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Trespassers are entitled to electricity, unless they are evicted by law

Why in the News?

The Calcutta High Court has recently decided that a Treasurer is entitled to electricity till the time it is evicted from the due process of law (Sukla Kar v. Calcutta Electric Supply Corporation Limited & Ors.)

"Assuming without admitting that the petitioner does not have any right, title and interest in respect of the said premises, the petitioner’s status then is that of a trespasser. Even a trespasser, unless evicted by due process of law, is entitled to electricity. Electricity connection, if granted to the petitioner, will not also create any right in her favour",

What was the case?

The petitioner had petitioned the High Court in the case after Calcutta Electric Supply Corporation (CESC) rejected the application for the new service connection.

The High Court held that disputes on the premises, be it ownership, title or interest, cannot stand in the name of the petitioner by way of obtaining a new electricity meter in his name, when he accepts possession of the premises is.

Therefore, Justice Mukherjee directed the petitioner to make a fresh application for meter and new electricity connection within 7 days. It issued further instructions to the CESC to install a new meter to process the application, inspect the premises, collect a citation and give a new electricity connection to the petitioner.

What is Criminal Trespass in the eye of law?

According to Section 441 in The Indian Penal Code -

Criminal trespass. —Whoever enters into or upon property in the possession of another with intent to commit an offence or to intimidate, insult or annoy any person in possession of such property, or having lawfully entered into or upon such property, unlawfully remains there with intent thereby to intimidate, insult or annoy any such person, or with intent to commit an offence, is said to commit “criminal trespass”.

Types of Trespass

Trespass is an area of ​​criminal law or tort law that is broadly divided into three groups: trespass to the individual, trespass to the chattel and trespass to the land.

Trespass to the individual: -

Trespass to the person historically involved six different trespasses: intimidation, assault, battery, wounding, scuffle (or maiming), and wrongful imprisonment.

Most useful terms are -

Assault, which is "any act of such nature as to incite the apprehension of battery";

Battery, "any intentional and unpermitted contact with the plaintiff's person or anything attached to it and practically identified with it.

Trespass to the Chattel: -

Use or interdependence of another's "personal property" causes action to trespass.

Trespass to the Land: -

"Wrong interference with one's rights in [real] property".

Punishment for Trespass

According to Section 447 in The Indian Penal Code -

Whoever commits a criminal atrocity will be punished with imprisonment for either details, which may extend to three months, with fine or which may extend to five hundred rupees or both.

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