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Criminal Law Videos - IPC Section 448 (Punishment for House Trespassing)


IPC Section 448 prescribes punishment for the offence of house trespass defined in section 442. It states that whoever commits house-trespass shall be punished with simple or rigorous imprisonment for a term extending up to one year, or with fine extending up to one thousand rupees, or with both. The punishment for house- trespass is a little severer than that for criminal trespass and thus it can be easily said that house-trespass is more serious a crime than criminal trespass.
In Kirpal Singh v. Wazir Singh, the Delhi High Court stated that this must be one of the most exceptional cases in which admittedly the real owner of the shop was deprived of its possession and use for more than thirty-seven years and during the period he was not paid a penny as rent or compensation in any form.

This indeed is a sorry tale of how an honest and real owner can suffer for decades in a legal tangle and the real owner (complainant) is deprived of the possession and use of the said shop. Even if the accused persons’ entry into the shop was lawful, the accused persons retained it unlawfully and dishonestly for more than thirty-seven years. They are clearly guilty of committing continuous trespass for all these years which is punishable under section 448 of the Indian Penal Code.

The offence under this section is cognizable, bailable and compoundable, and is triable by any magistrate.