Wrongful Restraint And Wrongful Confinement

Wrongful Restraint And Wrongful Confinement

BY: TUSHAR RAI

Section 339 to 348 of IPC deals with the offences of wrongful restraint and wrongful confinement. Before going further we have to study about what is wrongful restraint and wrongful confinement (sec 339 and 340) and its punishment from section 341 to 348 IPC

Wrongful restraint ( sec 339 )
whoever voluntarily obstructs any person
the obstruction must be such as to prevent that from proceeding in any direction in which that person has right to proceed.

Exception (when obstruction not amount to wrongful restraint)
when Obstruction is on private way over land and water.
when does in good faith believes himself to have a lawful right to obstruct.

Illustration
A obstruct a path along which Z has a right to pass, A not believing in good faith that he has a right to stop the path. Z is thereby prevented from passing. A wrongfully restraint Z.

Meaning of certain terms:
Obstruction:
obstruction here means physical obstruction, though it may be caused by the use of physical force as well as by the use of menaces or threats. when such obstruction is wrongful, it becomes wrongful restraint.

Person:
by person it means human being. Personal liberty of a person must be obstruct.
In case Mahendra Nath Chakraborty vs Emperor1 it was held that the section is not confined to only such person who can walk on his own legs or can move by physical means within his own power.

Punishment for wrongful restraint
Whoever wrongfully restraints 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.

Related case laws:
In case re M. Abraham 2 AIR 1950 mad.233
Fact:
driver of a bus purposely stopped the bus across the road in such a manner as to prevent another bus which was coming from behind from proceeding further.
Judgment: the bus driver was held guilty of an offence under this section, because the offence is complete as soon as the person proceeding is obstructed.
In case Vijay Kumari Magee vs Smt. S.R. Rao 3 1996Cri. L.j. 1371(S.C.)

Fact:
the complainants lady teacher who was a licensee of a hostel room could not have a right to live there after termination of her licence, and hence the school authorities couldn’t be charged for wrongful restraint in not allowing her entry in the room.

Judgment:
supreme court held that necessary pre condition for wrongful restraint is that a person concerned must have a right to proceed.

In case P.S. Jose vs State 41994 cri. L.J. 363(Ker.) .
Fact:
the accused car driver opened the door of the car abruptly thereby knocking down a cyclist who was crushed to death by a lorry coming from behind.
Judgment: the car driver was held guilty under section 337for this rash act while the lorry driver was convicted under section 304-A of IPC

Wrongful confinement (sec 340)
whoever wrongfully restraints any person.
In such a manner as to prevent that person from proceeding beyond certain circumscribing limits, is said wrongfully to confine that person.

Meaning of certain terms:
prevent from proceeding: means total restraint (leaving no choice for him to move in any direction for howsoever short a period it may be) of the personal liberty of person and not merely a partial restraint to constitute confinement.

Circumscribing limits: the notion of restraint within Some limits defined by a will or power exterior to our own.

Illustrations:
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.
A places men with firearms at the outlets of building and tells Z that they will fire at Z if Z attempts to leave the building. A wrongfully confines Z.

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.( section 342)

Note to constitute an offence under this section the period of confinement is immaterial. But the period of confinement becomes material for the purpose of determining the extent of punishment. held in case Suprosunno Ghosaul5,(1866) 6 W.R.(Cr.) 88.

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.

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.

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.

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 hereinafter 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.

Wrongful confinement to extort property, or constrain to illegal act.( section 347):
whoever wrongfully confines any person for the purpose of extorting shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three year, and shall also be liable to fine.

Wrongful confinement to extort confession, or compel restoration of property (section 348): whoever wrongfully confines any person for the purposes of extorting confession or any information which may lead to detection of an offence or misconduct shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three year, and shall also be liable to fine.

Related case laws:
S.A. Aziz vs Pasam Haribabu and another 2003 6 Cri.L.j. 2462(A.P.)
Fact: police officer arrested a person in execution of non bailable warrant and kept him under detention for a week and produced him before magistrate.
Judgment: the police officer was held guilty for the offence of wrongful confinement under sec 343 and high court of Andhra Pradesh held that use of physical force is not necessary for the offence of wrongful confinement.

State of Gujrat v Maganbhai Jogani 7 AIR2009 S.C 2594
Fact: the officers visited the house of the accused for making some inquiry under money lenders act. They were not allowed to go out of the house for some time, but at the same time they didn’t apprehend any use of force by the accused.

Judgment: it was held that the accused had not committed the offence of wrongful confinement under section 340 of IPC

Gopalia kallaiya (1923)
Fact: a police officer came from Bombay to a village with warrant to arrest one man ‘M’. After reasonable inquiry police officer arrested ‘S’, the complainant under the warrant believing in god faith that ‘S’ was ‘M’. ‘S’ brought a suit for wrongful arrest.

Judgment: it was held that police officer had committed no offence because he has committed a mistake of fact in good fait.

Difference between wrongful restraint and wrongful confinement:
Wrongful restraint
Discussed in section 339
It is a partial restraint of personal liberty of person
Wrongful confinement implies wrongful restraint but vice-versa is not correct.
No circumscribing limits or boundaries are required Movement in only one direction is obstructed.
Choice for the victim to move in any other direction.

Wrongful confinement
define in sec 340
it is an absolute or total restraint or obstruction of personal liberty.
wrongful confinement is a form of wrongful restraint.
certain circumscribing limits are always necessary.
Movement in all directions is obstructed.

Conclusion
wrongful Restraint where a person has the option to go back or left or right as he is just restrained from going forward. On the other hand, wrongful confinement involves all sorts of restraints that happen in a circumscribed limit such as restriction from leaving a room or building or a park etc.

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