We have certain rights as a citizen of India such as right to movement guaranteed under Article 19 & 21 of constitution of India which can’t be curtailed but reasonable restrictions can be applied.
For instance – during the outbreak of Covid-19, people were requested to stay at home and during the lockdown, no one was allowed to move from one place to another without any reason. Even during the second wave, people are still prohibited from moving freely. Here one can’t say that their rights are curtailed.
What is wrongful restraint?
Wrongful restraint means not allowing a person to move from one place to another in any direction where he wants to go and have the right to go.
If someone obstructs a person from moving and infringes his right to movement then the person can lodge a complaint before a magistrate for wrongful restraint.
Section 339 of Indian Penal Code
Section 339 of Indian Penal Code talks about Wrongful restraint. It states that if a person voluntarily obstructs another person from proceeding in any direction where he has a right to proceed then the act is wrongful restraint.
However, an exception is given in this section – if a person in good faith obstructs a private way over land or water believing that he has a legal right to do so.
Essential requisite –
- Voluntary act
- Obstructs a person
- Obstruction is preventing the person from proceeding in any direction
- The person who was prevented has a right to proceed
Sovarani Roy v. King, AIR 1950 Cal 157
In this case, if the accused in good faith obstructs a private way over land or water believing that he has a legal right to do so. Then the accused can’t be convicted under the preview of this section.
Punishment for wrongful restraint
Section 341 of Indian Penal Code
Section 341 of Indian Penal Code states that if a person commits wrongful restraint then he shall be punished with imprisonment which may extend to one month or fine which may extend to 500 rupees or both.