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Section 442 of Indian Penal Code, 1860 – Explained!

January 31, 2019 0 Comment

The section requires that criminal trespass must be committed either by entering into or remaining in either any building, tent or vessel which is used as a human dwelling, or any building which is used as a place for worship, or as a place for custody of property. As soon as any part of the criminal trespasser’s body is introduced it is entering sufficient to constitute this offence, says the explanation.

Whereas previously it was held that going on to the roof of a building was not entering the building, the Patna High Court holds a different view and says that this is criminal trespass as well as house trespass. A school is a human dwelling. Even though some judgments maintain that a courtyard is not a building, the better view seems to be that it should be so because common sense says that it is part of a building and cannot be separated from it.

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The fact that it does not have a ceiling over it and so is not a building does not appeal much because there may be a building whose ceiling may have collapsed. Similarly and also a roof which has a ceiling over it should also be regarded as building as it is part of the same construction. Entry by a police officer in a house at odd hours with a view to check whether a person, supposed to remain in the house, is actually in or not has been held to be a house trespass as the act is intended to annoy that person.

The accused was friendly with a woman who was the concubine of a man with whom she lived in his house. The woman invited the accused to visit her when the man was not in the house. The accused went there but the man returned. It was held that he had not committed house-trespass as his act could not be termed criminal trespass in the absence of the requisite intention. Where the accused entered unarmed into the house of another person but subsequently pelted stones at him as a result of which that person died, it was held that he had committed house-trespass also.

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