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The word ‘wrongful’ means violating the legal right of another without just cause. The expression ‘unlawful means’ denotes such means as are legally not permissible. In wrongful gain a person gains such property over which he has no legal claim and by such means as are contrary to law.

Similarly, in wrongful loss one loses such property over which he has a legal right to hold and loses the same by such means as are not permitted under law. Acquiring wrongfully and retaining wrongfully both are covered under ‘gaining wrongfully’. Likewise, wrongfully kept out of property and wrongfully deprived of property are both ‘losing wrongfully’ under this section.

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A gain or loss for a short time by unlawful means may be a wrongful gain or wrongful loss. Temporary use of an aircraft by unlawful means was held to be a wrongful loss to the Government. But removal of jute from a pond kept there for wetting by the complainant under the bona fide belief that the accused was the owner of the pond is not wrongful loss.

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