[Sections 378 To 382, 410 To 414, P.P.C.]
Intention to cause wrongful gain or wrongful loss is the gist of the offence. Where the intention is missing mere removal of the property is not an offence. Where property is temporarily removed and then restored to the owner it is not theft. 36 Cr.LJ 310 Bhura Singh; 12 Luck 92 Rameshwar Singh.
No wrongful gain. It does not matter whether the intention of the in thief was to derive wrongful gain for himself, it is enough if it causes wrongful loss to the owner, 32 Cr.LJ 739 = AIR 1931 Pat. 337 Lal Muhammad. AIR 1946 ag. 326 Madra.
Dishonest intention and wrongful gain or wrongful loss, not established, held, accused cannot be prosecuted for theft. (DB) PLD 1950 Dac. 315 Abdul Aziz Sattar v. Muhammad Ashraf.
Accused cannot be convicted for theft as well as for retaining stolen property for the same goods. Conviction set aside. PLJ 1991 Cr.C. (Lah.) 353 Atta Ullah Khan.
No conviction under both sections 382 & 411, PPC i.e. theft and receiving stolen property ad single sentence for two offences cannot be awarded. PLJ 1991 Cr.C. (Lah.) 252. Muhammad Aslam etc.
Theft, robbery and extortion distinction. In robbery there is either theft or extortion. Theft becomes robbery if the offender causes or attempts to cause to any person, death, hurt, wrongful restrant, fear of instant death, of instant hurt or of instant wrongful restraint. Extortion becomes robbery when the offender puts the person robbed in fear of instant death, hurt, or wrongful restraint. The chief distinguishing factor in robbery is the presence of fear of imminent violence. (DB) PLD 1959 Kar. 648 Muhammad Shafi.
Theft and robbery. Police constable while on patrol duty forcing a lone way-farer at night to go with him to Police post and relieving him of money. Held, despite absence of violence offence was robbery and not theft. PLD 1966 Lah. 379 Muhammad Riaz.
"Stolen property" includes property obtained by theft, extortion, robbery, criminal misappropriation or criminal branch trust. (Sec.410, P.P.C.).
Mere taking away without consent, is not theft unless intention of dishoesty is present. PLD 1960 Dacca 64 Abdul Shah v. Afsar-ud-Din Mollah.
Temporary deprivation of property. Accused by force snatching away a mare temporarily from its owner to obstruct him in making report of murders at Police Station, held offence under Section 392, P.P.C. however, sentence reduced from 5 year's R.I. to 2 years' R.I. PLD 1963 Lah. 384 Saidu.
Theft in a building. A structure merely serving as a facing or other meas of merely preventing going in or coming out cannot make the place a building. 28 Cr.LJ 248 = AIR Mad. 343 Lakshman Goudan, Railway Wagon is not a building. PLD 1951 Bal. 39 Muhammad Rahim v. Crow.
Theft of canal water. Canal water is not movable property as defined in Sec. 378 PPC Offence u/S. 379 PPC wuahsed. PLJ 1997 Lah. 689, Muhammad Sharif.
Recovery of stolen property is not necessary to prove theft. PLD 1952 Lah. 55 Muhammad Yaqub v. Crown.
Retaining stolen property a continuous offence. Acquittal of accused in previous trial no bar to his subsequent prosecution for greater number of articles recovered afterwards though these might have been received at the same time as those in previous trial. PLD 1963 Dacca 719 Tokdar.
Stealing one's own property, taking it away dishonestly from possession of another is theft, vide ill (j) & (k) of Section 378. AIR 1927 Mad. 343 = 28 Cr.LJ 248 Lakshman Goundan.
Removal of debtor's property by creditor to enforce payment of debt against the consent of the debtor, held, commits theft. AIR 1925 Lah. 131 = 5 Cr.LJ 650 Bakhtawar.
