Question: Define and mention the ingredients of the offence of Public Nuisance. Find the answer to the mains question only on Legal Bites. [Define and mention the ingredients of the offence of Public Nuisance.] Answer Chapter XIV of the IPC deals with public nuisance. It is undoubtedly an offence affecting public health, safety, convenience, decency and morals. Section 268… Read More »

Question: Define and mention the ingredients of the offence of Public Nuisance. Find the answer to the mains question only on Legal Bites. [Define and mention the ingredients of the offence of Public Nuisance.] Answer Chapter XIV of the IPC deals with public nuisance. It is undoubtedly an offence affecting public health, safety, convenience, decency and morals. Section 268 defines Public nuisance as A person is guilty of a public nuisance who does any act or is guilty of an illegal...

Question: Define and mention the ingredients of the offence of Public Nuisance.

Find the answer to the mains question only on Legal Bites. [Define and mention the ingredients of the offence of Public Nuisance.]

Answer

Chapter XIV of the IPC deals with public nuisance. It is undoubtedly an offence affecting public health, safety, convenience, decency and morals.

Section 268 defines Public nuisance as A person is guilty of a public nuisance who does any act or is guilty of an illegal omission which causes any common injury, danger or annoyance to the public or to the people in general who dwell or occupy property in the vicinity, or which must necessarily cause injury, obstruction, danger, or annoyance to persons who may have occasion to use any public right.

A common nuisance is not excused on the ground that it causes some convenience or advantage. This chapter dealing with the subject of public nuisance; is intended to protect three classes of persons: (1) the public; (2) the neighbours as distinct from the public; and (3) persons possessing a public right.

Section 268 defines a doer of a public nuisance as one who:

  1. does any act or is guilty of an illegal omission,
  2. which causes: (a) any common injury, or (b) danger or (c) annoyance to the public or to the people in general, who dwell or occupy property in the vicinity; or
  3. causes injury, obstruction, danger or annoyance to persons who may have any occasion to use any public right.

Thus, Public nuisance is an act of doing something that tends to the annoyance of the whole community in general or neglecting to do anything that the common good requires.1 It is an act or omission affecting the public at large, or some considerable portion of them, and interferes with rights the members of the community might otherwise enjoy.

A public nuisance is based on the principle embodied in the maxim of civil law sic utere tuo ut rem publicum non laedas, which means ‘enjoy your property in such a way as not to injure the rights of the public’.

Section 290 provides for the punishment of any public nuisance which does not fall under any other sections of the IPC, relating to public nuisances. It deals, in short, with all the residuary miscellaneous public nuisances. The fact that the act of the accused is an offence under some special or local Act is no bar to his prosecution under the IPC.

In Sukumaran Nair v. State [(1961) 1 KLR 205] where the accused was charged of the offence of public nuisance under sections 268 and 290, IPC, for having interrupted a public meeting by putting questions to the speaker or denying the statements of the speaker, he was held not guilty. The offence alleged was that at a public meeting when one Purushottam Pillai was addressing the meeting, the accused came near the platform and said two or three lines meaning ‘this is not correct’.

The court said that in the absence of any allegation that the accused by contradicting the speaker and by saying that what the speaker stated was not correct has caused any common injury, danger or annoyance to the public, the prosecution will not stand. It is not understandable how, by merely interrupting a meeting, without any other overt action, it would amount to an offence under section 290, IPC. The court also said that such cases would fall under section 95, IPC, as mere trivial cases of which courts should not take cognisance.


Important Mains Questions Series for Judiciary, APO & University Exams

  1. IPC Mains Questions Series Part I: Important Questions
  2. IPC Mains Questions Series Part II: Important Questions
  3. IPC Mains Questions Series Part III: Important Questions
  4. IPC Mains Questions Series Part IV: Important Questions
  5. IPC Mains Questions Series Part V: Important Questions
  6. IPC Mains Questions Series Part VI: Important Questions
  7. IPC Mains Questions Series Part VII: Important Questions
  8. IPC Mains Questions Series Part VIII: Important Questions
  9. IPC Mains Questions Series Part IX: Important Questions
  10. IPC Mains Questions Series Part X: Important Questions
Updated On 2021-07-17T17:06:32+05:30
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