SECTION 341 IPC - Indian Penal Code - Punishment for wrongful restraint

Last Updated: 01 Sep, 2023
By Advocate Chikirsha Mohanty


Description of IPC Section 341

According to section 341 of Indian penal code, Whoever wrongfully restrains any person shall be punished with simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to one month, or with fine which may extend to five hundred rupees, or with both.

IPC 341 in Simple Words

Section 341 of the Indian Penal Code states that anyone who wrongfully restrains a person can be punished with simple imprisonment for up to one month, or a fine of up to five hundred rupees, or both.

Cited by

Offence : Wrongfully restraining any person

Punishment : Simple Imprisonment for 1 Month or Fine or Both

Cognizance : Cognizable

Bail : Bailable

Triable : Any Magistrate


Section 341, Indian Penal Code (“IPC”) prescribes punishment for the offence of ‘wrongful restraint’. The offence of ‘wrongful restraint’ is defined under Section 339, IPC.

In order to understand Section 341, IPC it is important that we first look at Section 339, IPC.

Section 339: Wrongful restraint

Whoever voluntarily obstructs any person so as to prevent that person from proceeding in any direction in which that person has a right to proceed, is said wrongfully to restrain that person.

Exception – The obstruction of a private way over land or water which a person in good faith believes himself to have a lawful right to obstruct, is not an offence within the meaning of this section.

Section 341: Punishment for wrongful restraint

Whoever wrongfully restrains any person shall be punished with simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to one month, or with fine which may extend to five hundred rupees, or with both.

The crux of Section 341, IPC lies in our understanding of what constitutes ‘wrongful restraint’ under Section 339, IPC.

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The offence of ‘wrongful restraint’ is defined under Section 339, IPC.

Wrongful restraint means obstructing a man from moving from one place to another where he has a right to be and wants to go. Malice is not the necessary element of the offence under this Section. Restraint means an abridgement of the liberty of a person against his will. However, when a person is deprived of his will power to movement by sleep or otherwise he cannot be said to have been subject to any restraint.

What the section contemplates is that there must be an obstruction attributable directly to the person charged. The obstructor must intend, or know, or have reason to believe it to be likely that the means adopted by him would cause obstruction to the complainant.

The essential ingredients that go into the making of an offence under Section 339, IPC are:

1. That the accused must have caused obstruction to a person, voluntarily i.e., -

  • With the intention to obstruct that person; or

  • With the knowledge that his act is likely to obstruct that person; or

  • With the reason to believe that his act is likely to obstruct that person;

2. That the obstruction must be such as to prevent that person from proceeding in any direction in which he has a right to proceed.


Obstruction, for the purpose of Section 339, IPC may be directed into a channel different from the direction in which the victim intends to move. It, though physical, may be caused by use of menaces and threats as well.

Neither physical presence of the obstructor nor an actual assault is necessary to constitute an offence under this Section.

The offence is determined by the effect caused and not by the nature of the act by which it is brought about.

One section of community cannot obstruct the use of public street by another section. E.g., when a Brahman obstructed the complainant, an Izahava convert to Arya Samaj, from using a road and also took him to task, the accused was held liable for wrongful restraint.

Exception: Good faith defence to wrongful restraint

if the obstruction is made in good faith and the accused believed himself to have a lawful right to obstruct, no offence is committed. A person is justified in obstructing another from entering into a private way, over land or water, over which he has a legal right to obstruct.

There can be no conviction unless there is a finding that a right has been interfered with.

So as to understand Section 339, IPC better, let us imagine the following –

- A obstructs a path along which Z has a right to pass, A not believing in good faith that he has a right to stop the path. Z is thereby prevented from passing. A wrongfully restrains Z.

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Section 341, IPC is the penal provision for the offence of ‘wrongful restraint’ that has been defined under Section 339, IPC.

