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Difference between Theft and Criminal Misappropriation

The Offences of Theft and Criminal Misappropriation are given under the head of crime against property in IPC. Theft can be defined as an act of taking any movable property out of the possession of any person without that person’s consent, moves that property for taking its possession. Whereas, Criminal Misappropriation can be defined as an act of converting or misappropriating any movable property with dishonest intention for his own use.  Both the offences deal with the movable property.

Basis

Theft

Criminal Misappropriation

Provision under IPC

Offence of theft is defined under section 378 of Indian Penal Code, 1860

Offence of Criminal Misappropriation is defined under section 403 of Indian Penal Code, 1860

Intention

In Theft, the initial taking of the property is always unlawful. The intention behind such act is always dishonest.

In Criminal Misappropriation, the initial step of taking property may be innocent and lawful. Dishonest intention develops subsequently.

Consent

In theft, property is moved without the consent or knowledge of the owner.

In Criminal Misappropriation, the owner might have come into possession of the property with the express consent of the owner or by some casualty. 

Commission of offence

In theft, the moving of property is itself an offence. 

In Criminal Misappropriation, the offence is said to be committed when the property is converted or misappropriated with dishonest intention for offender’s own use. Mere moving of property not constitute the offence.

Right of Possession

In theft, the right of the possession is violated by the wrongdoer.

Un Criminal Misappropriation, the there is no such infringement of right of possession as the offender is already in the possession of the property.

Punishment

Offence of theft is punishable with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extent to 3 years or with fine,or with both (Sec.379,IPC)

Offence of Criminal Misappropriation is punishable with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extent to 2 years or with fine, or with both (Sec.403,IPC)

References:-

  1. K.D. Gaur, Indian Penal Code.
  2. PSA Pillai, Criminal Law
  3. Ratan Lal &Dhira Lal, The Indian Penal Code

 

Submitted by LP Team

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