Legal Provisions Regarding ‘House-Trespass’ in India

Sec. 442 defines “House-trespass”.

Sec. 442. House-trespass:

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Whoever commits criminal trespass by entering into or remaining in any building, tent or vessel used as a human dwelling or any building used as a place for worship, or as a place for the custody of property, is said to commit “house-trespass”.

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The introduction of any part of the criminal trespasser’s body is entering sufficient to constitute house trespass.

Important Points:


A. Ingredients:

1. Criminal trespass plus entering into a residential house is called house-trespass and is an essential ingredient of this offence.

2. The property used as a human dwelling or any building used as a place for worship or as a place for the custody of the property is the subject matter of this offence.

3. House-trespass is an aggravated form of criminal trespass.


4. Possession is the essential ingredient of house-trespass. The Magistrate need not decide the title to the building. He is only concerned with the question of the possession of the complainant.

5. The term ‘dwelling’ means a building or tent or vessel in which a person lives, remains or lingers whether permanently or temporarily.

B. Punishment:

Section 448 prescribes the punishment for house-trespass with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to one year, or with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees, or with both. Nature of offence: The offence under this Section is cognizable, bailable, compoundable, and triable by any Magistrate.

C. Souri Prasad Patnaik vs. State of Orissa (1989 CrLJ 169 Ori.)

Brief Facts: In this case, the accused was veterinary surgeon. He entered into the room of his superior officer and made legitimate demand for the payment of his salary.

The prosecution contended that it was criminal trespass plus house-trespass. The Court held that the place of alleged offence was not residential; hence no offence was made under Section 448. The Court further held that the accused asked his superior officer for lawful wages which were not paid for months together.

D. Bahvindar Singh vs. State of Punjab (1989 CrLJ 718 P&H)

Brief Facts:

The accused entered in the compound of the complainant. He caused injuries to the owner of the property. The accused was held guilty under Sections 448 and 325.

E. Lurking House-trespass:

Sec. 443 defines “Lurking House- trespass”. It says that whoever commits house-trespass have taken precautions to conceal such house-trespass from such person who has a right to exclude or eject the trespasser from the building, tent or vessel which is the subject of the trespass, is said to commit “Lurking House-trespass”.

F. Lurking House-trespass by night:

Sec. 444 states: “whoever commits lurking house trespass after sunset and before sunrise is said to commit “lurking house-trespass by night”.


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