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criminal misappropriation -403

Section 403-

Section 403 provides that an offence of criminal misappropriation of property is said to be constituted if any person dishonestly misappropriates or converts the movable property of another for his own use. Therefore, the essentials of criminal misappropriation of property according to section 403 are-

1. Dishonest misappropriations or conversion of property of another for his own use by the accused

2. The property so misappropriated or converted shall be movable in nature.

To Misappropriate literally means to set apart from ones own use unlawfully or improperly setting apart for ones own use to the exclusion of the owner. Converts means appropriating or dealing with someones property as it were his own . 403 further requires that a movable property must be dishonestly appropriated by the accused person . Mere misappropriation and conversion is not enough , its essential that dishonest intention must be present.

Where the accused found a purse on the pavement of temple in a crowded gathering and he put the purse in his pocket but was immediately arrested, it was held that accused was not guilty of 403 , as it could not be assumed that by mere act of picking up a purse and putting it in his pocket he intends to to appropriate the contents to his own use. ( Phuman , (1907) PR No. 11 of 1908)

However, this section is no way restricted to appropriating property to ones own use. If a trustee repudiate the trust and asserts that he holds the property on behalf of a person , other than the one who entrusted him with it , he has misappropriated the property just as much as he would have been said to misappropriate if it had been putting forward his own claims to it. (Indar Singh (1925) 48 All 288)


Property of an idol or a temple must be used for the purpose s of that idol or temple any other use would be malversation of that property and if its dishonest , it would amount to criminal misappropriation . ( Gadgayya v. Guru Siddeshwar , (1897) Unrep Cr C 919)

Where money is paid to a person by mistake and such person either at the time of receipt or at any time afterwards , discovers the mistake and determines to appropriate the money , that person is guilty under section 403 . ( Shamsoondur, (1870) 2 NWP 475)

In the case of Ramaswami Nadar v. State of Madras[iii], the Supreme Court held that the words used in section 403 such as ‘converts to his own use’ necessarily connotes that the accused has used or dealt with the property in derogation of the rights of the owner of the property.

Section 404-

Section 404 provides for criminal misappropriation of property is a specified case, that is in case of the property which was possessed by a deceased person at the time of his death. This section prescribes the following essentials-

1. Dishonest misappropriation or conversion of property

2. The property must have been in the possession of a deceased person at the time of his death

3. After the death of the person in possession of the property, the person who is legally entitled to take the possession of the property has not been given with the possession