Would Throwing Rubbish into one’s own Garden Amount to a Public Nuisance in India (Section 268)?
A common nuisance is not excused on the ground that it causes some convenience or advantage.
The ingredients of the section are: (1) the doing by a person of any act or illegal omission to do an act; (2) such act or omission causes (a) any common injury, danger or annoyance to the public or to the people in general who dwell or occupy property in the vicinity, or (b) injury, obstruction, danger or annoyance to persons who may have occasion to use any public right
It is apparent from the above that the Indian Penal Code is concerned with public nuisance and not private nuisance.
As a general rule these are acts which seriously interfere with the health, safety, comfort or convenience of the public generally or which tend to degrade public morals. Thus, persons who carry on offensive trades and thereby corrupt the air, or by any means cause noises and thereby occasion injury or annoyance to those dwelling in the neighbourhood in respect of their health, or comfort and convenience, are liable to be prosecuted for causing a public nuisance.
Erecting gun-powder mills near a town, keeping large quantities of materials for making fireworks near a street, working rice-husking machine at night in a residential quarter of a city, and keeping a common gambling house are all public nuisances.
The throwing of rubbish into one’s own garden is ordinarily not a public nuisance unless it affects the hygienic condition of the vicinity.
(a) The evidence necessary to prove the offence is (a) that A caused the atmosphere to be vitiated: (b) that he did so voluntarily: (c) that such vitiation was in its nature noxious to health, and (d) that it was noxious to the health of persons dwelling or carrying on business in the neighbourhood of the place or passing along a public way. (S. 278)
(b) A will be guilty of the offence of fouling the water of a public spring or reservoir on proof of the following: (i) that the spring or reservoir is public: (ii) that A accused the water thereof to become corrupt or foul: (iii) that he did so voluntarily, and (iv) that such corrupting or fouling rendered the same less fit for use than it ordinarily was before. (S. 277) imprisonment-up to three months and/or fine up to Rs. 500.
(c) It is essential to prove before A can be convicted that an article of food or drink has been adulterated by him and that it was intended to sell such article or that it was known that it would be likely to be sold as food or drink. (S. 272) imprisonment up to six months and/or fine up to Rs. 1,000.