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Right of Private Defense of the body and of property

Right to defence of property

The right of private defence of property extends to the causing of death or any other harm to the assailants under the following circumstances:-

  • Robbery
  • House-breaking by night
  • Mischief by fire to building, tent or vessel used as human dwelling or for the custody of property.
  • Theft, mischief, or house trespass, reasonably causing the apprehension of death or grievous hurt.

When does the right commence and for how long does it continue

The right of private defence commences when a reasonable apprehension of danger to the property commences. The right commences not when the actual danger to the property commences but when there is reasonable apprehension of danger, and continues against:-

  • Theft, till
  • the offender has effected his retreat with the property, or
  • the assistance of public authorities is obtained, or
  • the property has been recovered.
  • Robbery, as long as
  • the offender causes or attempts to cause to any person death, or hurt, or wrongful restraint, or
  • the fear of instant death, or of instant hurt, or of instant personal restraint continues.
  • Criminal trespass or mischief s long as the offender continues in the commission of trespass or mischief
  • Housebreaking by night, as long as the house-trespass, which has been begun by such housebreaking, continues.


Whoever on reasonable apprehension of danger commits an act in private defence , shall be punished after going through the facts of the case and to the satisfaction of the court that the right to private defence was justified.

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