Misappropriation of Property
essence of the offence of criminal misappropriation of property is that
when any property of another person comes into the possession of the
accused in some neutral manner and is misappropriated and converted
to his own use by that accused. No entrustment is required for the offence
to be constituted. Section 403 and 404 of the Penal code describes the
misappropriation takes place when the possession has been innocently
come out but where a subsequent change of intention, or from the knowledge
of some new fact with which the party was not previously acquainted,
the retaining becomes wrongful and fraudulent. The offence consists
in the dishonest misappropriation or conversion, either permanently
or for a time being with the intention for causing wrongful gain or
wrongful loss. All that is required, that there should be an intention
of causing such gain or loss which would amount to dishonesty (35 Cr.
LJ 982 FB). There must be something to prove dishonesty. Intention has
got to be proved. For example if any person finds a purse with money
not knowing to whom it belongs but afterwards he discovers that it belongs
to another specific person and intentionally appropriates the money
for his own use then that person is guilty for criminal misappropriation
For committing the offence of criminal misappropriation of property
there must be:
1. Dishonest misappropriation or conversion of property for a person's
2. Such property must be movable.
a person retains or misappropriates the property in assertion of a bona-fide
claim of right, though unfounded, in law and fact, he is not guilty
of criminal misappropriation because there is no dishonest intention.
Retention of money for a sufficiently long period by a person, who is
bound under law to return it to another legally entitled the money,
raises an inference of a temporary misappropriation within the meaning
of the said section of Penal Code. A false denial of a loan is not in
itself a misappropriation at all, and no more than an attempt to evade
civil liability for the money lent.
cannot be any criminal misappropriation with regard to immovable property.
It is sufficient for the prosecution to establish that some of the money
mentioned in the charge has been misappropriated by the accused even
though it may be uncertain what is the exact amount so misappropriated.
the other side when a person who finds any property and takes such property
for the purpose of protecting it or of restoring it to the actual owner
and does not convert or misappropriate it dishonestly, in that case
he is not guilty for the offence of criminal misappropriation of property.
But when he misappropriates it for his own use and when he knows or
has the means of discovering the real owner or he does not take reasonable
time to discover and give notice to the owner for enable him to claiming
the property then he is guilty for the offence above mentioned.
Section 403 and 404 of Penal Code fixed punishments for criminal misappropriation
of property. When any person dishonestly misappropriates or converts
any movable property to his own use, that person shall be punished with
imprisonment for a term, which may extend to two years or with fine
or with both. Moreover when any person misappropriates or coverts to
his own use of any property, knowing that such property was in the possession
of a deceased or dead person at the time of that person's decease and
has not been since now in the possession of any person legally entitled
to such possession, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term up
to three years and shall also be liable to fine. Accordingly if the
offender at the time of such person's decease employed by him as a clerk
or servant the imprisonment may extend up to seven years.