficient precautions not to be seen by anyone who is having the right to prevent him, from that building, tent or vessel is said to commit the offense of lurking house trespass.
Under section 453 of Indian Penal Code, 1860 deals with the punishment for lurking house trespass. Whoever commits an offense given in section 443 of IPC shall be punished with the imprisonment which may extend to two years, and shall also be liable to fine.
LURKING HOUSE TRESPASS BY NIGHT
As we previously discussed about lurking house trespass. Here it deals with the time in which the offence is committed. The offense given in the section is more serious, when it is committed in the night. Under section 444 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 deals with the lurking house trespass by night as:
Any person commits the lurking trespass after the sunset or before sunrise is said to commit the offense of lurking trespass by night.
Under section 456 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 deals with the punishment for lurking house trespass by night. Any person who commits lurking house trespass by night shall be punished with imprisonment which may extend upto three years and shall also be liable to fine.
The term “house breaking” means the action of breaking into building, commonly in house. Under section 445 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 deals with the house breaking as:
House Trespass is committed in any of the following six circumstances then it known as house breaking:
- If the trespasser enters or quits through the passage made by himself or other person with him in the house trespass is said to commit house trespass.
- If he enters or quits the house in a way that is not been used by any person other than the trespasser or the person with him, or by climbing over a wall or building.
- If he enters or quits by creating a way that the owner of the house does not intend to create by himself or by the trespasser thereby achieving that path.
- If he enters or quits by breaking the lock of the house is said to commit the house trespass.
- If he enters or quits by using criminal force or committing an assault or by threatening any person is said to commit an offense.
- If he enters or quits by any passage which he knows to have been fastened against such entrance or departure, and to have been unfastened by himself or by an abettor of the house trespass.
HOUSE BREAKING BY NIGHT
As we previously discussed about house breaking. Here it deals with the time in which the offense of house breaking is committed. Under section 446 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 deals with the punishment for house breaking by night as:
Whoever commits the offense of house breaking after the sunset and before sunrise, is said to commit “house breaking by night”
Under section 456 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 deals with the punishment for House breaking by night. Whoever commits house trespass by night shall be punished with imprisonment which may extend upto three years and shall also be liable to fine.
Trespass is a civil wrong. But, when it is done with the criminal intention it becomes criminal trespass. The main differentiation between civil trespass and criminal trespass is the presence of criminal intent. In civil trespass only compensation can be claimed whereas in criminal trespass the offender can be punished under the Indian Penal Code, 1860 as discussed above.