Explain in detail the offence of Criminal Breach of Trust given under Indian Penal Code, 1860.
It cannot be denied by anyone that every transaction and contract is based upon mutual trust and confidence and every party to a contact gives his consent on the belief that another party will perform his obligation diligently and will not breach the trust of former party. But sometimes, a situation may arise where any party to a transaction breaches the trust of another party by committing any unwanted act, then in such a situation, an aggrieved party has right to claim remedy from the wrongdoer and initiate legal proceedings against the wrongdoer.
Section 405 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860, has been introduced in the Indian Penal Code, 1860, just to protect the trust of a person and to prevent the person from breaching the interest of another person. Section 405 of Indian Penal Code, 1860, deals with the provisions of ‘Criminal Breach of Trust’.
According to section 405 of Indian Penal Code, 1860, if any person entrusts his property to another person or gives the dominion over his property to another person for some specific reason, but the person to whom the property has been entrusted or to whom the dominion over the property has been given, misappropriates that property with dishonest intention or dishonestly converts that property to his own use, then in such a case, that person will be held liable for having committed the offence of ‘Criminal Breach of Trust’.
For example: – Mr. A is going on a journey and before going on a journey, he gave his valuable belongings to his friend on the condition that he will have to return these belongings to Mr. A when he will come back from his journey. When Mr. A went on the journey, his friend dishonestly sold the belongings on a very high price. So, in this case, Friend of Mr. A has committed the offence of ‘Criminal Breach of Trust’.
In the leading case of Ramaswami Nadar vs. State of Madras (SC 1958), the Hon’ble Supreme Court held that to held an accused liable for having committed the offence of Criminal Breach of Trust given under section 405 of Indian Penal Code, 1860, it is necessary to prove entrustment of the property. So, there must be an entrustment of property i.e., giving property to an accused for taking care of that property.
In the leading case of Jaswantrai Manilal Akhaney vs. State of Bombay (SC 1956), the Hon’ble Supreme Court said that the beneficial interest in the property must be vested on some other person rather than the accused and the accused had the custody of the property for the benefit of that person. So, accused must not be the owner of the property but must be entrusted with some property or with the dominion over the property.
So, according to the provisions of Indian Penal Code, 1860, to held an accused liable for having committed the offence of Criminal Breach of Trust, it is necessary to prove the following ingredients: –
- That the property must belong to any other person
- That the abovesaid person must entrust the property to any another person
- That the latter person must misappropriate that property or convert that property to his own use
- That the latter person must do this with dishonest intention
If all these ingredients are proved by the prosecution, then only it can secure the conviction of an accused.
Section 405 of Indian Penal Code, 1860, describes the offence of Criminal Breach of Trust whereas section 406 of Indian Penal Code, 1860, describes the punishment and according to section 406 of Indian Penal Code, 1860, if any person commits the offence of criminal breach of trust, then in such a case, he shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years, or with fine, or with both.