fbpx

405. Whoever, being in any manner entrusted with property, or with any dominion over property either solely or jointly with any other person dishonestly misappropriates, or converts to his own use, that property, or dishonestly uses or disposes of that property in violation of any direction of law prescribing the mode in which such trust is to be discharged, or of any legal contract, express or implied, which he has made touching the discharge of such trust, or wilfully suffers any other person so to do, commits “criminal breach of trust”.

ILLUSTRATIONS

(a) A, being executor to the will of a deceased person, dishonestly disobeys the law which directs him to divide the effects according to the will, and appropriates them to his own use. A has committed criminal breach of trust.

(b) A, is a warehouse-keeper. Z, going on a journey, entrusts his 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.

(c) A, residing in Kuala Lumpur, is agent for Z, residing in Penang. 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 five thousand ringgit to A, with directions to A to invest the same in Government securities. A dishonestly disobeys the directions, and employs the money in his own business. A has committed criminal breach of trust.

(d) 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 Oriental Bank, disobeys Z’s directions, and buys shares in the Oriental Bank for Z, instead of buying Government securities, 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.

(e) A, a collector of Government money, or a clerk in a Government office, 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 holds. A dishonestly appropriates the money. A has committed criminal breach of trust.

(f) 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.

Explanation—Upon any prosecution for any offence of criminal breach of trust, an employer who deducts the employee’s contribution from the wages payable to the employee for credit to any employee fund, by whatever name called, established by any law for the time being in force, shall be deemed to have been entrusted with the amount of the contribution so deducted by him and if he makes default in the payment of such contribution to the said fund in violation of the said law, shall be deemed to have dishonestly used the amount of the said contribution in violation of a direction of law within the meaning of this section.