Introduction 


      Section 425 to Section 440 of the Indian Penal Code 1860, deals with provision to Mischief. Section 425 of the Indian Penal Code 1860 defines Mischief,    Section 426 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 provides punishment for mischief.

Mischief - 


        According to Section 425 of the Indian Penal Code, whoever with intent to cause, or 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 any such change in 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 offense 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.

Illustrations - 

(a) A voluntarily burns a valuable security belonging to Z intending to cause wrongful loss to Z. A has committed mischief.

(b) A introduces water into an ice-house belonging to Z and thus causes the ice to melt, intending wrongful loss to Z. A has committed mischief.

(c) A voluntarily throws into a river a ring belonging to Z, with the intention of thereby causing wrongful loss to Z. A has committed mischief.

(d) A, knowing that his effects are about to be taken in execution in order to satisfy a debt due from him to Z, destroys those effects, with the intention of thereby preventing Z from obtaining satisfaction of the debt, and of thus causing damage to Z. A has committed mischief.

(e) A having insured a ship, voluntarily causes the same to be cast away, with the intention of causing damage to the underwriters. A has committed mischief.

(f) A causes a ship to be cast away, intending thereby to cause damage to Z who has lent money on bottomry on the ship. A has committed mischief.

(g) A, having joint property with Z in a horse, shoots the horse, intending thereby to cause wrongful loss to Z. A has committed mischief.

(h) A causes cattle to enter upon a field belonging to Z, intending to cause and knowing that he is likely to cause damage to Z's crop. A has committed mischief.


Punishment for mischief - 


      Section 426 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 provides punishment for mischief, According to said section whoever commits mischief shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three months, or with fine, or with both.

Mischief causing damage to the amount of fifty rupees -

         As per Section 427 of the said Code, whoever commits mischief and thereby causes loss or damage to the amount of fifty rupees or upwards, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both.

Mischief by killing or maiming animal of the value of ten rupees.

            Whoever commits mischief by killing, poisoning, maiming or rendering useless any animals or animal of the value of the ten rupees or upwards, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both. (Section 428)


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 thereof, of any other animal of 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. (Section 429)


Mischief by injury to works of irrigation or by wrongfully diverting water.

           According to Section, 430 of the said Code, whoever commits mischief by doing any act which causes, or which he knows to be likely to cause, a diminution of the supply of water for agricultural purposes, or for food or drink for human beings or for animals which are property, or for cleanliness or for carrying on any manufacture, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to five years, or with fine, or with both.

Mischief by injury to public road, bridge, river or channel.

           Whoever commits mischief by doing any act which renders or which he knows to be likely to render any public road, bridge, navigable river or navigable channel, natural or artificial, impassable or less safe for traveling or conveying property, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to five years, or with fine, or with both. (Section 431)

Mischief by causing inundation or obstruction to public drainage attended with damage.

            According to Section 432 of the Indian Penal Code 1860, whoever commits mischief by doing any act which causes or which he knows to be likely to cause an inundation or an obstruction to any public drainage attended with injury or damage, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to five years, or with fine, or with both.

Mischief by destroying, moving or rendering less useful a light-house or sea-mark.

     Whoever commits mischief by destroying or moving any light-house or other light used as a sea-mark, or any sea- mark or buoy or other thing placed as a guide for navigators, or by any act which renders any such light-house, sea-mark, buoy or another such thing as aforesaid less useful as a guide for navigators, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to seven years, or with fine, or with both. (Section 433)

Mischief by destroying or moving, etc., a land-mark fixed by public authority.

        Whoever commits mischief by destroying or moving any land-mark fixed by the authority of a public servant, or by any act which renders such land-mark less useful as such, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to one year, or with fine, or with both. (Section 434)


Mischief by fire or explosive substance with intent to cause damage to the amount of one hundred or (in case of agricultural produce) ten rupees.

           According to Section 435 of the Indian Penal Code, whoever commits mischief by fire or any explosive substance intending to cause, or knowing it to be likely that he will thereby cause, damage to any property to the amount of one hundred rupees or upwards or (where the property is agricultural produce) ten rupees or upwards, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to seven years and shall also be liable to fine.

Mischief by fire or explosive substance with intent to destroy house, etc.

          Whoever commits mischief by fire or any explosive substance, intending to cause, or knowing it to be likely that he will thereby cause. the destruction of any building which is ordinarily used as a place of worship or as a human dwelling or as a place for the custody of property shall be punished with imprisonment for life, or with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine. (Section 436)

Mischief with intent to destroy or make unsafe a decked vessel or one of twenty tons burden.

          Whoever commits mischief to any decked vessel or any vessel of a burden of twenty tons or upwards, intending to destroy or render unsafe, or knowing it to be likely that he will thereby destroy or render unsafe, that vessel, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine. (Section 437)


 Punishment for the mischief described in section 437 committed by fire or explosive substance.

           Whoever commits, or attempts to commit, by fire or any explosive substance, such mischief as is described in the last preceding section. shall be punished with imprisonment for life. or with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine. (Section 438)

 Punishment for intentionally running vessel aground or ashore with intent to commit theft, etc.

             Whoever intentionally runs any vessel aground or ashore, intending to commit theft of any property contained therein or to dishonestly misappropriate any such property, or with intent that such theft or misappropriation of the property may be committed, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine. (Section 439)

 Punishment for intentionally running vessel aground or ashore with intent to commit theft, etc.

       Whoever intentionally runs any vessel aground or ashore, intending to commit theft of any property contained therein or to dishonestly misappropriate any such property, or with intent that such theft or misappropriation of property may be committed, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine. (Section 439)

 Mischief committed after preparation made for causing death or hurt.

          Whoever commits mischief, having made preparation for causing to any person death, or hurt, or wrongful restraint, or fear of death, or hurt, or of wrongful restraint, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to five years, and shall also be liable to fine. (Section 440)


See Also...



Criminal trespass ( Section 442 to Section 462 of the Indian Penal Code 1860)

Fraudulent deed and disposition of property (IPC, Section 421 to Section 124 )


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