Hire Purchase Vehicle. A vehicle given on hire purchase from a company reserving right of seizing it in case of default of instalment. Held, if the company or its agents retake the possession by force or from the hands of purchaser's servants who had no express or implied authority to give consent, the company or its agent is guilty of theft. The question whether ownership had passed to the purchaser is wholly immaterial under Section 379 which deals with possession and not ownership. 17 Luck 663 H.J. Ranson v. Triloki Nath.
Truck driver holding truck adversely to owner with intent to sell it or to remove somewhere. Held, offence under Section 379 complete and prime facie offence also criminal breach of trust. (DB) PLD 1968 Dacca 229 Abdul Halim v. Sadan Ranjan.
Husband and wife can be guilty of theft of each other's property under Islamic Law but not under English Law as husband and wife are supposed to have union of interest between them. (1869) 6 Bombay High Court Reports (Cr. C.) 9 Khatabai.
"Necessitas inducit Privileges quo and jura private." Stealing in extreme want of food or clothing in order to relieve his present necessities is no excuse or defence as it does not fall under Section 94, Penal Code. It may be a mitigating circumstance for the Government to consider. Rattan Lal's Law of Crimes.
Conversion of stolen property. Property into which or for which stolen property has been converted or exchanged is not stolen property. 1881 PR No. 39 of 1881 Subha Chand.
Gold or silver ingots made from gold or silver stolen articles do not cease to be stolen property. If a gold necklace is stolen and exchanged with another gold necklace or a bullock, then the bullock or the exchanged necklace is not stolen property but when stolen gold necklace is melted into a gold ingot, the ingot remains a stolen property as the gold was stolen in the form of gold necklace. (DB) Cr.A. 187 of 1942 decided on 30-6-1940 by Bombay High Court. Ganu Vithu Ghode unreported. When notes of higher denomination, the subject of criminal breach of trust were converted into currency notes of lower denomination, such notes of lower denomination were held to be stolen property. AIR 1944 Sindh 237 = 46 Cr.LJ 243 Suganomal Bhojraj.
Bona fide dispute or claim. When the property is removed in the assertion of a contested claim of right, however ill-founded that claim may be the removal of such disputed property does not amount to theft. ILR 5 Lah. 56 Harnam Singh v. Emp. 27 Cr.LJ 1023 = AIR 1926 Lah. 683 Ismail v. Emp.
Bona fide belief by the accused that the trees he cut away stood on his own land. Accused's claim even if unfounded in law being bona fide, the removal of trees was no offence. 1972 P.Cr.LJ 94 Sharif etc.
Bona fide title. Removal of property on strength of bona fide title is not theft. The claim must not be colourable one, though it may be unfounded in law and fact. (DB) PLD 1965 Dacca 315 Abdul Aziz Sattar v. Muhammad Ashraf. 1969 P.Cr.LJ 285 = 1972 P.Cr.LJ 94 Sharif.
Mistake of fact. A person takes another man's property believing under a mistake of fact and ignorance of law that he has a right to take it. He is not guilty of theft as he had no dishonest intention though he has caused wrongful loss. 42 Cr.LJ 293 = AIR 1941 P. 383 Jay Mahto.
Mistake of law. Accused thinking that certain property is his and he has the right to take the same until the payment of the some balance of money due to him from the vendee, removes such property from the vendee held, the accused is not guilty of theft. ILR 52 Cal. 1015 Hamid Ali Bepari.
Snatching away a Civil document from the hand of a lawyer. Prima facie offence under Section 379 made out. (SC) 1968 SCMR 434 = 1968 P.Cr.LJ 866 Shabir Ahmed.
Exchange of buffalo. Accused taking possession of buffalo which he had exchanged with his won buffalo, held accused not guilty of theft or dacoity. (DB) 1971 P.Cr.LJ 138 Shahu.
Complainant barred under Section 144, Cr.P.C. from entering and possessing disputed land. As the complainant was not in possession, the removal of paddy from such land will not constitute theft. (DB) PLD 1958 Dacca 564 Ishaq Mia v. Abdul Malik.
