This article is written by Sharat Gopal, a 2nd-year law student, from Delhi Metropolitan Education, GGSIPU. In this article, he has discussed the terms ‘Wrongful Restraint’ & ‘Wrongful Confinement, along with this, he has also tried to distinguish the two terms from each other.
When the constitution was drafted, it granted some rights which were essential for the intellectual, moral and spiritual development of individuals. These rights are called fundamental rights. They are enshrined in part-III (article 12-35) of the constitution. All these rights mentioned in part III have reasonable restrictions too. The constitution of India in article 32 guarantees its citizen, if any of these fundamental rights mentioned in part III of the constitution are infringed, they have the right to move to the Supreme Court of India (Article 32(1)).
Our constitution gives us the freedom to move freely throughout the territory of India (Article-19(d)) with reasonable restrictions (Article-19(5)) and personal liberty to live life according to his will, except in the cases where it is deprived by procedure established by law (Article-21).
Indian Penal Code
Indian Penal Code 1860, punishes, whoever wrongfully restraints or wrongfully confines any person. While a person is being restrained or confined, his fundamental rights, Article-19(d) and Article 21 are being violated which has been given to him/her by the constitution of India.
Wrongful Restraint has been defined under section-339 of the Indian Penal Code. It states that “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.”
In simple words it means, whoever voluntarily obstructs, stops or blocks a person to prevent him/her from moving in a certain direction, which that person has all legal rights to move, is known as wrongful restraint.
E.g., ‘B‘ was moving in a certain direction. ‘A’ stops ‘B‘ in the middle of the road and says that ‘B‘ cannot travel on this road. ‘A‘ was not acting in good faith and he just wanted to stop ‘B‘ from travelling in that direction. Here, ‘A‘ has wrongfully restrained ‘B‘.
Ingredients of Section-399:
There are 3 basic ingredients to this section-
- There should be an obstruction on the way.
- That obstruction prevented the person from moving in a particular direction.
- The person obstructed had a right to move in that direction.
These 3 ingredients are important for the application of this section.
It is not necessary that there is physical obstruction. Mare words can also cause obstruction. If a person finds it difficult, or impossible or dangerous to life, to proceed in a certain direction, it will be covered under section-399 of IPC.
Wrongful Restraint is punishable under section-341 of IPC. Section-341 states that “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.” It clearly states that if any person wrongfully Restraints any other person, he/she will be punished with imprisonment which may be up to 1 month, or a fine up to ₹500.
In the case of Madala Perayya vs. Varugunti Chendrayya (1954 CrLJ 283 Mad), two people were jointly using a well for their agricultural purposes for a long time but one day one of the them came with his bullocks by blocking other person movement and created restraint for another one to use them well and asked him not to use it. The court held that accused had committed the offence of wrongful restraint and will be punished under section-341 of IPC.
In Shoba Rani vs. The King (1950-51 CrLJ 668 Cal.), the landlord prevented tenant from using the bathroom, which tenant had a right to use. The Court held that the landlord was guilty of wrongful restraint and was punished under section- 341 of IPC.
Wrongful confinement is defined under section-340 of IPC. It states that, “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.”
In simple terms, it means that ‘Any person who restrains any person in a manner which he is prevented from going beyond a certain circumscribed limit, is known as wrongful confinement.
E.g., ‘A‘ places ‘B‘ in a room and tells ‘B‘, that if he tries to escape this room, A’s men will fire at him. Here, ‘A‘ has wrongfully confined ‘B‘.
Ingredients of Section-340:
- The person should have been wrongfully confined, that means all the ingredients of Wrongful Restraint must be present.
- Such restrain was to prevent the person from going beyond certain circumscribed limit.
- The person should have a right to go beyond such circumscribed limit.
These are the essential ingredients of Wrongful Confinement under IPC.
Section-342 provides punishment for Wrongful Confinement, according to it if any person confines anyone wrongfully then he shall be punishable for imprisonment of either a term which may extend to 1 year, or with a fine which may extend to ₹1000, or with both. There are a variety of punishment given under IPC based on gravity and intention of the accused.
In the case of State of Gujarat vs. Keshav Lai Maganbhai Gujoyan (1993 CrLJ 248 Guj), it was held that proof of actual physical restriction was not required. If there are sufficient evidences which show that an impression was created in the mind of the victim, that he was not free to depart is sufficient to prove that he was under wrongful confinement and hence a reasonable apprehension in the mind of the victim is sufficient.
Classification of wrongful confinement:
There are some different categories of wrongful confinement which cause vary in its punishments, and are discussed in IPC from section-343 to section-348 as follows –
- According to Section-343 (Wrongful confinement for three or more days), i.e., If wrongful confinement takes place for 3 or more days, it will make it punishable with imprisonment of a term which may extend to 2 years, or with fine, or with both.
- According to Section-344 ( Wrongful confinement for ten or more days)- If a person is wrongfully confined for 10 days or more, it will make it be punishable with imprisonment of a term which may extend to 3 years and with a fine as well.
- According to Section-345 (Wrongful confinement of person for whose liberation writ has been issued) – If a person keeps anyone in wrongful confinement, knowing that a writ for the liberation of that person has been duly issued, then he can be held liable and punishable with imprisonment of either a term which may extend to 2 years and in addition to this he will also be imprisoned for added term according to chapter XVI (OF OFFENCES AFFECTING THE HUMAN BODY).
- According to Section-346 (Wrongful confinement in secret)- If a person is wrongfully confined in a manner which indicates an intention that the confinement of such person may not be known to anyone who would be interested in the person confined, or to any other public servant, or the place of such confinement is not known to or discovered by any such person or public servant mentioned above, shall be punished with an imprisonment of a term which may extend to 2 years in addition to any other punishment to which he may be liable for such wrongful confinement.
- According to Section-347 (Wrongful confinement to extort property, or constrain to illegal act)- whoever confines any person for the purpose of extorting from the person confined, or from any person interested in the person confined, for any property or for valuable security or of constraining the person confined or any other 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 an imprisonment of a term which may extend to 3 years and fine as well.
- According to Section-348 (Wrongful confinement to extort confession or compel restoration of property)- If a person is wrongfully confined any person for the purpose of extorting from the person confined or any person interested in the person confined, for any confession or to discard any information which may lead to the detection of an offence or misconduct, or for the purpose of constraining that 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, will be punished with imprisonment of a term which may extend to 3 years and fine.
These are the types of confinement mentioned in the Indian Penal Code.
Difference between Wrongful Restraint and Wrongful Confinement
|S.NO.||WRONGFUL RESTRAINT||WRONGFUL CONFINEMENT|
|1.||It is a wider term and has other types in it.||It is a type of wrongful restraint.|
|2.||It focuses to restraint in a particular direction.||It focuses on the circumscribing limit.|
|3.||It is a partial suspension of a persons’ liberty||It is total suspension of a persons’ liberty.|
The article provided above, discuses about wrongful restrain and wrongful confinement, and also how they infringe the fundamental rights provided to us by the Constitution of India. Wrongful restrain is “drawing a line” in front of a person and wrongful confinement is, “drawing a circle” around the person. When a person is in wrongful confinement or wrongful restrain, his fundamental right to move freely throughout the country is violated. His fundamental right to live his life with personal liberty is violated. What happened in Jallianwala Bhag on 13 April 1919, was wrongful confinement, where General Reginald Dwyer, closed all gates and open fired at the mob.