Wrongful Confinement and Wrongful Restraint

Confinement? Or restraint? What does the law punish? The article focuses on “what wrongful restraint is?” and “what wrongful confinement is?”. Further, the article focuses on the essentials and the difference between the two. The punishments and their relevant sections have been mentioned. The case law deciding the generality of the offence under the IPC is discussed in the article. The article thus, explains the aggravated forms of the wrongful confinement with the relevant sections in brief. The right to liberty has been explained very briefly for constitutional understanding.


The category “Of Wrongful Restraint and Wrongful Confinement” in the Indian penal Code, classifies the section dealing with the offence of restraining or confining a human body, wrongfully. It is not letting the person be at a place where he is rightfully allowed and legal to be so. There is offence defined and punishment given in the set of sections under this category.


I. Wrongful Restraint

Section 339 defines what is “wrongful restraint”and the punishment for the same is given under section 341.


“339 Wrongful restraint—Whoever voluntarily obstructs any person so as to prevent that person from proceeding in any direction in which that person has a right to proceed, is said wrongfully to restrain that person


Exception – The obstruction of a private way over land or water which a person in good faith believes himself to have a lawful right to obstruct, is not an offence within the meaning of this section.


“341 Punishment for wrongful restraint—Whoever wrongfully restrains any person 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 with both”


Essentials of this offence are firstly, “there must be voluntary obstruction” and secondly, “such obstruction must be to prevent a person from proceeding in any direction which that person has a right to proceed”. Further, the restraint caused, even though in only a particular direction, must not be a partial one.


II. Wrongful Confinement

The term “Wrongful Confinement” is defined in section 346, and its punishment is provided in section 342. It says if any person is prevented from proceeding to any place beyond the limit as prescribed by them, which is offensive when they are illegally forcing the victim to do so.


340. Wrongful confinement—Whoever wrongfully restrains any person in such a manner as to prevent that person from proceedings beyond certain circumscribing limits, is said “wrongfully to confine” that person.


342 Punishment for wrongful confinement—Whoever wrongfully confines any person shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to one year, or with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees, or with both.


III. Difference Between Wrongful Restraint And Wrongful Confinement

As both, the sections seem to be synonymous but are having a slight difference. In the “wrongful restraint” the victim is obstructed from proceeding in any specific direction or a particular area. So it focuses on restrain in moving in a specific direction, although he may be free to go elsewhere. But confinement relates to confined in a particular place and is not allowed to go out of that place. Hence, the “wrongful restraint” is much milder than the “wrongful confinement”.


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