BY: RITIKA VERMA
Misconduct includes something seen as unacceptable as well as criminal offence. In law, misconduct is wrongful, improper, or unlawful conduct motivated by premeditated or intentional purpose or by obstinate indifference to the consequences of one’s acts. Misconduct in public by a drunken person or public intoxication is punishable under various laws across the world. Drunkenness is a consequence of drinking intoxicating liquors to such an extent as to alter the normal condition of an individual and significantly reduce his capacity for rational action and conduct. An intoxicated person or a drunken person generally does various unusual activities in public which annoys public and also create disturbances in public. It was necessary to enact some laws under which the persons drinking and then doing misconduct in public can be punished so that this can be stopped to some extent. In this view, various countries including India have successfully enacted laws in order to punish those who in state of intoxication does annoying activities in any public place. In California, the California Penal Code describes public intoxication as someone who displays intoxication to liquor, drugs controlled substances or toluene and demonstrates an inability to care for themselves or others, or interferes or obstructs the free use of streets, sidewalks or public way.
Read also : WRONGFUL CONFINEMENT UNDER INDIAN PENAL CODE
LAW RELATED TO MISCONDUCT IN PUBLIC BY A DRUNKEN
PERSON IN INDIA:-
In India chapter XXII of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 recognizes law related to misconduct in public by a drunken person. According to section 510 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 whoever, in state of intoxication, appears in any public place, or in any place which it is a trespass in him to enter, and there conducts himself in such a manner to cause annoyance to any person, shall be punished with simple imprisonment for a term which may not extend to twenty-four hours, or with fine which may not extend to ten rupees, or with both. In simple words, anyone who is in state of intoxication appears in any public place or enters in any place which is considered as trespass to him and there conducts himself in such a manner as to cause annoyance to any person, shall be punished with simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to twenty- four hours, or with fine which may extend to ten rupees or with both imprisonment and fine. This offence is not listed under compoundable offences under section 320 of Criminal Procedure Code, 1973.
DESCRIPTION OF SECTION 510 OF I.P.C:-
Offence– Appearing in a public place etc. in state of intoxication and causing annoyance to any person Punishment- Simple imprisonment for 24 hours or fine or both
Triable– Any magistrate
ESSENTIAL INGREDIENTS OF SECTION 510 OF I.P.C:-
For application of section 510 of the Indian Penal Code the following ingredients must be there
- The accused must be in the state of intoxication i.e. drunken.
- He must have conducted something annoying to the public.
- The place where he has misbehaved must be any public place or any place which it is
trespass in him to enter.
CASE LAWS RELATED TO SECTION 510 OF I.P.C:-
In the case of Sultan Singh v The State of Haryana, the petitioner was convicted under section 510 of the Indian Penal Code and was provided with benefit of probation of Offenders Act. It was found that the prosecution failed to prove that after being drunk the petitioner conduced himself in such a manner as to cause annoyance to any person, which is a necessary ingredient of section 510 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860. In this case the petitioner was given the benefit of doubt and acquitted of the charge and the fine would be refunded to him.
In the case of State of Haryana v Ranbir Singh, a suit for declaration with consequential relief of mandatory injunction was filed by the petitioner. The facts which emerge from the record show that the plaintiff was found in drunken condition misbehaving in public. A criminal case under section 61 of the Punjab Excise Act and under section 510 of I.P.C was registered against him. Simultaneously a regular departmental inquiry was also conducted. No question of law much less any substantial question of law was seen in the present appeal and the appeal was dismissed.
Drinking in public and then misbehaving leads to annoyance and the public peace is breached due to this conduct. In order to put a cap on misconduct in public by a drunken person a proper legal provision was needed and hence, section 510 of the Indian Penal Code provides such legal provision. This section provides punishment to those who misbehave in public places in the state of intoxication so that this can be reduced to some extent in India. Under English law public intoxication term is used which have the same meaning as given under section 510 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860.