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N.J. MISHRA (Legal Manager)     02 September 2010

SUGGESTIONS ON THEFT CASE

WHEN TWO COMPNAIES ENTERED IN TO AN AGREEMENT WITH A CONDITION THAT ON TERMINATION OF THE AGREEMENT THE COMPNAY ON THE 2ND PART HAS TO RETURNED ALL THE DOCUMENTS, ACCOUNTS DETAILS,  SOFTWARE AND OTHER PROPERTIES TO THE COMPANY ON THE 1ST PART EVEN THOUGH THE SAME IS NOT PROVIDED BY THE COMPANY ON THE 1ST PART, BUT THE COMPANY ON THE 2ND PART CAN RETAIN THE COPIES OF THE SAME

THERE WAS VERBAL COMMUNICATION BETWEEN THE OFFICER OF THE COMPANY ON THE 2ND PART THAT THEY ARE TAKING ALL THE DOCUMENTS, ACCOUNT DETAILS, SOFTWARE FOR THE PURPOSE OF TAKING THE COPIES OF THE SAME. COMPNAY ON THE 1ST PART HAS APPROVED THE SAME.

AFTER SOME DAYS COMPNAY ON THE FIRST PART FILED F.I.R. AGAINST THE OFFICER OF THE COMPANY ON THE 2ND PART U/S. 34, 378 OF I.P.C.

WHETHER THIS ACTION OF THE OFFICER OF THE COMPANY ON 2ND PART AMOUNTS TO THEFT, THERE IS DOCUMENTRY PROOF TO SHOW THAT THE COMPANY ON 1ST PART HAS GIVEN THEREAPPROVAL TO TAKE THE DOCUMANTS FOR COPYING THE SAME



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 3 Replies

thiruppathi c (member)     02 September 2010

this matter cannot come under crime action that only have a civil rights

Bidhan Dave (Advocate)     02 September 2010

Section 378 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 defines ‘Theft’ as follows:- 

 

Theft – Whoever, intending to take dishonestly any movable property out of the possession of any person without that person’s consent, moves that property in order to such taking, is said to commit theft.

Section 22 of I.P.C., 1860 defines “movable property” as follows:-
“The words “movable property” are intended to include corporeal property of every descripttion, except land and things attached to the earth or permanently fastened to anything which is attached to the earth.”

Since Section 378 I.P.C., only refers to “Movable Property” i.e. Corporeal Property, and Data by itself is intangible, it is not covered under the definition of "Theft”. However, if Data is stored in a medium (CD, Floppy etc.) and such medium is stolen, it would be covered under the definition of ‘Theft’, since the medium is a movable property. But, if Data is transmitted electronically, i.e., in intangible form, it would not specifically constitute theft under the IPC.

 

“Data”, in its intangible form, can at best be put at par with electricity. The question whether electricity could be stolen, arose before the Hon’ble Supreme Court in the case “Avtar Singh vs. State of Punjab” (AIR 1965 SC 666). Answering the question, the Supreme Court held that electricity is not a movable property, hence, is not covered under the definition of ‘Theft’ under Section 378 IPC. However, since Section 39 of the Electricity Act extended Section 378 IPC to apply to electricity, so it so became specifically covered within the meaning of “Theft”. It is therefore imperative that a provision like in the Electricity Act be inserted in the IT Act, 2000 to extend the application of section 378 IPC to data theft specifically.

In your case "TAKING ALL THE DOCUMENTS, ACCOUNT DETAILS, SOFTWARE" are with the consent & hence it is not a case of theft

sonu cp dube (student)     03 March 2012

could u pls put up few cases wherein a  theft took place in a jewlry (or any other) showroom, by the employee of the showroom itself. 


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