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Sellamuthu Servaigaran and Mottayan Vs. Pallamuthu Karuppan - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal
CourtChennai
Decided On
Reported in(1911)21MLJ161
AppellantSellamuthu Servaigaran and Mottayan
RespondentPallamuthu Karuppan
Cases Referred and Emperor v. Bazid I.L.R.
Excerpt:
- - 54. the necessity for giving effect to the principle has been well pointed out in the case of emperor v. 240, well observed at page 560 :it cannot be disputed that mere knowledge of the possibility of annoyance resulting from an act of trespass is not sufficient to bring the case within the definition, but at the same time, it must be remembered that the word 'intent' cannot be read as if it were identical with 'wish' or 'desire......240, well observed at page 560 : 'it cannot be disputed that mere knowledge of the possibility of annoyance resulting from an act of trespass is not sufficient to bring the case within the definition, but at the same time, it must be remembered that the word 'intent' cannot be read as if it were identical with 'wish' or 'desire.' there may be no wish to annoy, but if annoyance is the natural consequence of the act and if it is known to the person who does the act that such is the natural consequence, then there is an intent to annoy. most acts in the common course of natural events and human conduct lead to a series of results, and if these results are foreseen by the person doing the acts they cannot be said to be caused unintentionally. the ultimate object may be something different,.....
Judgment:

Benson, J.

1. In this case it has been found that the accused with a view to support a fraudulent claim of title to a house, broke into it at night during the temporary absence of the owner, assaulted the owner's servant who was in charge of the house, and took forcible possession of it.

2. It is argued that the conviction of the accused for house-bracking by night under Section 457, I.P.C., cannot legally be sustained because there is no finding that the accused acted 'with intent to commit an offence or to intimidate, insult or annoy any person in possession of the property' within the meaning of Section 441, I.P.C. The Sub-Magistrate says that the accused 'made a forcible entry into the house in order to establish the sale deed,' and the Sub-Divisional 1st Class Magistrate found that the accused 'broke open the house to take possession of it by force.' The Vakil for Petitioners relies on the case Queen Empress v. Rayapadayachi I.L.R. (1896) M. 240 and on an unreported case Cr. Rev. Case No. 349 of 1909 (1909) 6 M.L.T. 262.

3. In the latter case the learned judges said : 'The Magistrate finds that the intention of the accused was to take possession unlawfully of the land, and having found this, he says that the act of the accused necessarily involved annoyance to the complainant. * * * The act of the accused may have caused annoyance to the complainant, when he became aware of it, but unless the intention of the accused was to annoy (and this is not found) they cannot be found guilty under Section 447, I.P.C.'

4. In the former case the learned judges said : 'In our opinion the accused, though he may have known that, if discovered, his act would be likely to cause annoyance to the owner of the house, cannot be said to have intended either actually or constructively to cause such annoyance. It is one thing to entertain a certain intention and another to have the knowledge that one's act may possibly lead to a certain result. The section (441) defining criminal trespass is so worded as to show that the act must be done with intent and does not, as other sections do (e.g., Section 425), embrace the case of an act done with knowledge of the likelihood of a given consequence.'

