I had kept some gold ornaments of my wife worth Rs. 5.0 lakh to my neighbour “X” ( at Kolkata ) on good faith before going on excursion tour. He told that he will keep them in his bank locker ( at Kolkata) . All those items were listed in a plain paper and signed with date by both to avoid any misunderstanding in future . After return from tour, I wanted those back . He did not respond. I complained to Police. Police talked to him (X) and he given in writing to the police that he (X) shall return the same at the earliest. After few days , not getting back , I again gone to police. ( we thereafter , were not in talking terms) .The police could not contact him . He (X) left the place and gone to his another house at Delhi, address of which is not known to me. Mobile was kept off. After about 10 months, he (X) came back and the police forced him to accompany to his bank locker and all the gold items were recovered and given back to me as per the list.
Now, I suffered mental pain with lots of tension for the above 10 months. My wife was not able to use her favourite ornaments thereby suffered mental pain. I asked the police to initiate case against him. Police told that since he has returned ( after long 10 months ! ) , no case is possible.
Now , my question is :- whether any punishment is possible to him (X) as per law for “breach of trust” , if so by which section and what is the punishment for this type of breach of trust. I accept that I committed a mistake and did not have any legal agreement of the above trust. Normally people live in this world with “trust“ only.
Asked in Criminal Law from Kolkata, West Bengal
The police is stating wrong. I believe police acted in this case on the basis of your complaint which may have been turned into FIR.
In that event the ornaments were recovered by police and return of recovery of ornaments does not diminish or dismiss his offence.
So if the police does not act to arrest the person you can file writ petition in high court against police inaction.
People are not fools to live on trust these days. All those faith, trust and genuineness have gone. In your case you please note one thing that he did not approach you to take your items to be kept under his custody, it was you who chose to do it. You wanted your valuable items to be safe during your absence in the town so you found a place to keep it safe. Therefore it is fully your responsibility and not the other person's breach of trust.
In fact you should be happy that he returned all the items though belatedly, suppose he did not return from Delhi and kept dodging you or cheated you fully, even the police would not have been able to recover the same from him because whatever evidence you had will not be sufficient to prove it before court.
Before getting your valuable items you were worried only about it and would have thought that somehow you should get it back or even at the cost of spending some money to retrieve it. But since you have now got it, your inner sense woke up to avenge him. For your information you do not have a case at all against him and also if you had any, your grievance was properly addressed without too many hassles. So there is no cause of action for your proposed legal action against him, better sigh a relief and concentrate on other issues.
Since the ornaments have been returned to you, this doesnt become a case of breach of trust. usually when the offence alleged to be committed is found not have been committed, it does not attract any punishment. If you want, you could seek a direction from the court asking the police to initiate action on the FIR which was lodged by you for recovering the damages. but its a far fetched idea and the court may not also order such an direction. take your call wisely.
1. Police is wrong.
2. Returning the ornaments does not absolve him from the crime he has committed. He can still be prosecuted and punished.
3. Since the police has not acted against him you can sue him for damages.