Wrongful restraint and Wrongful confinement by Diksha Dubey @ Lexcliq

Introduction

Under the constitution of India, in Articles 19 and 21, every person throughout the territory of India is conferred with the right to Freedom of Movement and is guaranteed personal liberty. In furtherance with this objective set up by the constitution, the Indian Penal Code lays down penal sanctions in case a person violates the freedom of movement or personal liberty of another.

Section 339 and 340 of Indian Penal Code define Wrongful Restraint and Wrongful Confinement respectively. The Indian Penal Code, 1860 makes wrongful restraint and wrongful confinement punishable under Section 339 to 348.

Wrongful Restraint

According to Section 339 of the Indian Penal Code;

“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.”

Further, the section also lays down an exception, which is that if a person in good faith believes himself to have a lawful right to obstruct and so obstruct a private way over land or water, then it does not amount to wrongful restraint.

Ingredients

To establish the offence of wrongful restraint the complainant must prove all the following essential:

  1. That there was an obstruction;
  2. That the obstruction prevented the complainant from proceeding in any direction;
  3. That the person/complainant so proceeding must have a right to proceed in the direction concerned.

Objective

The objective of this section is to ensure that the freedom of a person is protected. When a person has a right to proceed in a particular direction then the law must ensure that such right is available to the person. Even if there is a slight unlawful obstruction, it is deemed to be wrongful restraint.

Punishment

Section 341 of the Indian Penal Code imposes punishment against the wrongdoer under Section 339 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.

The classification of the offence under this section is that the offence is Cognizable, Bailable and Triable by any Magistrate, it is also compoundable by the person restrained or confined.

Wrongful Confinement

According to Section 340 of the Indian Penal Code;

“Whoever wrongfully restrains any person in such a manner as to prevent that person from proceeding beyond certain circumscribing limits is said to have committed the offence of wrongful confinement.”

Ingredients

The essential ingredients of the offence of wrongful confinement are:

  1. The accused should have wrongfully restrained the complainant (i.e. all ingredients of wrongful restraint must be present)
  2. Such wrongful restraint was to prevent the complainant from proceeding beyond certain circumscribing limits beyond which he or she has the right to proceed.

Punishment

Section 342 of the Indian Penal Code states that 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 The classification of this offence is that it is cognizable, Bailable and Triable by any Magistrate. Further, it is Compoundable by the person confined with the permission of the court.

Types of Wrongful Confinement

1. Wrongful confinement for three or more days ( Section 343)

“Whoever wrongfully confines any person for three days, or more, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both.”  The classification of this offence is that it is Cognizable, Bailable and Triable by any Magistrate, further, it is also Compoundable by the person confined with the permission of the court.

2. Wrongful confinement for ten or more days (Section 344)

“Whoever wrongfully confines any person for ten days, or more, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years, and shall also be liable to fine.” The classification of this offence is that it is Cognizable, Bailable and Triable by any Magistrate, further, it is also Compoundable by the person confined with the permission of the court.

3. Wrongful confinement of person for whose liberation writ has been issued (Section 345)

“Whoever keeps any person in wrongful confinement, knowing that a writ for the liberation of that person has been duly issued, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years in addition to any term of imprisonment to which he may be liable under any other section of this Chapter.” The classification of this offence is that it is Cognizable, Bailable and Triable by Magistrate of the first class. Further, this offence is Non-compoundable.

4. Wrongful confinement in secret (Section 346)

“Whoever wrongfully confines any person in such manner as to indicate an intention that the confinement of such person may not be known to any person interested in the person so confined, or to any public servant, or that the place of such confinement may not be known to or discovered by any such person or public servant as hereinbefore mentioned, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years in addition to any other punishment to which he may be liable for such wrongful confinement.” The classification of this offence is that it is Cognizable, Bailable and Triable by Magistrate of the first class, further, it is also Compoundable by the person confined with the permission of the court.

5. Wrongful confinement to extort property, or constrain to illegal act (Section 347)

“Whoever wrongfully confines any person for the purpose of extorting from the person confined, or from any person interested in the person confined, any property or valuable security or of constraining the person confined or any person interested in such person to do anything illegal or to give any information which may facilitate the commission of an offence, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years, and shall also be liable to fine.” The Classification of this offence is that it is Cognizable, Bailable and Triable by any Magistrate. Further, it is Non-compoundable.

6. Wrongful confinement to extort confession, or compel restoration of property (Section 348)

“Whoever wrongfully confines any person for the purpose of extorting from the person confined or any person interested in the person confined any confession or any information which may lead to the detection of an offence or misconduct, or for the purpose of constraining the person confined or any person interested in the person confined to restore or to cause the restoration of any property or valuable security or to satisfy any claim or demand, or to give information which may lead to the restoration of any property or valuable security, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years, and shall also be liable to fine.” The classification of this offence is that it is Cognizable, Bailable and Triable by any Magistrate and it is Non-compoundable.

CONCLUSION

An easy way to apprehend the concept of wrongful restraint is that it is essentially a restraint of line, it concerns all sort of restrains that happen in a straight line or a path or a road where the person has the option to go back or left or right to move on such path and the other person has restricted such movement.

On the other hand, wrongful confinement is in a circle, this means that it involves all sorts of restraints that happen in circumscribed limits such as restriction from leaving a room or a building or any place in precise.

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