OFFENCES AGAINST PROPERTY- PART 3
This article will provide information on offences like Cheating, Mischief, Forgery which are also comes under offences against property.
Sec 415 of IPC defines Cheating as: Whoever, by deceiving any person, fraudulently or dishonestly induces the person so deceived to deliver any property to any person, or to consent that any person shall retain any property, or intentionally induces the person so deceived to do or omit to do anything which he would not do or omit if he were not so deceived, and which act or omission causes or is likely to cause damage or harm to that person in body, mind, reputation or property, is said to “cheat”.
Explanation.— A dishonest concealment of facts is a deception within the meaning of this section. Eg: A, by falsely pretending to be in the Civil Service, intentionally deceives Z, and thus dishonestly induces Z to let him have on credit goods for which he does not mean to pay. A cheats. Ingredients of Cheating :
- Deception of any person:-
- Fraudulently or dishonestly inducing that person-
- to deliver any property to any person; or
- to consent that any person shall retain any property; or
- intentionally inducing that person to do or omit to do anything which will cause damage to body, mind, reputation or property.
In R S Nayak v. A R Antulay (AIR 1986 SC 2045 ), case, the accused has established a Trust known as Indira Gandhi Pratibha Pratishthan. Here the accused falsely declared that this is a government trust, so that maximum money can be contributed by the public. Here the Court held the accused guilty of cheating.
Punishment for Cheating:
Sec 417 of IPC states that whoever cheats shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to one year, or with fine, or with both.
Cheating by Personation:
Sec 416 of IPC states that a person is said to “cheat by personation” if he cheats by pretending to be some other person, or by knowingly substituting one person for or another, or representing that he or any other person is a person other than he or such other person really is.
Explanation.—The offence is committed whether the individual personated is a real or imaginary person. Eg: A cheats by pretending to be B, a person who is deceased. A cheats by personation.
In Sushil Kumar Datta v. State ((1985) Cr LJ 1948 Cal), case, the accused, projecting himself as a Scheduled Caste candidate appeared at the Indian Administrative Service examination and obtained an appointment in that cadre on the aforesaid false representation. Held, conviction for cheating is justified since he did not belong to Scheduled Caste.
Cheating and Dishonestly Inducing Delivery of Property :
Sec 420 of IPC states that whoever cheats and thereby dishonestly induces the person deceived to deliver any property to any person, or to make, alter or destroy the whole or any part of a valuable security, or anything which is signed or sealed, and which is capable of being converted into a valuable security, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to seven years, and shall also be liable to fine.
Sec 420 is an aggravated form of cheating. Simple cheating is punishable u/s 417. But where there is delivery or destruction of any property or alteration or destruction of any valuable security from the act of the person deceiving section 420 comes into operation. Here it must be proved that the complainant was acting on a representation which was false and the accused had a dishonest intention.
Sec 425 of IPC defines Mischief as: Whoever with intent to cause, or knowing that he is likely to cause, wrongful loss or damage to the public or to any person, causes the destruction of any property, or any such change in any property or in the situation thereof as destroys or diminishes its value or utility, or affects it injuriously, commits “mischief”.
Eg: A voluntarily burns a valuable security belonging to Z intending to cause wrongful loss to Z. A has committed mischief. Ingredients of Mischief :
- There is intention or knowledge to cause wrongful loss or damage to the public or to any person.
- Causing the destruction of some property or any change in it.
- Such change must destroy or diminish its value or utility or it injuriously.
Sec 463 of IPC defines Forgery as: Whoever makes any false document or false electronic record or part of a document or electronic record, with intent to cause damage or injury, to the public or to any person, or to support any claim or title, or to cause any person to part with property, or to enter into any express or implied contract, or with intent to commit fraud or that fraud may be committed, commits forgery.
Ingredients of Forgery :
- There must be making of false document or false electronic record.
- It must have been made with intent:-
- to cause damage or injury to the public or any person; or
- to support any claim or title; or
- to cause any person to part with his property; or
- to enter into any express or implied contract; or
- to commit any fraud or that fraud may be committed
Sec 464 of IPC deals with Making a False Document as: A person is said to make a false document or false electronic record- First -Who dishonestly or fraudulently-
(a) makes, signs, seals or executes a document or part of a document;
(b) makes or transmits any electronic record or part of any electronic record;
(c) affixes any electronic signature on any electronic record;
(d) makes any mark denoting the execution of a document or the authenticity of the electronic signature,
with the intention of causing it to be believed that such document or part of document, electronic record or electronic signature was made, signed, sealed, executed, transmitted or affixed by or by the authority of a person by whom or by whose authority he knows that it was not made, signed, sealed, executed or affixed; or
Secondly.— Who without lawful authority, dishonestly or fraudulently, by cancellation or otherwise, alters a document or an electronic record in any material part thereof, after it has been made, executed or affixed with electronic signature either by himself or by any other person, whether such person be living or dead at the time of such alteration; or
Thirdly.— Who dishonestly or fraudulently causes any person to sign, seal, execute or alter a document or an electronic record or to affix his electronic signature on any electronic record knowing that such person by reason of unsoundness of mind or intoxication cannot, or that by reason of deception practiced upon him, he does not know the contents of the document or electronic record or the nature of the alteration.
Eg: A, without Z’s authority, affixes Z’s seal to a document purporting to be a conveyance of an estate from Z to A, with the intention of selling the estate to B and thereby of obtaining from B the purchase-money. A has committed forgery.
Sec 465 of IPC provides Punishment for forgery as: Whoever commits forgery shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both.
Sec 468 provides Forgery for purpose of cheating as: Whoever commits forgery, intending that the document or electronic record forged shall be used for the purpose of cheating, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to seven years, and shall also be liable to fine.
In State of Orissa v. Rabindra Nath Sahu [(2002) Cri.L.J 2327 (Ori), case, the Court stated that section 468 does not require that the accused should commit the offence of cheating, what is material for the section is committing forgery with the intent to use the forged document for the purpose of cheating. However, if the accused has used the forged document for the purpose of cheating, he becomes liable under Section 468 as well as for committing the offence of cheating.
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