Criminal Misappropriation Of Property Under Indian Penal Code | The National TV

Criminal misappropriation of property




Section 403 of the Indian Penal code contains the provision for dishonest misappropriation of property. Whoever dishonestly misappropriates or converts to his own use any moveable property, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to 2 years, or with fine or with both.



The word ‘misappropriation’ means dishonest appropriation and use of another person’s property for own use. Criminal misappropriation often takes place innocently but continues to be in possession due to change in intention or other knowledge of a new fact, which person did not know. Retaining of property becomes wrongful and fraudulent when the fact is known.


Offence is punishable with imprisonment, which may extend to 2 years (simple or grievous) with fine or both.



  1. The accused misappropriated the property and converted it into his own use dishonestly.
  2. The moveable property belonged to the complainant.

A property can be permanently or temporarily misappropriated. When a person finds a good, his intention at that time, regarding the property is taken into account.



In case of a finder of goods, if he has taken all precautions to ascertain the true owner and kept the goods for a reasonable time for restoring it to the true owner, he can use the property for himself, if the true owner is not found. But, if he immediately misappropriates the property, he would be liable for criminal misappropriation of property.

This section entirely works on the appropriation of moveable property and must be in possession of someone. No criminal misappropriation can take place on the thing which has actually been abandoned.



Section 404 of the Code talks about dishonest misappropriation of property possessed by deceased person at the time of his death. Whoever dishonestly misappropriates or converts to his own use property, knowing that such property was in the possession of a deceased person at the time of his death and has not since been in the possession of any person legally entitled to such possession, shall be punished with imprisonment which may extend to 3 years and shall be liable to fine, and if offender at the time of such person’s death was employed by him as a clerk or servant, the imprisonment may extend to 7 years.



Ingredients of Section are:-

  1. The property has to be the moveable property
  2. Such property was in the possession of the deceased at the time of his death.
  3. The accused misappropriated it or converted it to his own use.
  4. Accused did it with dishonest intention.



The object of the section is to protect the property of a deceased which under the circumstances needs special protection. Section punishes the strangers or the employees of the deceased, who have no right in the effects of a dead man.


Both the sections intend to protect the moveable property from being misappropriated by the strangers and put to use for their own benefit. Section 403 protects the dishonest misappropriation of property against a stranger and Section 404 protects the moveable property pf a deceased person against the stranger or his own employee.





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