Mischief Under the Indian Penal Code

INTRODUCTION

The definition of offence has been given very differently by various sources and considered as an act which is contradictory to the provided laws by the parliament or other sources. There are specific offences that are very known by the people for which they can raise their voice for seeking justice such as theft, murder, robbery, etc but there are certain offences which are not so known offence for the people. In this article, I’m presenting about one such remarkable offence named Mischief. Mischief is the devilment or an act of reckless behaviour of any person towards any other person. Mischief is an offence remitted under section 425 to 440 of Indian Penal Code, 1860. According to English law, the mischief is known to be a malicious injury to any property. Also, there is a maxim which is regarding the offence of mischief that is Sec Utara two ut all enum non-leadas refers that any person having the possession of his property must enjoy the right over a property in such a way that it must not harms or damages the property of another person, There are several kinds of mischief mentioned under the Indian Penal code,1860.

MEANING OF MISCHIEF

Mischief in general terms means an act of malicious behaviour known to be mischief but if we go through the legal meaning of the offence mischief, it refers to a reckless act causing harm or damages to any property of another person. The offence is regarding harm and injury made to the property. The offence of mischief may be committed against movable property or immovable property of any person. Any person who with the intention puts down or devastate the value of any other person or any individual or public, such act of the person shall be called mischief according to section 425 of the Indian Penal code,1860. The section 425 of IPC provides the legal definition of the offence mischief which states that act by any person intentionally causing wrongful loss to property, destruction of the property, injurious effects, decreases the value of the property or any kinds of destruction to property of any person shall lead to mischief.

ILLUSTRATIONS OF MISCHIEF
  • In a situation, A puts fire to valuable security of Z with the intention and knowledge also A wanted to cause wrongful loss to Z. Here, mischief has been done by A.
  • In a situation, A with the intention of causing wrongful loss put the water into an ice house of Z also A was having the knowledge of putting water into an ice house, so as to melt the ice by water. Here, A done the mischief.
  • In a situation, A carrying the precious golden ring of Z thrown it into a river intentionally and was having the intention to cause Z a wrongful loss. Here, A has committed the offence of mischief.
  • In a situation, A had destructed the effects which were used to provide satisfaction to Z which regards with debt. So for precluding Z from availing such satisfaction of the debt, A caused damage to the effects. Here, A had done the offence of mischief.
  • In a situation, A was having a cattle and Z was having the land next to the land of A consists of various kinds of crops. A with the intention sends his cattle to Z’s land for damaging the crops, with the intention of causing wrongful loss to Z. Here, A had done the offence of mischief.
ESSENTIALS OF MISCHIEF

Mischief is an act which is an obstruction to the right of another person by destroying his property and it consists of many requisite features which imperatively be presented in the act. In other words, there are some necessary conditions that lead the act committed by any person to be mischief and person who suffers the damage from such reckless act shall have to prove the following to prove the crime as mischief-

  • Intentional causing: Any person who does an act which results in a wrongful loss to some other person must have the intention of causing such loss and must have done with the intention and knowledge of causing loss to that person in order to consider such act as a crime of mischief. In the case of Nagendranath Roy vs Dr Bijoy Kumar Dasburma, it was held by the court that intention of causing a wrongful loss must be presented in the act, negligence shall not lead to the offence mischief and no act consisting a wrongful loss shall be the commission of mischief. In the case of Ved Prakash vs Chaman Singh and ors. 1994, it was held that accidentally or negligently caused act shall not be regarded or contemplated as mischief because the cardinal content is guilty intent or intention. In the case of Krishna Gopal Singh And others vs The State of UP,1999, the court laid down that absence of intention for causing wrongful loss or damage of any person or the public at large leads no offence of mischief. It was also provided that any commission of the act accomplished under the pressure or lack of consent shall not be included under the offence of mischief.
  • Wrongful loss: Mischief contains the features among which one of it is the wrongful loss caused to any person or public, there must be a wrongful loss caused by the person to any other person. There must be any kind of wrongful loss caused to any person or public.
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  • Destruction or demolition of property: The main essential of the crime of mischief is destruction of property of any other person. An act must includes the demolishment of property by an accused to the property of any person. An accused must have damaged or destroyed the property. Here, an act of  mischief leads to any of the destruction such as decreasing the value of property, causes injuries to the property, change in the property, destroy of property, etc which causes wrongful loss to any person consisting such property.