According to Section 341, IPC whoever wrongfully restrains any person shall be punished with simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to one month, or with fine which may extend to five hundred rupees, or with both.


In India, the mechanism for criminal justice delivery assumes shape of a criminal trial which is governed by the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (‘CrPC’).

The trial under Section 341, IPC takes a journey similar to the trials conducted for other criminal offences. Broadly, the procedure for a trial takes the steps - as have been enumerated below, beginning from the filing of an FIR to the final verdict by the court:

1. Investigation - FIR, Arrest, Remand and Bail

i) First Information Report (FIR) - Criminal procedure is set into motion with the filing of an FIR or First Information Report by the victim or an aggrieved person. This marks the beginning of investigation by police into the case.

ii) Arrest - FIR is soon followed by the arrest of the accused person (person who has allegedly committed the offence) by the police and his subsequent production before the Magistrate. Such production must be made within 24 hours of the arrest of the accused person.

iii) Remand/ Custody - At the time of such production if the investigating officer believes that the investigation cannot be completed within 24 hours i.e., the police need more time with the accused for the purpose of interrogation etc., the officer will file an application before the same Magistrate seeking an extension in custody of the accused. Now, depending on the discretion of the Magistrate, such detention may be authorised in police custody (lock-up) or in judicial custody (jail).

However, it is to be noted that a Magistrate cannot authorise detention of an accused in police custody for a period exceeding the initial 15 days (from the date of the production of the accused before the Magistrate).

On the other hand, a Magistrate under Section 167 (2)(a), CrPC may authorize the detention of the accused in judicial custody beyond the period of initial fifteen days, if he is satisfied that adequate grounds exist for doing so. However, no magistrate shall authorize custody for more than -

- Ninety days, where the investigation relates to an offence punishable with death, imprisonment for life or imprisonment for a term not less than ten years;

- Sixty days, where the investigation relates to any other offence.

iv) Bail - If upon the expiry of 60 or 90 days, as the case may be, the police is unable to complete the investigation and file a chargesheet (as corresponds to the offence) with the Magistrate, the accused is entitled to default bail i.e., such bail is compulsorily granted to the accused provided he applies for and furnishes bail.

However, during the 60- or 90-day period, as the case may be, while the accused is still under custody of the police or otherwise, he may keep pushing for the grant of regular bail under Section 437 or 439, CrPC by the Magistrate or the High Court/Court of Sessions, respectively.

2. Filing of Final Report by the Police

The police after completing the investigation have to file a final report under Section 173, CrPC. This marks the conclusion of the investigation which is aimed at collecting evidence surrounding the commission of the offence.

The final report may take one of the following forms:

i) Closure Report

ii) Charge Sheet

Closure Report

If the evidence collected against the accused is found to be deficit i.e., there is not enough evidence to support prosecution of the accused before a Court of law justifying his further detention in the custody, then the police will file a closure report under Section 169, CrPC and release the accused on his executing a bond/ signing an undertaking for his appearance, if and when so required, before a Magistrate.

In other words, a closure report is filed when the police have little or no evidence in support of the fact that the offence has been committed by the concerned accused.

The police officer is bound to notify the informant (who gets an FIR lodged) the fact that a final report relating to his case has been submitted to the Magistrate.

Upon presentation of the closure report to the Magistrate, he is open to proceed with any of the following four options:

1) He may accept the closure report and refuse to take cognizance of the offence. Result, the case doesn’t proceed further.

2) He may reject the closure report and instead take cognizance of the offence under Section 190, CrPC.

Result, the case proceeds to the next stage.

3) Without rejecting the closure report he may direct the investigating agency to conduct further investigation into the matter, if he thinks that there is some gap that needs filling-up.

4) If an informant challenges such closure report by filing a protest petition, the Magistrate shall proceed to adjudicate upon the same following which he may take or refuse to take cognizance of the offence.

If the Magistrate takes cognizance of the offence under Section 190, CrPC he would issue summons to the accused, under Section 204, CrPC thereby directing his appearance before himself.

