Posted November 10, 2013 by advocateguru in Learning Centre

Criminal Breach


The essential ingredients of criminal breach of trust are: (i) the accused must be entrusted with property or dominion over it, and (ii) he must have dishonestly misappropriated the property or converted it to his own use or disposal of it in violation of such trust. The first consists of the creation of an obligation in relation to the property over which dominion or control is acquired by the accused. The second is a misappropriation or dealing with the property dishonestly and contrary to the terms of obligation created. The principal ingredients of criminal breach of trust, thus, are ‘entrustment’ and ‘dishonest misappropriation’.


As, the title to the offence itself suggests, entrustment of property is an essential requirement before any offence under this section takes place. The language of the section is very wide. The words used are ‘in any manner entrusted with property’. So, if extends to entrustments of all kinds – whether to clerks, servants, business partners or other persons, provided they are holding a position of ‘trust’. The word ‘entrust’ is not a term of art. In common parlance, it embraces all cases in which a thing handed over by one person to another for specific purpose.


Dishonest misappropriation is the essence of this section. Dishonesty is, as defined in Section 24, IPC, causing wrongful gain or wrongful loss to a person. The meaning of wrongful gain and wrongful loss is given in Section 23 IPC. In order to constitute an offence, it is not enough to establish that the money has not been accused accounted for or mismanaged. It has to be established that the accused has dishonestly put the property to his own use or to some unauthorised use. Dishonest intention to misappropriate is a crucial fact to be proved to bring home the charge of criminal breach of trust.