MISCHIEF


A compound Wall constructed on a plot of land fell down due to heavy rain and damaged the structure on the neighbouring plot.  Can the owner of the plot whose compound wall fell be prosecuted for mischief u/s 427 IPC on the allegation that the compound wall was constructed negligently and without the approval of the local authorities?

 
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No but yes the neighbour can claim damages under suit of recovery


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Thanks.  Neighbour filed civil suit and succeeded in getting damages.  Question is why he cannot succeed in a criminal case for Mischief?

 
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Legal Consultant

well elements of the offence Mischief have to be proved.. please refer to section 425 IPC.. intent to cause damage or knowledge to cause damage has to be proved...  in this case proving  negligence may be tricky...

 
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Mens rea is missing in this case

 
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Mr. Vikas has given the explanation of section. In simple words the intention to cause damage is missing in this case


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No doubt intention is missing.  But can not knowledge be attributed which is an alternative ingredient of the offence?  Complainant can always say that the accused had knowledge that a negligently constructed compund wall can collapse and cause  damage to neighbouring property.

 
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Legal Consultant

you should know that you cannot prove anything which is not required by that particular section because it will serve no good.... Criminal cases require a strict burden of proof... A criminal case may be filed but it may also strike back when the accused is aquitted and  files a civil suit

As far as mischief is concerned: Intention has to be proved... you cannot argue that so and so person build a wall, spent so much money just to cause damages to the neighbours, nobody builds a wall with an intention(hope) that it'll fell down during rainy season and will cause harm to others.

This case is related to the damages and only damages.


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