Illegal seizure of cattle by person having no authority to seize and impugned them is not theft as no dishonest gain or loss is involved per Mahmood Khan J following AIR 1943 Oudh 280. Contra Abdul Aziz (DB) PLD 951 BJ 19.
Taking cattle from cattle pound by the accused was no offence when the person taking them to the pound had no right to do so. 40 Cr.LJ 908 Chittiboyina.
Tenant cutting and removing tree cannot claim any bona fide right to do so. Conviction maintained. PLD 1971 Pesh. 135 Wahab Sadin.
Tenant taking fallen tree from the land in his possession to his house. Held, no offence under Section 379, P.P.C. PLD 1967 Lah. 65 Muhammad Iqbal v. Fazal-ur-Rehman.
Removal of trees by servant under the order of his master in the bona fide belief that the trees belonged to him. Held, servant had not committed theft. ILR 19 Luck. 399 Zamzani v. Crown.
Growing crops removed by a person who had not grown them and cannot escape the liability for theft by merely proving that he was the owner of the land on which the crops were grown. 30 Cr.LJ 511 = AIR 1929 P. 86 Abdul.
" from the field in possession of the accused and Civil suit was pending regarding the land in dispute. Held, the accused was not guilty of theft. 42 Cr.LJ 339 = AIR 1941 P. 369 Goumak Rai v. Emp.
Tenant removing part of produce before its division between him and landlord, held, no offence. PLD 1949 Lah. 187 Manzoor Hussain Shah v. Crown.
Snatching of cooking utensils from bailiff who had attached them under Civil Court decree was not an offence as the utensils were exempt from attachment under CPC Section 60. No theft was committed. AIR 1915 Sindh 25 = 16 Cr.LJ 715 Lunidomal.
Retaking the possession of a boat the balance of price of which had yet to be paid, held no theft by the accused as no dishonest intention was there. 32 Cr.LJ 287 = AIR 1930 Bom. 488 Sita Bai Purshotam.
No explanation of possession of stolen property offered by accused nor its ownership claimed, leave to appeal refused by Supreme Court. (SC) 1968 SCMR 15 = 1968 P.Cr.LJ 417 Ghulam Hussain.
Recovery immediately after theft, of stolen goods, from possession of accused. Held, accused rightly convicted under Section 411, PPC. (SC) 1970 SCMR 867 Ainul Haq.
Person found in possession of recently stolen property. The Court can presume that he was a thief or he received the goods knowing them to be stolen. The presumption can be rebutted by the accused by giving a reasonable explanation of his possession of the articles in question. The accused is not bound to establish beyond all doubt that he obtained the goods innocently. The view that the onus of proof shifts on the accused when the Crown shows that he was in possession of recently stolen property is erroneous. 43 Cr.LJ (1942) Pat. 355 Laloo Kahar v. Emp.
Possession of stolen property a few days after robbery. Accused convicted under Section 411, PPC and not for robbery. (DB) PLD 1956 Lah. 157 Fateh Sher v. Crown. PLD 1957 Lah. 261 Wali Muhammad.
Two months after theft the stolen property was found in possession of the accused, held there was no presumption against the accused under Section 411, Penal Code. AIR 1923 Mad. 365 Ranurdu Aiyar; PLD 1963 Kar. 1010 Raza Muhammad.
Recovery after 2 months, list of stolen articles not supplied with FIR. Articles recovered not proved to have been stolen. Accused acquitted. 1972 P.Cr.LJ 10 Saidu.
Possession of stolen buffalo 5 or 6 or even 4 or 5 months after the offence is not such possession as will constitute proof of an offence under Section 411, IPC. (DB) 43 Cr.LJ 771 (Sindh) Hashim v. Emp. AIR 1942 Kar. 186.
Possession not sufficiently recent. Possession of stolen horse 6 months after it was lost and there was no other evidence against the accused. The accused was not called upon for his evidence as the possession was not sufficiently recent. 17 Cr.LJ 68 = AIR Lah. 288 Mangaya Shah.
