Offences against Property – 2

In last article we get to know about the offences against property till Section 395 and this article is the continuation of last article and we will get to know sections of Criminal Misappropriation and Criminal Breach of Trust.

1. CRIMINAL MISAPPROPRIATION

Sec 403 of IPC defines Dishonest misappropriation of property as: Whoever dishonestly misappropriates or converts to his own use any movable property, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both.

Eg: A takes property belonging to Z out of Z’s possession, in good faith believing at the time when he takes it, that the property belongs to himself. A is not guilty of theft; but if A, after discovering his mistake, dishonestly appropriates the property to his own use, he is guilty of an offence under this section.

Explanation 1.—A dishonest misappropriation for a time only is a misappropriation with the meaning of this section. Eg: A finds a Government promissory note belonging to Z, bearing a blank endorsement. A, knowing that the note belongs to Z, pledges it with a banker as a security or a loan, intending at a future time to restore it to Z. A has committed an offence under this section

Explanation 2.—A person who finds property not in the possession of any other person, and takes such property for the purpose of protecting it for, or of restoring it to, the owner, does not take or misappropriate it dishonestly, and is not guilty of an offence; but he is guilty of the offence above defined, if he appropriates it to his own use, when he knows or has the means of discovering the owner, or before he has used reasonable means to discover and give notice to the owner and has kept the property a reasonable time to enable the owner to claim it. Ingredients of Dishonest misappropriation of property:

  1. The property should be movable.
  2. The accused should take the property for his own use.
  3. The accused should dishonestly do this act.

 In Shamsoondar v. Emperor [(1870) 2 NWP 475], case, the complainant by mistake paid a particular amount to the accused person instead of the another person.

When the complainant realized his mistake then he came to ask the money back from the accused. But the accused refused to give the money and he has used the money for himself. Here the court held the accused guilty of dishonest misappropriation of property.

2. CRIMINAL BREACH OF TRUST

Sec 405 of IPC defines Criminal Breach of Trust as: Whoever, being in any manner entrusted with property, or with any dominion over property, dishonestly misappropriates or converts to his own use that property, or dishonestly uses or disposes of that property in violation of any direction of law prescribing the mode in which such trust is to be discharged, or of any legal contract, express or implied, which he has made touching the discharge of such trust, or willfully suffers any other person so to do, commits “criminal breach of trust”.

Eg: A, being executor to the will of a deceased person, dishonestly disobeys the law which directs him to divide the effects according to the will, and appropriates them to his own use. A has committed criminal breach of trust. Ingredients of Criminal Breach of Trust as:

  • The accused must be entrusted with property or control over the property.
  • The person so entrusted must-
  • Dishonestly misappropriates or converts that property to his own use, or
  • Disposes of that property in violation of any law or any legal contract.

Sec 406 of IPC provides Punishment for Criminal Breach of Trust as:

Whoever commits criminal breach of trust shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years, or with fine, or with both.

Sec 409 of IPC provides Criminal breach of trust by public servant, or by banker, merchant or agent as: Whoever, being in any manner entrusted with property, or with any dominion over property in his capacity of a public servant or in the way of his business as a banker, merchant, factor, broker, attorney or agent, commits criminal breach of trust in respect of that property, shall be punished with imprisonment for life, or with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine.

In Vasant Moghe v. State [AIR 1979 SC 1008], case, the accused was a Tehsildar who was supposed to deposit the amount of land revenue and fines to the Treasury department. But he did not deposit the amount and misappropriated the amount for his own use. Here the Court held the accused guilty for Criminal Breach of Trust.

Aishwarya Says:

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