In the Indian Penal Code 1860, Section 411 criminalises persons who dishonestly receive stolen property and are punished for a term that may extend to three years, with fines or with both. In Trimbak v State of Maharashtra, AIR 1954 SC 39, The bench has noted that for a conviction to be made under Section 411 of the Indian Penal Code,1890, the prosecution needs to prove the following three conditions: 

  1. The accused was in possession of the stolen property.
  2. The property was in the possession of someone other than the accused before they got it.
  3. The accused knew that the property was stolen. 

In the case of Shiv Kumar vs State of Madhya Pradesh, [CrA 1503 OF 2022]the Supreme Court held that “prosecution Must Establish That Accused Had Knowledge That Property Was Stolen Property.” The Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, lays down the procedure for dispatching stolen property to the righteous owner. 

Section 457 of the CRPC states that during an inquiry or trial, The Magistrate has the authority to either dispose of the property or deliver it to the rightful owner.


Eshwar S, 5th year B.A, LL. B(Hons.), Veltech School of Law, Chennai.


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