Tag Archives: misappropriation

Charge of – Criminal Breach of Trust

It has been held in Onkar Nath Mishra v. State, (2008) 2 SCC 561, that in the commission of the offence of criminal breach of trust, two distinct parts are involved. 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 misappropriation or dealing with the property dishonestly and contrary to the terms of the obligation created.
It has been held in Jaikrishnadas Manohardas Desai v. State of Bombay, AIR 1960 SC 889, that :
“to establish a charge of criminal breach of trust, the prosecution is not obliged to prove the precise mode of conversion, misappropriation or misapplication by the accused of the property entrusted to him or over which he has dominion. The principal ingredient of the offence being dishonest misappropriation or conversion which may not ordinarily be a matter of direct proof, entrustment of property and failure in breach of an obligation to account for the property entrusted, if proved, may in the light of other circumstances, justifiably lead to an inference of dishonest misappropriation or conversion. Conviction of a person for the offence of criminal breach of trust may not, in all cases, be founded merely on his failure to account for the property entrusted to him, but where he is unable to account or renders an explanation for his failure to account which is untrue, an inference of misappropriation with dishonest intent may readily be made.” Ghanshyam v. State of Rajasthan, (2014) 4 SCC (Cri) 82.

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Criminal Breach of trust vis-à-vis offence of cheating

The ingredients in order to constitute a criminal breach of trust are:
(1) Entrusting a person with property or with any dominion over property,
(2) That person entrusted (a) dishonestly misappropriating or converting that property to his own use; or (b) dishonestly using or disposing of that property or willfully suffering any other person so to do in violation (i) of any direction of law prescribing the mode in which such trust is to be discharged, (ii) of any legal contract made, touching the discharge of such trust.
The ingredients of an offence of cheating are:
(1) There should be fraudulent or dishonest inducement of a person by deceiving him,
(2) (a) The person so deceived should be induced to deliver any property to any person or to consent that any person shall retain any property; or
(b) The person so deceived should be intentionally induced to do or omit to do anything which he would not do or omit if he were not so deceived; and
(3) In cases covered by, 2(b) the act of omission should be one which causes or is likely to cause damage or harm to the person induced in body, mind, reputation or property. Arun Bhandari v. State of U.P., (2013) 2 SCC 801.

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