Legal Provisions Regarding “Wrongful Confinement” in India – Section 340 of IPC

Illustrations:

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

(b) A places men with firearms at the outlets of a building, and tells Z that they will fire at Z if Z attempts to leave the building. A wrongfully confines Z.

Important Points:

A. Meaning:

Where a person wrongfully restrains any person in such a manner as to prevent that person from proceeding beyond certain circumscribing limits, he commits the offence of wrongful confinement.

B. Ingredients:

The essential ingredients of the offence of wrongful confinement are:

1. The accused should have wrongfully confined the complainant; and

2. Such wrongful restraint was to prevent the complainant from proceeding beyond certain circumscribing limits beyond which he or she has right to proceed.

C. While disposing State of Gujarat vs. Keshav Lai Maganbhai Gujoyan (1993 CrLJ 248 Guj), the Gujarat High Court observed: “For a charge of wrongful confinement, proof of actual physical restriction is not essential. It is sufficient if the evidence shows that such an impression was produced in the mind of victim, a reasonable apprehension in his mind that he was not free to depart.

If the impression creates that the complainant would be forth with seized or restrained if he attempts to escape, a reasonable apprehension of the use of the force rather than its actual use is sufficient and important.”

D. State vs. Balakrishnan (1992 CrLJ 1872 Mad)

Brief Facts:

The accused was a Police Officer. He arrested the relative of the complainant. He had taken his relative into the police custody and beaten. The complainant went to police station and asked the accused what offence his relative did. He was not allowed to go and seek legal remedies. Moreover, the accused ordered the complainant to stand in the corner of the police station upto late night.

The accused contended that the complainant was at liberty to go away from the police station. The Court remarked that when a citizen enters into a police station, the police officers’ authority prevails in that jurisdiction and they entertain it with a ruddy manner. Court held that the accused committed the offence of wrongful confinement.

E. Distinction between Wrongful Restraint and Wrongful Confinement:

Both of these two offences affect the human freedom and body. There are similarities in both these offences to certain extent. However both are different offences.

Wrongful Restraint

1. Wrongful restraint is genus.

2. Wrongful restraint is an offence, which prevents a person from proceeding-in a direction in which that person has a right to proceed.

3. Wrongful restraint is not a very serious offence and is punishable with lesser punishment.

4. In wrongful restraint, there is only a partial suspension of one’s liberty or locomotion and the person restrained is free to move anywhere other than to proceed in a partial direction.

5. Punishment: Sec. 341. Imprisonment to one month, or fine Rs. 500/-, or with both.

6. Illustrations: Write the illustration of Sec. 339, & some case-laws.

Wrongful Confinement:

1. Wrongful confinement is a species of wrongful restraint.

2. Wrongful confinement is an offence, which keeps a person within certain circumscribing limits. The person wrongfully confined cannot go out of circumscribing limits, even if he wishes to go.

3. Wrongful confinement is a more serious offence and is punishable with severe punishment than wrongful restraint.

4. In wrongful confinement, there is total suspension of liberty beyond certain circumscribing limits.

5. Punishment: Sec. 342. Imprisonment to one year, or fine Rs. 1000/-, or with both.

6. Illustration: write the illustration of sec. 340, and some case-laws.

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