Trespassing laws in Pakistan
Trespassing laws in Pakistan are covered in Sections 441-462 of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC). Trespassing can be a crime based on the circumstances and situation of the matter. In this article, we are going to look into Trespassing as an act, along with its criminality and the laws around it in Pakistan.
We will also look into what remedies are available for it, along with how to distinguish between criminal and non-criminal versions of trespassing, with citations of Trespassing in Pakistan.
What is Trespassing?
Trespassing (alone) is quite a broad term which, in essence, is the act of entering (or not leaving when asked) a property without the owner’s consent. The laws around Trespassing in Pakistan are broken down into a few different sections of the Penal Code, along with their prescribed punishments. Here we will look into detail at a few of them, and discuss them individually.
Criminal Trespassing laws in Pakistan
Criminal Trespassing in Pakistan is the act of entering an area in possession of another person (or entity) with the intention/s to do any of the following:-
- Commit an offence
- To intimidate someone
- To steal or rob
- To threaten them
- To insult them or defame them
- To annoy them
- To cause damage to any individual and/or property
Criminal Trespass can also take place even if the individual or group of individuals who are committing Criminal Tresspass came in legally and lawfully but were asked to leave (or informed that they were no longer allowed to be there) and they are still on the property.
Intention to commit a crime
Trespassing is something that, in some cases, an individual could do without even knowing, when the trespasser having any intentions to do anything illegal and/or immoral. Therefore, when trying to prosecute for criminal trespassing, proving criminal intent is a pivotal element in the case.
Criminal Intention was defended in one particular case (PLD 1959 Lah. 495) when an individual claimed that a trespasser was committing criminal trespassing as he came to their land to annoy him. However, the courts ruled that criminal trespassing did not take place as the person claiming to be “annoyed” was not on the premises at the time.
Trespassing laws in Pakistan on Property
The matter of Trespassing in Pakistan becomes more relevant when we look at the definition of the term “Property”. In the Pakistan Penal Code, Property is further exemplified as:-
- A building
- A Tent
- A Vessel
- An area of occupancy (for a human dwelling)
- Buildings used as a Place of Worship
- A shop or Warehouse
Once someone enters (or remains in these properties once asked to leave) into these kinds of property (even if they partially, but physically, enter it i.e. even if just their foot enters it) then not only would it be considered an act of Criminal Trespassing, but it would then be considered House Trespassing (Section 442 of the Pakistan Penal Code).
However, it is noted in the case with the citation of PLJ 1991 Cr. C (Lah.) 419 that climbing over a roof of a property was not considered an act of trespassing which could have awarded the trespasser a penalty, nor did the court deem it a criminal act when a new building was made which was not in use in PLD 1958 Lah. 871.
Lurking House Trespass
In Pakistan, trespassing is further divided based on how someone trespasses onto a property, entirely based on whether they concealed the fact they were trespassing or not. This would then become “Lurking House-trespass”.
Let’s suppose someone walks onto a property in full view of the owner of the property and spoke to the owner whilst on his property. This would not constitute as Lurking House-Trespassing.
If, on the other hand, they quietly tried to enter a property trying to make sure that the owners of the property were not aware of their presence, this would then fall into Lurking House Trespassing (covered in section 443 of the Pakistan Penal Code) and if they did the same act at night it would be considered as Lurking House Trespass by night (covered in section 444 of the Pakistan Penal Code).
Breaking and entering laws in Pakistan
If there is a property that is locked or is secured, and an individual has to overcome such security measures (such as a lock, or sensors, or a window etc.) with or without the use of force, then this would be considered as an act of House-breaking (covered in section 445 of the Pakistan Penal Code).
If the same act is done at night, then it would be covered by section 446 of the Pakistan Penal Code. Both of these offenses would attract other offenses within the Pakistan Penal Code, depending on the situation and circumstances (For example assault or illegal confinement, if they took place during the incident).
Digital Trespassing in Pakistan
Nowadays property can be both tangible and non-tangible, hence it is important to look at digital property trespassing as well. Digital Property could include cryptocurrency wallets (both online and offline) as well as hard drives, servers, and domain hosting via hacking.
Although all of these could be considered property, these would fall into Cybercrimes in Pakistan and would be handled by the Cybercrimes Wing of the FIA.
What should you do in the event of Trespassing
In all instances of trespassing, it’s always important to contact the police immediately and ensure your safety first. Try to get as much evidence as possible (i.e. CCTV or phone recording) and call 15 or inform the Police at your earliest opportunity to issue an FIR.
Once you submit your report to the police, they would then pursue and investigate the matter as per law. If however, you feel that they are not pursuing it properly, you can always file a suit to the Justice of Peace under Section 22a/22b to ensure that the matter is being dealt with accordingly. For further information and assistance, feel free to contact us via WhatsApp on 03085510031 or 0092 308 551 0031.