If a person recieves a property which he knows that it is a stolen property then the person shall be liable under section 410 to 414 of the IPC

Supreme Court of India, AIR 1964 SC170.


The concept of Stolen Property

A “stolen property” is something that has been obtained through or whose possession has been transferred by
i) theft,
ii) extortion, or robbery,
iii) has been criminally misappropriated, or
iv) has had a criminal breach of trust committed against it.

 If the property is later acquired by a person who is legally entitled to possess it, it no longer qualifies as stolen property.

Possessing something that you are aware is stolen is illegal.

Related Acts


The Indian Penal Code, 1860

Under The Indian Penal Code, 1860, Chapter XVII deal with the offences against the property.

Mere Possession of stolen property is not an offence, it must be received and retained dishonestly and with the knowledge that it is a stolen property

Essential ingredients for this offence:

  • the accused has received and retained the stolen property dishonestly.
  • He was aware that the items had been stolen.
  • Property should be a stolen property
  • before the possession by the accused, some other person was having possession of the property.



Section 410, IPC: Stolen Property, definition
Section 411, IPC: Dishonestly receiving stolen property
Section 412, IPC: Receiving stolen property in the commission of dacoity

  • Section 413, IPC: Punishment for Dealing in stolen property
  • Section 414, IPC: Punishment for assisting in the concealment of stolen property

Case Laws


Ajendra Nath Shah vs State of M.P

Supreme Court made the following observation:

  1. Where a person receives or retains a property that he knows or has reason to believe that it is a stolen property, and still keeps it with him, it would be a sufficient reason to believe that he has aided in hiding the said property from being detected and shall be liable under section 410 to 414 of IPC.

Re Mahabir Sao’s case

the Supreme Court stated that so long as the stolen property remains the same in substance, though altered in appearance, it does not cease to be a stolen property

Thus, even if the gold ornaments are melted and have been converted into golden pieces, they shall remain stolen property irrespective of change in their form.




Receiving a stolen property
Possession of stolen property alone does not constitute a crime; it must be received and retained dishonestly and with the knowledge that it is stolen property.

Even though its appearance is changed, the stolen property is still considered stolen because its contents are unchanged.

Dealing in the Stolen property and assisting to conceal the stolen property is also considered a crime.