In Criminal Law under Chapter-16 of Indian Penal Code 1860 (offence against the human body), we have seen two offences namely wrongful restrain and wrongful confinement that can be penalised and punished to protect one person right to freedom to move freely and right to personal liberty (Article 19 & Article 21) and this is our fundamental rights. so, in this article, we have analysed these two offences.
IPC section 339 to 348 deals with these offences. Section 339 deals with wrongful restrain, section 340 deals with wrongful confinement, section 341 and 342 deals with their punishment and section 343 to 348 deals with aggravating forms of wrongful confinement.
In both these offences, the men’s rea can be identified by the word ‘wrongful’ which means that anything done by a person with intention of dishonestly, fraud, unlawful, injurious, harmful, negligently etc. It is based on circumstances and facts.
According to Section 339 whoever voluntarily (with intention, knowledge and reason to believe) block the path of another person on which direction they have right to proceed is said to as wrongfully restrain to that Person.
The exception of this section is that if any person in good faith believes that it has lawful right and duty to obstruct the path of another person in any circumstance then this offence will not be applicable.
A and B were co-owners of a well. A prevented B from taking out water from the well on the ground that he had not paid his share of expenses incurred on the well. Here, A has wrongfully restraint B.
The main ingredient of wrongful restrain are:
- There must be the accused who create a voluntary obstruction to the victim
- The obstruction must be capable to block the way of the victim.
- The victim must have the right to proceed in that direction that has blocked by the accused.
If these three ingredients are fulfilled by any person then he shall be liable under section 339 and will get punished under section 341 of IPC.
Section 341 of IPC covers punishment of wrongful restrain that is if any person has committed the offence of wrongful restraint under section 339 then he shall be punished with simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to one month or with fine which may extend to five hundred rupees or both.
- Lalloo Prasad v. Kedarnath Shukla And Anr.
In this case, the complainant Prasad take a shop on rent from Kedarnath. It was alleged that Mr Kedarnath changed the lock of the shop and put his own lock in the absence of Mr Prasad. It was held that Mr Kedarnath had wrongfully restraint Mr Prasad in this case so Kedarnath is convicted under Section 341 IPC and is punished with a fine of Rs. Twenty.
- Abraham v. Abraham
In this case, a bus driver was alleged to make his bus stand in a manner to restrict the way of another bus coming from behind. It was held that the driver of the bus was guilty of the offence of wrongful restraint and convicted under s.341 of IPC.
The offence of wrongful confinement is covered under section 340 of IPC under which whoever wrongfully restrains any person in a way to prevent that person from proceeding beyond certain circumscribing limits is considered to wrongfully confine a person. The offence of wrongful confinement involves total restraint of liberty and not a partial restraint.
A was going to Kanpur from Allahabad, on his way he met B, who asked for a lift till Fatehpur, A agreed for the same. On reaching Fatehpur A did not stop the car even on B’s continuous request and carried over till Kanpur without his wish. Here, A had wrongfully confined B.
The main ingredients of wrongful confinement are:
- There accused should have wrongfully restraint a person.
- Such wrongful restraint must prevent the person to proceed beyond certain circumscribing limits.
If these ingredients are fulfilled by any person then he shall be liable under section 340 for the offence of wrongful confinement and will get punished under section 342 of IPC.
Section 342 of IPC covers punishment of wrongful restrain that is if any person has committed the offence of wrongful confinement under section 340 of IPC then he shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year or with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees or with both.
- Gopal Naidu Case
In this case, a drunk person was arrested by two police officers without a warrant as he was creating a disturbance in a public street. Both officers confined that person in a police station even when one of the officers knew where the person resides. The offence was non-cognizable as it was not known up to what extent the person is dangerous to others and their property.
It was held that both the officers are guilty of the offence of wrongful confinement as they arrested the person in case of a non-cognizable offence without a warrant and confine that person in the police station.
- Dharmu Case
In this case, a person was arrested and detained by a police officer in the lock-up of police station despite production of a bail order from the court. It was held by the court that the officer is guilty of an offence of wrongful confinement and punishable under section 342 of IPC.
DISTINCTION BETWEEN WRONGFUL RESTRAINT AND WRONGFUL CONFINEMENT
|WRONGFUL RESTRAINT||WRONGFUL CONFINEMENT|
|A person is restrained from proceeding in some particular direction in which he has a right to proceed.||A person is restrained from proceeding in a direction beyond certain circumscribing limits.|
|Wrongful restraint is the genus which includes Wrongful confinement in it.||Wrongful confinement is a species of wrongful restraint|
|There is only a partial suspension of liberty.||There is a total suspension of liberty beyond certain prescribed limits.|
|It is not a very serious offence and is punishable with simple imprisonment.||It is a more serious offence and involves more strict punishment than wrongful restraint.|
|It is punishable under S.341: Imprisonment up to a term of one month or fine Rs. 500 or with both.||It is punishable under S.342: Imprisonment up to a term of one year or fine Rs. 1000 or with both.|
- The Indian Penal Code, 1860 (Act 45 of 1860).
- Ratanlal and Dhirajlal, The Indian Penal Code (Lexis Nexis, Gurgaon, 36th edn., 2019).
 1963 CriLJ 543.
 (1950) Mad 858.
 (1922) 46 Mad 605 (FB).
 1978 Cr LJ 864 (Ori)
Author: RAHUL SHARMA,
Ideal Institute of Management and Technology affiliated to GGSIPU/ 2nd Year/ Law Student