Difference between revisions of "SECTION 342 OF INDIAN PENAL CODE, 1860"
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SECTION 342 OF INDIAN PENAL CODE, 1860 PUNISHMENT FOR WRONGFUL CONFINEMENT Introduction Before dealing with punishment of Wrongful confinement under Indian Penal Code, we need to understand Wrongful Restraint and Wrongful Confinement. Under Chapter XVI of Indian Penal Code includes Wrongful Restraint, Wrongful Confinement and their punishments.
Section 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.
Wrongful restraint means obstructing a person from moving from one place to another where he has the right to be and wants to go. Malice is not necessary element of the offence under this section.
Restraint means an abridgement of the liberty of a person against his will. However, if the person is deprived of his will power to movement by sleep or otherwise he cannot be said to have been subject to any restraint.
Section 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.
(a) A causes Z to go within a walled space, and locks Z in. A 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.
Wrongful confinement as defined under Section 340 IPC is a form of wrongful restraint under which a person is wrongfully prevented from proceeding beyond certain circumscribed limits. For example- arrest, or locking up a person in a room, or trying him to a tree, amount to wrongful confinement.
The essential ingredients of the offence of wrongful confinement are:
• The accused should have wrongfully restrained the complainant (i.e.voluntarily obstructed any person so as to prevent that person from proceeding in any direction in which that person has a right to proceed) • Such wrongful restraint was with the aim to prevent the complainant from proceeding beyond certain circumscribing limits beyond which he or she has the right to proceed.
To support a charge of wrongful confinement proof f actual physical obstruction is not necessary. It is sufficient if such an impression was created in the mind of the victim as to cause reasonable apprehension that he was not free to depart and that he would be forthwith restrained, if he attempted to do so.
Section 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. The offence of wrongful confinement is punishable with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to one year, or with fine up to one thousand rupees, or with both. Duration of confinement is a relevant consideration to be taken into account in awarding punishment. The offence is cognizable, bailable, compoundable and triable by any magistrate.
For example - Aman locks Amita in a room thus preventing Amita from proceeding in any direction beyond the circumscribing limits of the walls of the room. Hence Aman has wrongly confined Amita and is liable for punishment under this section.
Section 342 refers only to a confinement for less than three days only.
What is Cognizable offence?
Cognizable offences are those in which the police can arrest without any warrant. These are more serious in nature. Non-cognizable offences on the other hand are those for which a police officer has no authority to arrest, unless with a warrant.
What is Bailable offence? Bailable offences are those offences or crimes that are not very serious in nature. In such cases bail is a right and the arrested person must be released after depositing the bail with the police. The police have the power to grant bail in these types of cases. The accused may be released on bail, on executing a “bail bond", with or without furnishing sureties.
What is Compoundable offence? Compoundable offences are those offences where, the complainant (one who has filed the case, i.e. the victim), enter into a compromise, and agrees to have the charges dropped against the accused. However, such a compromise should be a "Bonafide," and not for any consideration to which the complainant is not entitled to.
Jay Engineering Works v. State of West Bengal [AIR 1968 Cal. 407]
A large number of labourers gheraoed the management staff without giving them freedom to move above and gherao (physical blockade of a target, either by encirclement intended to blockade the ingress or egress from and to a particular office, workplace, etc.) was held to be illegal amounting to the criminal offences of wrongful restraint and wrongful confinement and punished under section 342 IPC.
Nania Nanuram v. State of MP [1995 Cr.LJ 1870 (MP)]
It was observed that where a person was forced to walk under duress in a particular direction, it amounted to an offence of wrongful confinement. An act by which a person is prevented from proceeding in a particular direction is an offence under the section. Section 342 prescribes punishment for wrongful confinement, which may extend to imprisonment of either description for one year, or fine up to 500 rupees or with both. This offence is cognizable, but summons should ordinarily issue in the first instance. It is bailable as well as compoundable, and is triable by any Magistrate.
State v. Balakrishnan [1992 Cr.LJ 1872 Mad.], The accused was a Police Officer and he arrested the relative of the complainant. The complainant went to Police Station and asked the accused what offence was committed by his relative. The accused ordered the complainant to stand in the corner of the Police Station till late night. He was not allowed to go and seek legal remedies. The accused contended that the complainant was at liberty to go away from the Police Station. The Court held that the accused committed the offence of wrongful confinement as he used his authority in a wrongful manner. The accused was punished under section 342 IPC.