GENERAL EXPLANATION – WRONGFUL LOSS AND WRONGFUL GAIN

DEFINITION UNDER INDIAN PENAL CODE

Section 23 of Indian Penal Code defines the term wrongful gain, wrongful loss; gaining wrongfully and losing wrongfully general explanation of all four are given below

  • Wrongful gain: when a person who is not a owner of the property acquires the property by using illegal means then it will be covered under wrongful gain.
  • Wrongful loss: when a person who is not the owner of the property loses the property wrongfully then this situation will be covered under wrongful loss.
  • Gaining wrongfully: when a person by illegal means or deception gains any property it will be considered as gaining wrongfully.
  • Losing wrongfully: when a person illegally or by deception loses property then it will be covered under losing wrongfully.

 Section 23 of Indian Penal Code basically defines the term wrongful act in general sense as any mistake distortion activity or exclusion which happens in any act and is regarded as violation in law this will be considered as a wrongful act.

WRONGFUL GAIN

Wrongful gain is any kind of gain by unlawful means of property to which the person gaining is not by law authorised. A person will be held liable for wrongful gain when that person retains or acquires any property wrongfully.

Ingredients of wrongful gain are as follows

  • There must be gain of sum property
  • The property to which a person was not legally authorised must be gained
  • Any such gain must be made by unlawful or illegal means

It must be noted that Wrongful gain does not only cover acquiring a property wrongfully but also covers the retaining a property wrongfully it means that a person can be made liable not only in cases when any property has been gained wrongfully but also in situation where retaining of any such property has been made by wrongful means. When a person gains something by unlawful means to which he is not legally entitled it will be referred as wrongful gain.

Description of IPC Section 24

According to section 24 of Indian penal code, Whoever does anything with the intention of causing wrongful gain to one person or wrongful loss to another person, is said to do that thing dishonestly.

DEFINITION OF WRONGFUL LOSS:-

The offence of wrongful loss also has been defined by the section 23 of IPC. Section 23 says that wrongful loss is the loss by unlawful means of property to which the person losing it is legally entitled.

A person is said to lose wrongfully when such person is wrongfully kept out of any property as well as when such person is wrongfully deprived of property.

When a person who is not the owner of the property loses the property wrongfully then this situation will be covered under wrongful loss.

Difference between Wrongful gain and Wrongful loss:-

In the offences of Criminal breach of trust, Criminal misappropriation of property, theft and etc. the causing of Wrongful gain and Wrongful loss is an important ingredient. In both the two offences the common element of unlawful means is present. But the main points of distinctions are as follows:-

  • In the offence of wrongful gain the offender gains the property wrongfully; on the other hand in the offence of wrongful loss the offender wrongfully causes to loss the property by the victim.
  • In the offence of wrongful gain, the offender is not legally entitled to gain the property but in the offence of wrongful loss the victim is legally entitled over the property losing.
  • In the offence of wrongful gain the offender is said to gain wrongfully when he retains any property wrongfully as well as when he acquires any property wrongfully. But in the offence of wrongful loss the victim is said to lose wrongfully when he is wrongfully kept out of any property as well as when he is wrongfully deprived of any property.
  • Wrongful gain connotes gain of the offender whereas wrongful loss connotes loss of the victim.

Section 435 to 438 of IPC characterises mischief by the method adopted to cause wrongful loss or damage. It deals with the remedies provided by IPC in case of damage being caused by fire. These sections are together called offences of Arson.

KISHAN KUMAR V. UNION OF INDIA

In case of Kishan Kumar v. Union of India, The meaning and concept of wrongful gain and wrongful loss were explained according to the hon’ble Supreme Court wrongful gain includes wrongful retention and wrongful loss includes being kept out the property as well as being wrongfully deprived of property”.

The facts of the case were as below the cash balance more than Rs. 1,000 was remaining with the accused and all that amounts which he had with him on his hand were utilized by him before 28th September, 1984, and therefore, till 29th September, 1984, he had wrongfully retained a sum of Rs. 46,907-39 Ps. with him, and thereby the Mandali was kept out of and deprived of that cash balance because by 28th September, 1984, the accused had already utilized that amount for his own use. It can also be said that the Mandali was wrongfully deprived of the said amount for the period upto 28th September, 1984 because that cash balance was not in fact in the cash-box of the Mandali, but the same was already utilised by the accused, previously. It is pertinent to note that on 29th September, 1984, not single penny remained in cash on hand as balance with the accused. Even not a single penny of the Mandali remained in cash on hand with accused, and therefore, the entire amount of Rs. 46,907-39 Ps. was utilised by the accused himself before 29th September, 1984, and by making an entry Exh. 18, the cash of the Mandali was shown as Nil amount. Thus the prosecution has led sufficient and cogent evidence to show that the accused had a dishonest intention to utilize that amount for his own use.

In the case of Kishan Kumar v. Union of India, reported in AIR 1959 SC 1390, the Hon’ble Supreme Court has explained what is wrongful gain and what is wrongful loss. In that cited case, it has been held as under:

“In the case of a servant charged with misappropriating the goods of his master the elements of criminal offence of misappropriation will be established if the prosecution proves that the servant received the goods that he was under a duty to account to his master and had not done so.”

REFERENCES

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