Stolen bullock recovered after 15 months of theft held because of long lapse of time between theft and recovery the one of proving innocent possession should not have been cast upon the accused. The accused when asked to explain his possession of the animal gave an unsatisfactory answer. Held, it was not a sufficient ground for his conviction. AIR 1928 Lah. 687 = Cr.LJ 464 Narain Singh v. Emp.
Possession 7 months after theft. Stolen horse found in possession 6 or 7 months after theft or a stray camel recovered after 7 months. There being no other evidence except possession the accused ought not to be called to account for it. AIR 1916 Lah. 288. (This question is very ably discussed and ingredients of Section 411 read with Section 114, Evidence Act are very lucidly stated by Chief Justice of Calcutta High Court in 1952 Cr.LJ 1298 (Ind.) Bhardwaj Singh.
Lapse of time is important factor. Cycle found in possession of accused after one year. Presumption of guilt does not arise. Where the accused has produced a receipt before the Court in support of his plea that he purchased the cycle from a certain person, the fact that he did not produce the receipt before the Police is not of any value. The accused had offered a reasonable explanation to the Court. (DB) 47 Cr.LJ 599 Crown v. Dood Nath Singh 224 Ind. Cas. 372 = AIR 1946 Sindh 153.
Recovery 3 years after theft, very clear evidence is required to show that he must have known it to be stolen. AIR 1914 Lah. 84 = 15 Cr.LJ 521 Lah. Singh v. Emp.
Joint possession. Recovery of articles subject of dacoity recovered from a house occupied by several persons is not sufficient to prove that anyone of such persons is guilty under section 412, P.P.C. (DB) PLD 1958 Dacca 419. Asmat Faqir. PLD 1962 Kar. 270 Akan.
House jointly shared. Guilty possession of the accused is not established when stolen property is recovered from an unlocked box lying in the house jointly shared by the accused with his brother and father. (DB) PLD 1955 Sindh 65 Khan v. Crown. (DB) PLD 1958 Dacca 419 = PLD 1962 Kar. 270.
Possession not exclusive. Recovery of stolen articles from a house occupied by several persons not sufficient to prove that anyone of such persons was guilty under Section 412 or 411, PPC. (DB) PLD 1958 Dacca 419 Asmat Faqir. (SC) PLD 1978 SC 64 = PLJ 1978 SC 173 State v. Qazi Parvez Iqbal.
" Rifle and cartridges dug out and recovered from spot pointed out by accused. Conviction without proof of exclusive possession of the spot by the accused is not legal. PLD 1965 Lah. 386 Rehmat. ILR 6 Lah. 151 and AIR 1943 Pesh. 20 rel.
Possession not of house master. Recovery of illicit liquor from the house where respondent, his wife and children and father lived, held, where articles are found in a house in such a place or places as several persons living in the house may have access to, there is no presumption that these articles are in the possession and control of any other person than the house master. (DB) ILR 11 Lah. 305 Crown v. Binjha. (DB) ILR 9 Lah. 531 Dullah Singh v. Emperor. (FB) ILR 26 Lah. 137 Crown v. Santa Singh.
Possession of the house not exclusive. Stolen goods recovered at the instance of the accused from that house. Conviction set aside. PLD 1962 Kar. 270 Akan.
Possession not exclusive yet guilty. The accused did not explain how he knew the concealment of firearms recovered at his instance, though the place not exclusively owned by him, yet the possession of the accused held established and conviction upheld. 1970 P.Cr.LJ 668 Rajab Ali.
Possession not exclusive: acquitted. Accused and his father tried under Sections 380 and 411, P.P.C. Father acquitted but son convicted under Section 411, P.P.C. for pointing out a stolen trunk recovered from the house jointly occupied by father and son. Possession not exclusive, benefit of doubt given to the son and acquitted. (SC) 1972 SCMR 28 Ghulam Muhammad.
Joint possession. A person having a joint possession with a thief may be convicted as a receiver. If the stolen property is found in joint possession of two or more persons all of them may be convicted. There is no justification for the view there cannot be joint criminal possession. AIR 1933 Lah. 148 = 34 Cr.LJ 604 = 34 PLR 576 Diwan Singh v. Emp.
