Legal provisions regarding House-breaking under section 445 of Indian Penal Code, 1860.
“A person is said to commit “house-breaking” who commits house-trespass if he effects his entrance into the house or any part of it in any of the six ways hereinafter described; or if, being in the house or any part of it for the purpose of committing an offence, or having committed an offence therein, he quits the house or any part of it in any of such six ways, that is to say-
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If he enters or quits through a passage made by himself, or by any abettor of the house-trespass, in order to the committing of the house-trespass.
If he enters or quits through any passage not intended by any person, other than himself or an abettor of the offence, for human entrance, or through any passage to which he has obtained access by scaling or climbing over any wall or building,
If he enters or quits through any passage which he or any abettor of the house-trespass has opened, in order to the committing of the house-trespass by any means by which that passage was not intended by the occupier of the house to be opened,
If he enters or quits by opening any lock in order to the committing of the house-trespass, or in order to the quitting of the house after a house-trespass.
If he effects his entrance or departure by using criminal force or committing an assault, or by threatening any person with assault.
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.
Any out-house or building occupied with a house, and between which and such house there is an immediate internal communication, is part of the house within the meaning of this section.
(a) A commits house-trespass by making a hole through the wall of Z’s house, and putting his hand through the aperture. This is house-breaking.
(b) A commits house-trespass by creeping into a ship at a port-hole between decks. This is house-breaking.
(c) A commits house-trespass by entering Z’s house through a window. This is house-breaking.
(d) A commits house-trespass by entering Z’s house through the door, having opened a door which was fastened. This is house-breaking.
(e) A commits house-trespass by entering Z’s house through the door, having lifted a latch by putting a wire through a hole in the door. This is house-breaking.
(f) A finds the key of Z’s house door, which Z had lost, and commits house-trespass by entering Z’s house, having opened the door with that key. This is house-breaking.
(g) Z is standing in his doorway. Forces a passage by knocking Z down, and commits house-trespass by entering the house. This is housing breaking.
(h) Z, the door keeper of Y, is standing in Y’s doorway. A commits house-trespass by entering the house, having deterred Z from opposing him by threatening to beat him. This is housebreaking.”
The term ‘house-breaking’ implies a forcible entry into a house, ‘to break a house’ used to mean the removal or setting aside with violence and a felonious intent any part of a house or of the fastening provided to secure it.
Section 445 describes six ways in which the offence of house-breaking may be committed. Clauses 1 to 3 deal with entry which is effected by means of a passage which is not ordinary. Clauses 4 to 6 deal with entry which is effected by force.
The ways described in Section 445 of seeking entry into a house are: (1) through the passage made by the accused himself or his accomplice of the house trespass; (2) through any passage not meant for human entrance other than himself or an abettor of the offence; (3) through any passage opened by himself or by any of the abettors of the house-trespass; (4) by opening any lock to seek entry into, or exit from, the house; (5) by using criminal force to seek entry into, or depart from, the house; and (6) by entering or quitting through any passage fastened against such entrance or exit.
Where a hole was made by burglars in the wall of a house but their way was blocked by the presence of beams on the other side of the wall, it would be considered that the offence committed was one of attempt to commit house-breaking and not actual house-breaking, and illustration (a) to this section did not apply.
The term ‘house’ in Section 445 has been used in the same sense as a ‘building used as a human dwelling or any building used as a place for worship or as a place for the custody of property within the meaning of Section 442. The explanation extends the meaning of the term ‘house’ by including therein any out-house or building if it is connected therewith by an immediate internal communication.