Also Read: Kidnapping under Indian Penal Code, 1860

PUNISHMENT FOR MISCHIEF

The crime named as mischief under section 425 of IPC is a cognizable, bailable, compoundable and triable offence by any magistrate. Section 426 of the IPC provides punishment for the offence of mischief. Any person who commits the crime of mischief shall be punished under this section by imprisonment of either description for a term which may be extended to 3 months, or fine or with both.

FORMS OF MISCHIEF

According to some provisions of IPC, there are various forms of mischief and its punishment which are given under section 428 to 440. Mischief can be of various types and following are types of mischief mentioned in the code-

  • Section 428 of the code provides the first type of mischief that is mischief by killing or maiming the animal of rupees 10 or above amount. The very first type of mischief is by committing any act which leads to harm the animal. There are 4 ways harming the animal is discussed under this section and that is killing, poisoning, maiming and rendering useless to the animal or animals which is having the value of rupees 10 or above ten. Also, the punishment of this mischief shall be the imprisonment which may extend to 2 yrs or fine or both.
  • Section 430 of the code provides mischief by injury to work of irrigation or by wrongfully diverting water. This section provides the second type of mischief that leads to an act of causing damage or harm to the work of irrigation or causing distractions to the supply of water. The punishment for this type of mischief shall be the imprisonment which may extend to 5 yrs or with or both.
  • Section 431 provides the mischief by injury to public road, bridge, river or channel. This is the third type of mischief which leads to cause any harm or damage to the property of public such as a river, road, bridge, channel, artificial or natural properties, etc. Such injury to the property consists of the difficulty of travelling by the public. The punishment for this type of mischief shall be the imprisonment which may extend to 5 yrs or fine or both.
  • Section 432 provides the mischief by causing inundation or obstruction to public drainage attended with damage. This is the fourth type of mischief which leads to the punishment punishable with the imprisonment which may extend to 5 yrs or with fine or with both.
  • Section 433 provides the mischief by destroying, moving or rendering less useful a lighthouse or sea mark. This section provides the fifth type of mischief which leads to cause damage or moves the lighthouse or sea house and for this type the punishment is given under this section is the imprisonment of a term which may extend to 7 yrs or fine or both.
  • Section 434 provides the mischief by destroying or moving, etc, a landmark fixed by public authority. This section provides the sixth type of mischief which leads to cause destruction or eradication, etc of and landmark which is fixed by the public authority. The punishment regarding this type of mischief shall be the imprisonment of a term which may extend to 1 year or fine or both.
  • Section 435 provides the mischief by fire or explosive substance with intent to cause damage to the amount of one hundred or ten rupees in case of agricultural products. This is the seventh type of mischief which leads to cause the demolition of any property by putting fire or explosives. This type of mischief is punishable with imprisonment of a term which may extend to ten years or with fine or with both.
  • Section 436 provides the mischief by fire or explosive substance with intent to destroy a house, etc. This is the eighth type of the offence of mischief which leads to cause destruction and demolition of any property by putting fire or explosives substance into it. Such property usually used as a place of worship or human dwelling or as a place of custody for the property. This type of mischief is punishable with the imprisonment for a term which may extend to ten yrs and liability of fine.

Also Read: Extortion Crime Under Section 383 of the IPC

CONCLUSION

After all the studies regarding the offence of mischief, it is concluded that the criminal mischief is an offence under the Indian Penal code,1860 which is the crime against property. It involves the reckless or malicious behaviour of any person towards the other person or public with the intention of causing a wrongful loss. There are various essentials attached to it and several forms of mischief are contemplated under IPC and also the punishment in connection with the offence is given under the code.

Also Read: Defamation under the Indian Penal Code, 1860

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