Section 404 in Indian Penal Codes

Title: Dishonest misappropriation of property possessed by deceased person at the time of his death

Description: Whoever dishonestly misappro­priates or converts to his own use property, knowing that such property was in the possession of a deceased person at the time of that person’s decease, and has not since been in the posses­sion of any person legally entitled to such possession, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years, and shall also be liable to fine; and if the offender at the time of such person’s decease was employed by him as a clerk or servant, the imprisonment may extend to seven years. Illustration Z dies in possession of furniture and money. His servant A, before the money comes into the possession of any person entitled to such possession, dishonestly misappropriates it. A has commit­ted the offence defined in this section. CLASSIFICATION OF OFFENCE Punishment—Imprisonment for 3 years and fine—Non-Cognizable—Bail­able—Triable by Magistrate of the first class—Non-compoundable. If by clerk or person employed by deceased: Punishment—Imprisonment for 7 years and fine—Non-Cognizable—Bail­able—Triable by Magistrate of the first class—Non-compoundable

Title: Criminal breach of trust

Description: 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 wilfully suffers any other person so to do, commits “criminal breach of trust”. 1[Explanation 2[1].—A person, being an employer 3[of an estab­lishment whether exempted under section 17 of the Employees’ Provident Funds and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952 (19 of 1952), or not] who deducts the employee’s contribution from the wages payable to the employee for credit to a Provident Fund or Family Pension Fund established by any law for the time being in force, shall be deemed to have been entrusted with the amount of the contribution so deducted by him and if he makes default in the payment of such contribution to the said Fund in violation of the said law, shall be deemed to have dishonestly used the amount of the said contribution in violation of a direction of law as aforesaid.] 4[Explanation 2.—A person, being an employer, who deducts the employees’ contribution from the wages payable to the employee for credit to the Employees’ State Insurance Fund held and admin­istered by the Employees’ State Insurance Corporation established under the Employees’ State Insurance Act, 1948 (34 of 1948), shall be deemed to have been entrusted with the amount of the contribution so deducted by him and if he makes default in the payment of such contribution to the said Fund in violation of the said Act, shall be deemed to have dishonestly used the amount of the said contribution in violation of a direction of law as aforesaid.] Illustrations (a) 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 appropriate them to his own use. A has committed criminal breach of trust. (b) A is a warehouse-keeper. Z going on a journey, entrusts his furniture to A, under a contract that it shall be returned on payment of a stipulated sum for warehouse room. A dishonestly sells the goods. A has committed criminal breach of trust. (c) A, residing in Calcutta, is agent for Z, residing at Delhi. There is an express or implied contract between A and Z, that all sums remitted by Z to A shall be invested by A, according to Z’s direction. Z remits a lakh of rupees to A, with directions to A to invest the same in Company’s paper. A dishonestly disobeys the direction and employs the money in his own business. A has com­mitted criminal breach of trust. (d) But if A, in the last illustration, not dishonestly but in good faith, believing that it will be more for Z’s advantage to hold shares in the Bank of Bengal, disobeys Z’s directions, and buys shares in the Bank of Bengal, for Z, instead of buying Company’s paper, here, though Z should suffer loss, and should be entitled to bring a civil action against A, on account of that loss, yet A, not having acted dishonestly, has not committed criminal breach of trust. (e) A, a revenue-officer, is entrusted with public money and is either directed by law, or bound by a contract, express or im­plied, with the Government, to pay into a certain treasury all the public money which he holds. A dishonestly appropriates the money. A has committed criminal breach of trust. (f) A, a carrier, is entrusted by Z with property to be carried by land or by water. A dishonestly misappropriates the property. A has committed criminal breach of trust. Comments Criminal Conspiracy Sanction for prosecution is not necessary if a public servant is charged for offence of entering into a criminal conspiracy for committed breach of trust; State of Kerala v. Padmanabham Nair, 1999 Cr LJ 3696 (SC). Criminal breach of trust: Meaning and extent It must be proved that the beneficial interest in the property in respect of which the offence is alleged to have been committed was vested in some person other than the accused, and that the accused held that property on behalf of that person. A relationship is created between the transferor and transferee, whereunder the transferor remains the owner of the property and the transferee has legal custody of the property for the benefit of the transferor himself or transferee has only the custody of the property for the benefit of the transferor himself or someone else. At best, the transferee obtains in the property entrusted to him only special interest limited to claim for his charges in respect of its safe retention, and under no circumstances does he acquire a right to dispose of that property in contravention of the condition of the entrustment; Jaswantrai Manilal Akhaney v. State of Bombay, AIR 1956 SC 575. Entrustment The word entrusted in the section is very important unless there is entrustment, there can be no offence under the section; Ramaswami Nadar v. State of Madras, AIR 1958 SC 56.

Title: Punishment for criminal breach of trust

Description: 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.

Title: Criminal breach of trust by carrier etc

Description: Whoever, being entrusted with property as a carrier, wharfinger or warehouse-keeper, commits criminal breach of trust in respect of such property, shall be punished with imprisonment of either descrip­tion for a term which may extend to seven years, and shall also be liable to fine.

Title: Criminal breach of trust by clerk or servant

Description: Whoever, being a clerk or servant or employed as a clerk or servant, and being in any manner entrusted in such capacity with property, or with any dominion over property, commits criminal breach of trust in respect of that property, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to seven years, and shall also be liable to fine.

CHAPTER 17 OF OFFENCES AGAINST PROPERTY