Criminal Breach of Trust
Criminal Breach of Trust is a crime related to the entrust of a property, this crime has a very wide language, any kind of property or asset either its liquid or fixed has been dishonestly misappropriates or converts to his/her own use that asset or property this has been done by someone who is entrusted with that asset or property or with any dominion over property in absence of the real owner of that property or asset. The most essential ingredients for criminal breach of trust are the property or asset and the trust associated with the person regarding to that property or asset by the real owner.
The essential ingredients which are required to prove the crime a criminal breach of trust are listed below.
- The accused must be entrusted with the property or with dominion over it
- The person so entrusted must use that property
- The accused must dishonestly use or dispose of that property or willfully suffer any other person to do so in violation
- of any direction of law prescribing the mode in which such trust is to be discharged
- of any legal contract made touching the discharge of such trust
- The accused must have actually put such property to use
- There must be dishonest or disposition of such property
- There must be willful sufferment of another person due to use of such property by the accused
Here are some examples given below which help us to understand the case of criminal breach of trust.
- A, being executor to the will of a deceased person, dishonestly disobeys the law which directs him/her to divide the effects according to the will, and appropriate them to his/her own use. A has committed criminal breach of trust.
- A is a warehouse-keeper. Z going on a journey, entrusts his/her furniture to A, under a contract that it shall be returned on payment of a stipulated sum for warehouse room. A dishonestly sells the goods. A has committed criminal breach of trust.
- A, residing in Calcutta, is agent for Z, residing at Delhi. There is an express or implied contract between A and Z, that all sums remitted by Z to A shall be invested by A, according to Z’s direction. Z remits an amount of money to A, with directions to A to invest the same in Company’s paper. A dishonestly disobeys the direction and employs the money in his/her own business. A has committed criminal breach of trust.
- But if A, in the last illustration, not dishonestly but in good faith, believing that it will be more for Z’s advantage to hold shares in the Bank, disobeys Z’s directions, and buys shares in the Bank, for Z, instead of buying Company’s paper, here, though Z should suffer loss, and should be entitled to bring a civil action against A, on account of that loss, yet A, not having acted dishonestly, has not committed criminal breach of trust.
- A, a revenue-officer, is entrusted with public money and is either directed by law, or bound by a contract, express or implied, with the Government, to pay into a certain treasury all the public money which he/she holds. A dishonestly appropriates the money. A has committed criminal breach of trust.
- A, a carrier, is entrusted by Z with property to be carried by land or by water. A dishonestly misappropriates the property. A has committed criminal breach of trust.
There are many more cases in Indian history which can prove the criminal breach of trust to more extent. According to Indian Penal Code Section 405, 406, 407, 408 and 409 criminal breach of trust is a cognizable crime and it is non bailable and the punishment decided for this could be either imprisonment for life or imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years and shall also be liable to fine.
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