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June 17, 2021

TrespassIntroduction :-

The word “trespass” in common English acceptation means and implies unlawful or unwarrantable intrusion upon land. It is a transgression of law or right and a trespasser is a person, entering the premises of another with the knowledge that his entrance is in excess of the permission that has been given to him. Meaning in Black’s Law Dictionary (7th Edn., by Garner) relied upon by Supreme Court viz.: “an unlawful act committed against a person and property of another”, the dictionary also quotes a passage from Salmond on the Law of Torts and which we may also profitably record here for assessment of situation and for proper appreciation of the import of the word “trespass”. The passage reads as below: “The term trespass has been used by lawyers and laymen in three senses of varying degrees of generality.

(1) In its widest and original signification it includes any wrongful act — any infringement or transgression of the rule of right. This use is common in the Authorised Version of the Bible and was presumably familiar when that version was first published. But it never obtained recognition in the technical language of the law and is now archaic even in popular speech.

In a second and narrower signification — its true legal sense — the term means any legal wrong for which the appropriate remedy was a writ of trespass — viz. any direct and forcible injury to person, land or chattels.

The third and narrowest meaning of the term is that in which, in accordance with popular speech, it is limited to one particular kind of trespass in the second sense — viz. the tort of trespass to land (trespass quare clausum fregit).” R.F.V. Heuston, Salmond on the Law of Torts 4 (17th Edn., 1977), Kewal Chand Mimani v. S.K. Sen(2001) 6 SCC 512, 528 (paras 24 & 25)

Trespass upon the immovable property is unwarrantable entry upon the immovable property of another or any direct and immediate act of interference with the possession of such property. Trespass is a wrongful act done in disturbance of the possession of the property of another or against the person of another against his will. Trespass continues so long as unlawful entry lasts, Vinay v. High Court of Bombay, (2010) 6 Mah LJ 407 (Bom). 

Any transgression of the law, less than treason, felony or misprision of either. The action of trespass lies where a trespass has been committed either to the plaintiff’s person or property. A trespass is an injury committed with violence and this violence may be either actual or implied; and the law will imply violence, though none is actually used, where the injury is of a direct and immediate kind and committed on the person or tangible and corporeal property of the plaintiff. Of actual violence an assault and battery is an instance; of implied, a peaceable but wrongful entry upon the plaintiff’s lands.


Whoever commits criminal trespass by entering into or remaining in any building, tent or vessel used as a human dwelling or any building used as a place for worship or as a place for the custody of property, is said to commit “house-trespass”, Section 442, Penal Code, 1860

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