Charge Sheet

If the evidence collected against the accused is found to be sufficient i.e., there is enough evidence to support prosecution of the accused before a Court of law and that justifies his continued detention in the custody, then the police will file a charge sheet under Section 173, CrPC and will forward the accused under custody to the Magistrate under Section 170, CrPC.

A charge sheet is a formal police record which is drawn out in a format prescribed by the State, stipulating the various particulars relating to the case, like names of the parties involved; nature of the accusations levelled; list of witnesses, statements of witnesses recorded during their examination under Section 161, CrPC; whether any offence appears to have been committed and, if so, by whom; whether the accused has been arrested and
whether he has been forwarded in custody under Section 170, CrPC or whether he has been released on his bond; list of objects seized and other documentary evidences that the prosecution seeks to rely on.

Once the Magistrate takes cognizance on the charge sheet, he shall issue summons or warrant (depending on the nature of the offence committed) to the accused thereby securing his attendance before himself on a given date.

The Magistrate on the date fixed will conduct a hearing on charges and may consequently either discharge the accused and close the case or he may frame the charges against the accused and post the case for trial.

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3. Plea of Guilty or Not Guilty by the Accused

After the charges have been formally framed, they will be read over and explained to the accused by the Magistrate. Thereafter, the accused would be asked whether he pleads guilty to such charge or not.

If the accused pleads guilty, the Magistrate shall record such plea and may convict him thereupon. However, it is to be noted that the responsibility lies with the Magistrate to ensure that the plea of guilt is made voluntarily by the accused and that is why he reserves the discretion to convict the accused on such plea.

If the accused does not plead guilty i.e., if he claims trial, the Magistrate shall post the case for trial.

4. Evidence for Prosecution

On the day fixed for the prosecution evidence, the Court invites the prosecution to lead the evidence and prove the guilt of the accused beyond reasonable doubt. The prosecution may establish the guilt with the help of oral or documentary evidence.

The prosecution witnesses are summoned and examined or are asked to produce any document or thing in support of their version of events.

These witnesses may be subject to cross-examination if the defence counsel so desires.

5. Statement of the Accused

After the prosecution concludes its evidence, the same is put to the accused i.e., he is given an opportunity to explain the circumstances appearing in evidence against him and to say in his defence what he wants to, in his own words. This mandate is captured under Section 313, CrPC. The purpose of such statement is to establish a direct dialogue between the Court and the accused so as to enable him to give his explanation.

This statement is not taken on oath and anything recorded as part of it can be used against the accused at a later stage.

6. Evidence for Defence

After recording the statement of the accused, the Court invites the defence to present evidence, if any. However, the accused is not required to mandatorily enter upon his defence as the burden of proof lies on the prosecution to prove the charge against the accused beyond reasonable doubt.

If the accused has any evidence (oral or documentary) it is presented before the Court at this stage. This is an opportunity for him to punch holes in the prosecution story for which it can call upon and examine witnesses.

7. Final Arguments

As per Section 314, CrPC, after the close of the evidence both parties take turns - first, the prosecution and then the defence - to make final oral arguments in front of the judge. Final arguments are presented by the Public Prosecutor and the Defence counsel.

8. Judgment

After studying the facts and circumstances of the case, analysing the evidence produced by both the parties in support of their versions and hearing the arguments advanced by each of them, the judge decides, based on strong reasons, whether to convict or acquit the accused. This is known as the judgment.

If the accused is pronounced ‘guilty’ upon trial, he is convicted of the charge and if pronounced ‘not-guilty’, he is acquitted of the charge in the judgement.

If the accused is convicted, then both sides are heard on quantum of sentence i.e., what punishment should he be given. This is usually done if the punishment prescribed is that of life imprisonment or death.

