The explanation makes it clear that even if the capacity of a clerk or servant is temporary or is for a particular occasion, the property held by him on account of his master would be treated to be in the possession of the master. According to the Madras High Court, there must be conscious and intelligent possession and not simply a physical presence of the person near the property.

The Rajasthan High Court has held, that the mere fact that the wife of the accused had in her possession illicit liquor and an unlicensed pistol did not prove that she was in possession of those things on account of her husband, or that he must be held to be in conscious possession of these things. The decision in the Banwari Lal’s case, that a permanent mistress may be regarded as wife, with respect, is not in consonance with the well established principle of statutory construction that penal statutes must be strictly construed. Consequently, the word ‘wife’ used in this section means wife and nothing else.

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