What Breaches of Contracts are Punishable in India as an Offence? (Section 491, I.P.C)
The authors of the Code observe that in general a mere breach of contract ought not to be an offence, but only to be the subject of the civil action. To this general rule there are, however, some exceptions. Some breaches of contract are very likely to cause evil, misery and distress such as no damages or only very high damages can repair, and are also very likely to be committed by persons from whom it is exceedingly improbable that any damages can be obtained.
Such breaches of contract are, they conceive, proper subject for penal legislation. Persons who contract to take care of infants, of the sick and of the helpless, lay themselves under an obligation of a very peculiar kind, and may with property be punished if they omit to discharge their duty.