Wrongful Confinement and Its Punishment under IPC

Wrongful Confinement and Its Punishment under IPC

In this article, we will discuss the meaning of Wrongful Confinement, its punishment under the Indian Penal Code, with relevant case laws and illustrations.

Introduction

Wrongful Confinement is dealt with in chapter 16 of IPC and as the name suggests means confining or limiting a person from accessing boundaries that he otherwise is free to access.

In strict legal terms, wrongful confinement meaning has been provided in section 340 IPC:

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.

Section 340, Indian Penal Code, 1860

Illustrations:

  • A locks up B in his Apartment. This is wrongful Confinement.
  • A recommends B not to exit the home premises. This is not wrongful Confinement.

Punishment for Wrongful Confinement

Wrongful Confinement under IPC sections 342 to section 348 has enlisted the punishments.

Core Punishment

Section 342 IPC

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 of the Indian Penal Code

Confinement for 3 or more days

Section 343 IPC

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.

Section 343 of Indian Penal Code.

In the case of S.A. Aziz v Pasam Haribabu $ anr [AIR 2009 SC 2594] the High Court of Andra Pradesh held that use of physical force is not necessary to constitute and offence of Wrongful Confinement. Mere detention of a person wrongfully is enough.

In the above case, a police officer arrested a person in the execution of a non-bailable offence and did not produce him before the magistrate as provided under the provision of CRPC. He was said to have committed Wrongful Confinement and the court refused to accept that the above act was done in due course of his official duty as a police officer.

Confinement for 10 or more days

Section 344 IPC

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

Section 344 of Indian Penal Code.

Confinement of person for whose liberation writ has been issued

Section 345 IPC

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.

Section 345 of Indian Penal Code.

Illustration:

Mr. X, a police officer wrongfully confined Z for a period of six days. Z’s brother moved the High Court under article 226 and filed a writ petition of Habeas Corpus demanding and answer why Z was confined.
Mr. X with the knowledge of the fact that a writ was issued did not free Z. He shall be liable under this section.

Confinement in secret

Section 346 IPC

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 here in before 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.

Section 346 of Indian Penal Code.

Confinement to extort property, or constrain to illegal act

Section 347 IPC

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.

Section 347 of Indian Penal Code.

Confinement to extort confession, or compel restoration of property

Section 348 IPC

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.

Section 348 of Indian Penal Code.

There’s a thin similarity betwen section 348 IPC and section 330 IPC. The later is concerned with confession is extorted by causing hurt whereas in section 348, the confession is extorted by means of limiting the person (confinement).

It is also to be noted that In the case of State of Himachal Pradesh V. Ranjeet Singh, 1979, It was held that it is not necessary that a formal arrest was made. It is enough if it is shown that the person was prevented from going beyond the certain prescribed limits which otherwise he had the right to go.

Wrongful Confinement Punishment Chart IPC

SectionPunishmentFineOr Both
342Upto 1 yearUpto Rs. 1000Yes
343Upto 2 yearsYesYes
344Upto 3 yearsYesYes
345Upto 2 years in
addition to punishment
under any other section
of the chapter
YesYes
346Upto 2 YearsYesYes
347Upto 3 YearsYesYes

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