Joint family possession. Stolen property found in a house occupied by several persons is not enough to show that the property was found in the house to convict a member of the family who might have had nothing to do with bringing or keeping it there. 21 Cr.LJ 40 = AIR 1939 (Oudh.) 32 Bashir Ahmed Khan.
Recovery of property subject of dacoity from place not in possession of accused. In case of dacoity the only evidence against the accused was that he produced stolen property from under a tree in field not belonging to him, it was held that the evidence was enough to prove his complicity in the commission of dacoity. The accused could not be said to be in exclusive possession of the stolen property as anybody could have access to the tree in the field where it was buried so he could not be convicted under Section 411 or 412 , Penal Code. ILR 12 Luck 88 Ram Autar v. Crown.
Place accessible to Public. 2 bottles of liquor recovered from a sweetmeat shop kept by the accused, father and son. The portion of the shop from where liquor was recovered was accessible to Public. The possession of liquor by shopkeeper not established. AIR 1925 Lah. 437 Bahali v. Emperor.
Stolen property concealed in Public place merely pointed out by the accused to the Police is not enough to hold that the accused knew it to be stolen property or he himself had concealed it. (DB) PLD 1966 Dacca 98 Manjil Fakir.
Possession of accused. Recovery of stolen goods from a thick bush; near the house of the accused, at his pointing out. Accused not explaining how he came to know of it. Property presumed to be in possession of the accused. PLD 1962 Kar. 288 Jiando. 1970 P.Cr.LJ 293.
Recovery from dera of accused from under sugarcane bagasse, of stolen property. Held, inference could rightly be drawn that the accused had hidden the stolen articles there knowing them to be such. (SC) 1969 SCMR 294 Munir.
Recovery from accused's mother. Mere fact that the stolen property was recovered from the possession of accused's mother at his house is not sufficient to connect accused with retention or possession of such property. Conviction set aside. (DB) PLD 1965 Dac. 204 Nur Muhammad.
Conscious and voluntary possession. The rule as to the exclusive possession is based on the principle that possession must be conscious and voluntary. When the article is small that it might have been placed in the house by another inmate and overlooked by the accused, the accused cannot be said to be in possession because he was not conscious of the presence of the article. 8 Cr.LJ 184 Jumo v. Emp.
Presumption of theft of stolen property under section 114 of Evidence Act. The presumption is rebutable. Possession of stolen property after two years is not recent enough to raise such presumption. The prosecution must also show that the accused knew or had reasonable grounds to believe that the property was stolen. (SC) PLD 1971 SC 725 Mukhtar Ali. When a person is found in possession of property immediately after theft his conviction under Section 411, PPC is proper. (SC) 1970 SCMR 867 Ain-ul-Haq.
Proof of theft for conviction u/S. 411 is not necessary. AIR 1926 Lah. 640. Ismail.
No case registered for theft, conviction u/S. 411, PPC not sustainable. It cannot be said that the petitioners were keeping stolen property knowing it to be such. PLJ 1991 Cr.C. (Lah.) 362 Khizar Hayat.
Pointing out stolen property. The mere fact that a person points out a place where stolen property is concealed, if the place is not in his own house or field but is in the field of another man, is not sufficient to entitle the Court to find that the person who pointed out the stolen article had received it, or retained it knowing it to be stolen. There must be some evidence which suggests that the accused himself concealed the article in the place where it was found. 1916 PR No. 2 of 1917 = 18 Cr.LJ 29 Barkat Ali. AIR 1921 Lah. 385 Indar Singh. (DB) PLD 1966 Dac. 98 Manjil Farkir.
Voluntary production of stolen property by the accused before the Police in order to assist them in investigation, it cannot be said to give rise to a presumption that he is the receiver of the stolen property in the criminal sense. On the contrary the presumption would rather be that he had a clear conscience in the matter. 204 IC 226 = AIR 1943 Lah. 4 = 44 Cr.LJ 186 Hata v. Crown. PLD 1963 Kar. 1010 Raza Muhammad.