After hearing the arguments on the sentence, the court finally decides what punishment should the accused be sentenced to. Various theories of punishment are considered like the reformative theory and the deterrent theory of punishment etc. Also, considerations like age, background, and history of the accused are given due thought before arriving at a decision on the punishment.

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The fundamental principles of appeal under CrPC are as follows:

  • An appeal is a creature of statute.

  • No inherent right to file an appeal.

  • No appeal only against conviction.

  • No appeal in petty cases.

  • Generally, there is no appeal on conviction on a plea of guilt.

It needs to be pointed out that except for the statutory provisions laid down under the CrPC or any other law for the time being in force, an appeal cannot lie from any judgment or an order of a criminal court. Thus, there is no vested right to appeal as such as even the first appeal will be subjected to statutory limitations. The justification behind this principle is that the courts which try a case are competent enough with the presumption that the trial has been conducted fairly. However, as per the Section 372, CrPC the victim has a right to appeal against any order passed by the Court under special circumstances comprising of a judgment of acquittal, conviction for lesser offence or inadequate compensation.

Generally, same sets of rules and procedures are employed to govern the appeals in the Sessions Courts and High Courts (highest court of appeal in a state and enjoys more powers in matters where appeal is permissible). The highest court of appeal in the country is the Supreme Court and hence, it enjoys the most extensive discretionary and plenary powers in the cases of appeals. Its powers are largely governed by the provisions laid down in CrPC, Indian Constitution, and the Supreme Court (Enlargement of Criminal Appellate Jurisdiction), 1970.

The law provides a person who has been convicted of a crime to appeal to the Supreme Court or the High Court or the Sessions Court as per the circumstances.

The accused has been given the right to appeal to the Supreme Court against the judgment of the High Court if the High Court has reversed an order of his acquittal on appeal by convicting him, thereby, sentencing him to imprisonment for life or for ten years or more, or to death.

A similar right to appeal has been granted to one or all accused persons if more than one person has been convicted in a trial and such order has been passed by the court.

However, there are certain circumstances under which no appeal shall lie. These provisions have been laid down under Section 265G, Section 375 and Section 376 of the CrPC.


Yes, since the offence of ‘punishment for wrongful restraint’ under Section 341, IPC is a cognizable offence, a police officer can arrest a person suspected to have committed such offence without warrant from the Court (a warrant is a Court-order authorising a police officer to carry out an arrest).


Yes, the offence under Section 341, IPC is bailable.

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Since the offence under Section 341, IPC is a bailable one, an accused arrested in the alleged commission of the same can apply for bail before the Investigating Officer, or if he is forwarded to the Court of Magistrate, before such Magistrate. Bail in a bailable offence can be granted by both the Court or the Investigating Officer.

In a bailable case, an accused is entitled to bail as a matter of right; it is not a favour bestowed on him by the authorities.

In such offences, the Officer or the Court does not reserve any discretion in the grant of bail. Bail can be claimed as of right and there is a statutory duty imposed upon the Police Officer as well as the Court to release a person on bail if he is prepared to give bail.

Hon’ble Supreme Court has held in a case that as soon as it appears that the accused person is prepared to give bail, the police officer or the court before whom he offers to give bail, is bound to release him on such terms as to bail as may appear to the officer or the court to be reasonable. It would even be open to the officer or the court to discharge such person on his executing a bail-bond as provided in Section 436, CrPC instead of taking bail from him. Though bail, in bailable offences, is a matter of right, the accused can be remanded to custody for breach of the conditions of bail/bail bond.

Bail-Bond is a document of promise signed by the accused whereby an accused is set at large on the condition that he will not flee the authorities, will cooperate in investigation, will not threaten witnesses or tamper with the evidence.

Bail is a document whereunder an accused and/or his surety is required to deposit security in the form of either cash or property papers (RC of a vehicle etc.,) with the court/police with the view to ensure accused’s compliance with the conditions of the bond. In the event of its non-compliance the security amount will be forfeited. (Surety is the person who gives guarantee for the compliance of the bail conditions by the accused and that he will present himself before the court/police as & when required).