5. In neither of these cases have the learned judges referred to the principle in accordance with which a man is in law held to intend the ordinary and natural consequences of his act, if at the time of doing the act he knows what the ordinary and natural consequence would be. In the case of Queen v. Hicklin (1868) 3 Q.B. 36, Blackburn J., at page 375, said : 'I take the rule of law to be, as stated by Lord Ellenborough in Rex v. Dixon (1814) 3 M. & S. 11 in the shortest and clearest manner : 'It is a universal principle that when a man is charged with doing an act' (that is a wrongful act, without any legal justification) 'of which the probable consequence may be highly injurious, the intention is an inference of law resulting from the doing of the act.' And although the appellant may have had another object in view, he must be taken to have intended that which is the natural consequence of the act. If he does an act which is illegal, it does not make it legal that he did it with some other object. That is not legal excuse, unless the object was such as under the circumstances rendered the particular act lawful. That is illustrated by the same case of Rex v. Dixon (1814) 3 M. & S. 11. The question in that particular case was, whether or not an indictment would lie against a man who unlawfully and wrongfully gave to children unwholesome bread but without intent to do them harm. The defendant was a contractor to supply bread to a military asylum, and he supplied the children with bread which was unwholesome and deleterious, and although it was not shown or suggested that he intended to make the children suffer, yet Lord Ellen-borough held that it was quite sufficient that he had done an unlawful act in giving them bread which was deleterious, and that an indictment could be sustained, as he must be taken to intend the natural consequences of his act.' In Regina v. Lovett (1839) 9 C. & P. 462, Littledale J. said : 'With respect to the intent of the defendant, a man must be taken to intend the natural consequences of what he has done.' See also the remarks of Lord Coleridge C.J. in Queen v. Martin (1881) 8 Q.B.D. 54. The necessity for giving effect to the principle has been well pointed out in the case of Emperor v. Lakshman (1902) L.R. 26 B. 558. There the learned judges, referring to the case of Queen-Empress v. Rayapadayachi I.L.R. (1896) M. 240, well observed at page 560 : 'It cannot be disputed that mere knowledge of the possibility of annoyance resulting from an act of trespass is not sufficient to bring the case within the definition, but at the same time, it must be remembered that the word 'intent' cannot be read as if it were identical with 'wish' or 'desire.' There may be no wish to annoy, but if annoyance is the natural consequence of the act and if it is known to the person who does the act that such is the natural consequence, then there is an intent to annoy. Most acts in the common course of natural events and human conduct lead to a series of results, and if these results are foreseen by the person doing the acts they cannot be said to be caused unintentionally. The ultimate object may be something different, but the person intends all the intermediate results which he knows will happen in the natural course of events, even though he may regret that they should happen. When it is uncertain whether a particular result will follow (as in the Madras case in which the accused hoped to keep his conduct secret) there may be no intent to cause that result even though it may be known that the result is likely. But it seems impossible to contend when an act is done with a knowledge amounting to practical certainty that a result will follow, that it is not intended to cause that result. I think that the law is correctly laid down in this passage, and again at the end of the case where the learned judges sum up the result of the authorities in these words : 'Although there is no presumption that a person intends what is merely a possible result which though reasonably certain is not known to him to be so, still it must be presumed that when a man voluntarily does an act, knowing at the time that in the natural course of events a certain result will follow, he intends to bring about that result.' In the present case the ordinary and natural consequences of the petitioners' acts would be to annoy the owner of the house and to intimidate and annoy his servant who was holding possession for his master, and the petitioners, as reasonable men, must have known that such consequences would flow from their acts. They must, therefore, in my judgment, be held to have acted with intent to intimidate and annoy within the meaning of the section, and the petitions must be dismissed.

Sankaran Nair J.

6. It is found that Karuppan Servai is the owner of the house in question, and that during his temporary absence, the accused broke open the door of the house, assaulted his servant, Prosecution Witness No. 1, whom he had placed in charge of it, and took forcible possession. The intention of the accused in effecting this forcible entry is found to have been to establish his title. On these findings it is argued on behalf of the accused that their conviction for house-breaking cannot be sanctioned in law as no intention 'to commmit an offence or to intimidate, insult or annoy any person in possession' of the house has been found. The decision in In re Venkataramanuja Reddy & Ors. (1909) 6 M.L.T. 262 and the cases referred to in that judgment are relied, upon in support of the arguments. The case above referred to shows that though the act of the accused necessarily involved annoyance to a person, yet unless the intention of the accused was to annoy, he is not guilty under that section. The decision in Queen-Empress v. Rayapadayachi I.L.R. (1896) M. 240 shows that the section defining criminal trespass is so worded that it does not include an act done with the knowledge of the likelihood of a given consequence. According to these decisions it may be that the act cannot be said to have been committed with intent to annoy the complainant.

7. But the further question remains whether the act was done with intent to commit an offence. Though the complainant was absent, the house was still in his possession as his servant was left in charge of the house (Section 27, I.P.C.)

8. On the facts found in this case, the accused could not take possession of the house except by effecting forcible entry, i.e., by breaking open the door of the, house and using criminal force to the servant, and he had therefore undoubtedly the intent to commit those offences. In Emperor v. Jangai Singh I.L.R. (1903) A. 194 and Emperor v. Bazid I.L.R. (1904) A. 298 the accused was able to, and could, take possession of the house without using any force. The owner was absent and he had not placed any of the persons referred to in Section 27 of the Indian Penal Code in possession, and in the case In re Venkataramanuja Reddy and others1 it does not appear that any criminal force was used to take possession. The cases cited, therefore, do not apply and the petitions must therefore be rejected.


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