In absence of the proof of guilty knowledge or reasonable belief of the goods being stolen, when recent possession after theft is established, if the accused gives probable explanation, though not absolutely convincing he is entitled to acquittal. (PC) AIR 1943 PC 211 Otto George v. The King.
Possession simpliciter of stolen property is no offence. Conviction under Section 411, PPC is not sustainable unless prosecution not only prove the property to be stolen but also establish fact from which Court could properly infer that the accused either knew or had reasonable ground for believing property to be stolen. Possession of stolen property after 2 years of theft, held, not recent to justify inference under section 114 ill. (a) of Evidence Act. (SC) PLD 1971 SC 725 Mukhtar Ali.
No specific mark of identification. Stolen clothes recovered from accused of ordinary type, and bearing no specific mark of identification. Neither washerman nor tailor proved ownership. Petitioner acquitted. (DB) 1971 P.Cr.LJ 955 Bahadar Khan.
Case property not produced in Court in a theft case. Only number and make of cycle as mentioned in FIR and recovery memo put to the accused. Case property not having been properly proved, prosecution, held, vitiated. Conviction set aside. 1976 P.Cr.LJ 1063. Ghulam Shabir.
Property not produced in Court and also not properly described. Accused given benefit of doubt. 1974 P.Cr.LJ 219 Khair-ud-Din.
Stolen property not produced in Court and not identified at the time of evidence by the complainant and witnesses. Conviction set aside. PLJ 1990 Cr.C. (Lah.) 231. Wahid Bukhsh.
Stolen property, amplifier, not produced in Court at the time of recording of evidence, hence it cannot be said that the amplifier recovered from the accused was the same which had been stolen. Accused acquitted. PLJ 1991 Cr.C. (Lah. ) 409. Muhammad Sadiq. Also see PLJ 1991 Cr.C. (Lah.) 410. Muhammad Bashir.
Stolen property not produced in a theft case in the Court, maker of FIR also not produced, held prosecution had failed to prove its case. PLJ 1991 Cr.C. (Lah.) 393 Tariq Mahmood.
Whether articles recovered subject of theft or dacoity. (Sections 411 & 412, PPC). The prosecution must prove  that the articles recovered were subject of dacoity and the accused knew it, in offence under Sec. 412, otherwise the presumption could be only that the accused knew that the goods were stolen property in the circumstances of the case. PLD 1957 Lah. 261 Wali Muhammad.
Separate conviction under Sections 379 and 411, PPC for same property is not legal. Recovery of stolen property is only evidence of theft when accused from whom the recovery is made is himself the thief. PLD 1949 Bal. 15 Khano v. Crown.
Charge of theft and rioting. In a case of rioting every member of the unlawful assembly cannot be charged with theft unless each member is proved to have committed theft. (DB) PLD 1959 Dacca 139 Abdul Hamid.
Single or more offences. Property alleged to be part of 9 different thefts of 3 different dates but recovered from accused at one and the same time. In the absence of evidence to prove that stolen articles were received at 3 different times, 3 different convictions and sentences cannot be sustained. (FC) PLD 1955 FC 183 Rafi-ud-Din v. Crown.
Single or several thefts. Several articles belonging to different persons were removed by one single act, held it was offence of theft. 2 Cr.LJ 708 = 6 PLR 503 Har Dial v. Emp.
Theft hadd and Nisab. No evidence recorded about value of 4.457 grams of gold on date of offence. No expert evidence to determine the value of the stolen bullocks on record. Held, conviction for theft liable to hadd cannot be maintained. PLJ 1985 FSC 43. Arbab.
Tazkia-ul-Shahood about witnesses being truthful and whether they abstained from major sins not properly observed, held, conviction for theft liable to hadd cannot be maintained. PLJ 1985 FSC 43 Arbab.
Whipping in lieu of imprisonment for an offence under Section 381 cannot be awarded. PLD 1960 Kar. 454. Ali Hussain Khan.