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Emperor Vs. Dwarkadas Haridas - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal
CourtMumbai
Decided On
Case NumberCriminal Application for Revision No. 114 of 1928
Judge
Reported in(1928)30BOMLR1270
AppellantEmperor
RespondentDwarkadas Haridas
Excerpt:
.....gross sum-criminal procedure code (act v of 1893), sections 222(2), 236, and 237.;the accused was entrusted with certain goods by the complainant under a contract that the accused was to sell the goods and hold the sale-proceeds on account of the complainant subject to a deduction of certain charges. the accused having received the sale-proceeds and failed to account for a portion of it was charged with and convicted of the offence of criminal breach of trust in respect of the balance of the gross sum realised between specified dates. it was objected that the charge as framed contravened the provisions of section 222(2) of the criminal procedure code :-;overruling the objection (1) that though the accused did not receive the money actually from the complainant yet he was 'entrusted'..........defines criminal breach of trust, is in very wide language, viz., 'whoever, being in any manner entrusted with property, or with any dominion over property, dishonestly misappropriates or converts to his own use that property...commits 'criminal breach of trust.' the words 'in any manner' are noticeable, and ill. (e) is to the point, a revenue-officer is described as entrusted with public money, and under a duty to pay it into a government treasury. in such a case government does not actually hand over the money to the revenue officer, but the revenue-officer receives it from those who owe it to government and pay it to him. in the same way here certain goods were entrusted to the accused, and under the contract between him and the complainant he had to sell those goods and obtain.....
Judgment:

Charles Fawcett, Kt., A.C.J.

1. The only point of law that has been taken before us by Mr. Coyajee for the applicant is that the second count of the charge against the applicant in respect of a gross sum that was alleged to be dishonestly misappropriated does not properly fall within the provisions of Sub-section (2) of Section 222 of the Criminal Procedure Code. That question was also taken in the appeal to the Sessions Judge, who has given reasons for considering it to be of no substance. I agree in this opinion. Section 405 of the Indian Penal Code, which defines criminal breach of trust, is in very wide language, viz., 'whoever, being in any manner entrusted with property, or with any dominion over property, dishonestly misappropriates or converts to his own use that property...commits 'criminal breach of trust.' The words 'in any manner' are noticeable, and ill. (e) is to the point, A revenue-officer is described as entrusted with public money, and under a duty to pay it into a Government treasury. In such a case Government does not actually hand over the money to the revenue officer, but the revenue-officer receives it from those who owe it to Government and pay it to him. In the same way here certain goods were entrusted to the accused, and under the contract between him and the complainant he had to sell those goods and obtain money lot them, which he would hold on account of the complainant, subject to deduction of certain charges. In my opinion, when he received that money, although he did not receive it actually from the complainant, he was 'entrusted with' it, within the meaning of the definition; and if the section is read in that way, no difficulty whatever arises under Section 222(2) of the Criminal Procedure Code, Mr. Coyajee for the applicant relied on Balthasar v. Emperor I.L.R (1914) Cal. 844 as an authority to the contrary. But it will be seen that the first paragraph of the headnote to that case is too wide and is not justified by the terms of the judgment. Their Lordships have not laid down that Section 405 of the Indian Penal Code does not cover misappropriation by a person of the sale-proceeds of property entrusted to him; on the contrary, they say that it ought to be assumed that the word 'property' in Section 405 includes the sale-proceeds of goods entrusted to the accused, Nor does the second paragraph of the headnote apply to the present case, for the accused was not charged with criminal breach of trust in respect of goods entrusted to him, but of such breach of trust in respect of a specific sum obtained by the sale of such goods.

2. But, even supposing that the charge under criminal breach of trust was wrong, it is quite clear that the accused could have been charged under Section 403 of the Indian Penal Code with having dishonestly misappropriated this gross sum, so that under Sections 286 and 237 of the Criminal Procedure Code he could have been convicted of that offence, and the sentences passed upon him could equally have been imposed under Section 403, Indian Penal Code. Therefore, in my opinion, there is no sufficient ground for interference on this point in revision.

3. With regard to the findings of facts, as to dishonesty of the accused and the terms of the contract between him and the complainant, it suffices to say that the accused was, on the facts found, properly convicted, and we see no reason in revision to go into those findings of fact.

4. I agree with the Sessions Judge that it is a bad case, and in any opinion there is no sufficient reason for reducing the sentence.

5. Therefore, the rule is discharged. Mirza J. I agree.

Mirja, J.

6. I agree.


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