Question: A, an old client goes to B’s house, a lawyer for taking some legal advice. He leaves his stick there, which generally an old man uses. The stick was of appreciable value and of rare quality. When B looks at the stick, he feels annoyed and breaks the stick into many pieces. A prosecutes B for mischief.… Read More »

Question: A, an old client goes to B’s house, a lawyer for taking some legal advice. He leaves his stick there, which generally an old man uses. The stick was of appreciable value and of rare quality. When B looks at the stick, he feels annoyed and breaks the stick into many pieces. A prosecutes B for mischief. During the trial, B’s to cause destruction to the stick and B did the same when it was left in his house and was in his possession. So he is not liable for mischief. Decide...

Question: A, an old client goes to B’s house, a lawyer for taking some legal advice. He leaves his stick there, which generally an old man uses. The stick was of appreciable value and of rare quality. When B looks at the stick, he feels annoyed and breaks the stick into many pieces. A prosecutes B for mischief.

During the trial, B’s to cause destruction to the stick and B did the same when it was left in his house and was in his possession. So he is not liable for mischief. Decide by giving reasons and also refer to case law, if any, on the point.

Find the answer to the mains question only on Legal Bites. [A, an old client goes to B’s house, a lawyer for taking some legal advice. He leaves his stick there, which generally an old man uses. The stick was of appreciable value and of rare quality. Liability for mischief…… Decide.]

Answer

Section 425 defines mischief as-

Whoever, with intent to cause, or knowing that he is likely to cause, wrongful loss or damage to the public or to any person, causes the destruction of any property, or any such change in any property or in the situation thereof as destroys or diminishes its value or utility, or affects in injuriously, commits ‘mischief’.

Destruction or diminution in value of the property in question is one of the essentials of mischief as defined under section 425, IPC. Also, the term ‘change’ used in section 425 means a physical change in composition or form of property. It contemplates physical injury to property from a physical cause.

In the case of Gopinath Nayak v. Lepa Majhi (1996) Cr LJ 3814(Ori), the High Court has opined that: The inclusion of the term ‘damage’ along with ‘wrongful loss’, makes it clear that the legislature wanted to bring within the purview of the offence of ‘mischief’, not just acts which result in a wrongful loss but also to cover instances of all types of damage by unlawful means which are actuated, however, with the intention or knowledge to cause the same.

The term ‘damage’ must then involve invasion of a right, though it does not necessarily contemplate damage of destructive character, it does require diminution of the value of the property caused by the invasion of the right which, to be punishable, must have been contemplated by the person committing it at the time when the act was committed.

Therefore, in the present case at hand, B cannot take the defence that he causes destruction to A’s stick because it was left in his house and was his possession. The fact remains that the property was of A and he was the owner of the stick, and there was a clear intention on the part of B to break the stick into many pieces, thereby causing wrongful loss to the old client.

The possession of stick under B was not lawful as it was left mistakenly by A and hence B cannot claim he got the right to cause destruction to the stick. Hence, A shall be liable for committing mischief under section 425, IPC.


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 2021-09-07T03:40:13+05:30
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