Wrongful Restraint and wrongful confinement

There under Indian constitution, in Articles19 and 21, every citizen in the territory of India has the right to freedom of movement and personal liberty is guaranteed. In support of this goal set out in the Constitution, the IPC shall lay down criminal penalties in the event of an individual violating the freedom of movement or personal liberty of another person. This is achieved in order to preserve an individual’s right to freedom from deprivation by persons or entities other than the State. Parts 339 and 340 of the Indian Penal Code describe wrongful restraint and wrongful imprisonment.

The Indian Penal Code, 1860, punishes wrongful restraint and wrongful imprisonment under Sections 339 to 348. To understand wrongful restraint and imprisonment, we first need to understand the sense of wrongfulness. In criminal law, wrongdoing is characterised as an act that is injurious, heedless, careless, unjust, unfair, unlawful and negligent. It contains any act which is illegal or unauthorised or any such act of this kind which is a legal error. The following parts deal with the definitions in more depth.


Section 339 of IPC defines wrongful restraint as whoever voluntarily obstructs any person so as to prevent that person from proceeding in any direction in which that person has a right to proceed, is said wrongfully to restrain that person.

Eg: A obstructs a path along which Z has a right to pass. A not believing in good faith that he has a right to stop the path. Z is thereby prevented from passing. A wrongfully restrains Z. Ingredients of wrongful restraint:

  • Voluntary obstruction of a person.
  • The obstruction must be such as to prevent that person from proceeding in any direction in which he has the right to proceed.

Sec 341 provides punishment for wrongful restraint as simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to one month, or with fine which may extend to five hundred rupees, or with both. In Sundareswara v. King Emperor (1927 ILR 50 Mad 673), the accused obstructed complainant, an Izhuva  convert to Arya Samaj, from using a road and also took him to task for passing along the road. Here the Court held the accused guilty for the offence of wrongful restraint.


Section 340 of IPC defines wrongful confinement as whoever wrongfully restrains any person in such a manner as to prevent that person from proceedings beyond certain circumscribing limits, is said “wrongfully to confine” that person.

Eg: A causes Z to go within a walled space, and locks Z in. A is thus prevented from proceeding in any direction beyond the circumscribing line of wall. A wrongfully confines Z.

Ingredients of wrongful Confinement :

  • Wrongful restraint of a person.
  • The restraint must be to prevent that person from proceeding beyond certain circumscribing limits beyond which he has the right to proceed. There must be total restraint not a partial one.

Sec 342 provides punishment for wrongful confinement as imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to one year, or with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees, or with both.In Gopal Naidu v. King-Emperor [(1923) ILR 46 Bom 605], two police officers arrested without warrant a person who was drunk and creating disturbance in a public street, and confined him in police station though one of them knew his name and address and it was not found to what extent he was  a danger to others or property. Here the Court held that the arrest made by the police officer in non-cognizable case amounted to wrongful confinement.

Difference between Wrongful Restraint and Confinement

Wrongful RestraintWrongful Confinement
It is the genus, i.e. it is a wider term and includes several types of restraints under it.It is a species of wrongful restraint i.e. a type of wrongful restraint.
It prevents a person from proceeding in a direction in which that person has a right to proceed.It keeps a person within certain circumscribing limits.
It is not a very serious offence and is punishable with lesser punishment.It is a more serious offence and is punishable with a more severe punishment than wrongful restraint.
There is only a partial suspension of one’s liberty.There is total suspension of liberty beyond certain circumscribing limits.
Punishment: Sec. 341. Imprisonment to one month, or fine Rs. 500/-, or with both.Punishment: Sec. 342. Imprisonment to one year, or fine Rs. 1000/-, or with both.

An simple way to explain this is that wrongful restraint is simply a restraint in a line, which means that it requires all forms of restraint that exist in a street or a route or some form of travel in a straight line. In the other hand, the unjust enclosure is in the Radius, which means that it includes all types of constraints that exist within a circumscribed boundary, such as a ban on leaving a space or a house or a park, etc.

Aishwarya Says:

I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.

If you are interested in participating in the same, do let me know.

Do follow me on FacebookTwitter  Youtube and Instagram.

The copyright of this Article belongs exclusively to Ms. Aishwarya Sandeep. Reproduction of the same, without permission will amount to Copyright Infringement. Appropriate Legal Action under the Indian Laws will be taken.

If you would also like to contribute to my website, then do share your articles or poems at adv.aishwaryasandeep@gmail.com

We also have a Facebook Group Restarter Moms for Mothers or Women who would like to rejoin their careers post a career break or women who are enterpreneurs.

You may also like to read:

Social Media and Suicide 8

False Imprisonment and Malicious Prosecution

Gandhiji’s role in Freedom Movement

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