It is beneficial to take assistance from an experienced criminal lawyer in matters of bail.


As per Section 320, CrPC the offence under Section 341, IPC is compoundable i.e., law allows for a compromise to be recorded between the victim (the person restrained) and the offender.


1. “One day, my friend had come to my place to join me in kite-flying. My parents were not at home when he came. We headed straight to the rooftop. After some time, he insisted I fetch some snacks from the market while he does some more of the sport. Meanwhile, our housemaid, came to the terrace and mistaking my friend for a thief who has broken into the house, removed the ladder from the rooftop, thereby detaining him. My friend kept pleading her but she didn’t budge; didn’t allow him an exit. I on the other hand, had gotten stuck in a bad traffic jam and was able to reach home pretty late. I realised that my friend had been stranded on the rooftop for more than 2 hours. He suffered from a heat stroke. My friend’s mom filed an FIR against our house help under section 341, IPC. My father consulted a lawyer through LawRato on behalf of our housemaid. The lawyer informed my father of the benefit of the exception of good faith under Section 339, Indian penal code. He also informed him of the fact that a compromise can be entered to between the accused and the victim. Thanks to our lawyer, we have entered into a compromise with my friend. It's sorted quickly than it started.”

- Vicky Bhanot

2. “Since past few months my landlord had been unduly picking up fights with me over trivial issues. I had been paying my rent on time and had not violated any of the terms of the rent agreement. Neither is my tenancy coming to an end. He one day, out of the blue, blocked my entry into my own rented apartment and locked me out of it. I consulted a lawyer through LawRato who helped me file an FIR against my landlord under Section 341, IPC for wrongfully restraining me from my property. The investigation is underway and I am confident that my landlord will be taken to task for his illegal act.”

- Sahil Madan

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Being charged with an offence, whether major or minor, is a serious matter.

A person facing criminal charge risks undergoing not only harsh punishments in the form of imprisonment and heavy fines but also unpleasant social consequences like getting defamed by a criminal record to your name, reputational loss that can have a bearing on one’s personal and professional life, having to endure expensive, lengthy and distressing criminal proceedings etc. While some legal matters can be handled alone, a criminal arrest of any nature warrants legal advice of a qualified criminal lawyer who can guide you about your rights and secure the best possible outcome for your case.

If you're facing criminal prosecution, a criminal lawyer can help you understand:

  • The nature of the charges filed;

  • Your rights before and after an arrest;

  • Any defences that may be available;

  • What plea bargains are likely to be offered; and

  • What is expected after trial or conviction.

One should ideally prepare a timeline of events and take it down on a piece of paper so that it is easier to brief the lawyer about the case. This will also help the lawyer to formulate a strategy to successfully conduct the trial and convince the court to adjudge in your favour.

Further, it is important to have a fair understanding of the law involved with respect to the case. One must sit with the lawyer and understand the procedure as well as the law governing the case. It is also critical to perform your own research and understand the risks involved and how you can overcome the same.

Hence, having by your side a criminal lawyer can prove to be of immense help when charged with an offence as under section 341, IPC.

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FAQ's on IPC Section 341

What offence is defined under IPC 341?

IPC 341 Offence: Wrongfully restraining any person.

What is the punishment for IPC 341 Case?

The punishment for IPC 341 is Simple Imprisonment for 1 Month or Fine or Both.

Is IPC 341 cognizable offence or non-cognizable offence?

IPC 341 is a Cognizable.

How to file/defend your case for IPC 341 offence?

Use LawRato for filing/defending your case under IPC 341 with the help of best criminal lawyers near you.

Is IPC 341 bailable or non-bailable offence?

IPC 341 is a Bailable offence.

In what court can IPC 341 be tried?

IPC 341 is tried in the court of Any Magistrate.

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