CRIMINAL MISCHIEF -NO GROUNDS FOR PROSECUTION
THE HON'BLE SRI JUSTICE B. CHANDRA KUMAR
Criminal Petition No.6225 of 2008
Smt. Amrutha W/o Late Shankeraiah
aged about 44 years, Occ: House Wife
R/o Plot No.129, Sai Ram Colony,
State of A.P. through Public Prosecutor,
High Court of A.P., Hyderabad and another
Counsel for petitioner: Mr. A. Mahadev
Counsel for respondent: Public Prosecutor
This Criminal Petition has been filed to quash the proceedings against the petitioner in C.C.No.711 of 2008 on the file of the XI Metropolitan Magistrate, R.R. District at
2. The second respondent herein is the defacto complainant. The allegation against the petitioner is that she had taken electric service connection from the underground.
It appears that the municipal authorities had undertaken repairing work and dug a pit at the place where the service connection was taken. As it was rainy season, the pit was filled with water. The cow belonging to the defacto complainant when came in contact with the water in the pit, received electric shock and died on 28-06-2008 at about 13-00 hours.
3. The main contention of the learned counsel for the petitioner is that the ingredients of Section 429 of IPC have not been made out from the complaint allegations and therefore the proceedings are liable to be quashed.
4. Section 429 of IPC reads as follows:
"429. Mischief by killing or maiming cattle, etc., of any value or any animal of the value of fifty rupees.-Whoever commits mischief by killing, poisoning, maiming or rendering useless, any elephant, camel, horse, mule, buffalo, bull, cow or ox, whatever may be the value of fifty rupees or upwards, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to five years, or with fine, or with both."
From a reading of the above provision it is clear that a person, who commits mischief of killing, poisoning, maiming or rendering useless of any animal referred above, is liable to be punished. But, admittedly it is not the case of killing, poisoning, maiming or rendering useless of any animal.
5. Now we have to see whether the petitioner is guilty of committing any mischief. The word 'mischief' has been defined under Section 425 of IPC, which reads as follows:
"425. Mischief.-Whoever, with intent to cause, of 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 in the situation thereof as destroys or diminishes its value or utility, or affects it injuriously, commits mischief. Explanation 1.-It is not essential to the offence of mischief that the offender should intend to cause loss or damage to the owner of the property injured or destroyed. It is sufficient if he intends to cause, or knows that he is likely to cause, wrongful loss or damage to any person by injuring any property, whether it belongs to that person or not. Explanation 2.-Mischief may be committed by an act affecting property belonging to the person who commits the act, or to that person and others jointly."
6. As seen from the above definition of 'mischief', it is clear that the offender should have intention to commit the offence. In the absence of any intention to cause any 'mischief', I am of the view that the ingredients of Section 429 do not attract.
7. In view of the above discussion, I am of the view that the ingredients of Section 429 of IPC are not made out from a reading of the complaint itself and therefore, the criminal proceedings against the petitioner are liable to be quashed.
8. Accordingly, the Criminal Petition is allowed. The proceedings against the petitioner in C.C.No.711 of 2008 on the file of the XI Metropolitan Magistrate, R.R. District at L.B. Nagar, are hereby quashed.