This Article deals with the concept of cheating under IPC. It give a conceptual understanding of cheating. This article also provide landmark cases related to cheating under IPC. You can download the the PDF from the link given. 

Which IPC section is for cheating?

  • Section 415- Cheating
  • Section 416- Cheating by personation
  • Section 417- Punishment for Cheating
  • Section 418- Cheating with knowledge that wrongful loss may ensue to person whose interest offender is bound to protect.
  • Section 419- Punishment for cheating by personation
  • Section 420- Cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property

What is cheating under IPC?

Hawkins defines cheating as, “deceitful practices, in defrauding or endeavoring to defraud another of his own right by means of some artful device, contrary to the plain rule of common honesty”.
Cheating= Deceiving + Inducing
  • By fraudulently deceiving and inducing the person so deceived
    • to deliver any property, or
    • to consent to the retention of any property by any person
  • By dishonestly inducing the person to deliver any property or to give consent to the retention of any property
  • By Intentionally inducing the person deceived to do or to omit to do anything which he would not have done, if he was not so deceived and such act of him caused or was likely to cause damage, or harm in body, mind, reputation or property.

What is the law of 420?

Section 420 is an aggravated form of cheating and provides enhanced punishment which may extend to 7 years of imprisonment and fine.
  • That the representation made by the accused was false, 
  • The accused knew that the representation was false at the very time when he made it,
  • That the accused made the false representation with the dishonest intention of deceiving the person to whom it was made, 
  • That the accused thereby induced that person to deliver any property or to do or to omit to do something which he would otherwise not have done or omitted.
Abhayanand Mishra v. State of Bihar, AIR 1961 SC 1698
The appellant applied to Patna University for permission to appear at the 1954 M.A. examination in English as a private candidate, representing that he was a graduate having obtained his B.A. degree in 1951 and that he had been teaching in a school. In support of his candidature, he attached certain certificates purporting to be from the Headmaster of the school and the Inspector of Schools.  Thereupon, an admission card giving him permission to appear in the M.A. examination was sent. Later, just before the commencement of the examination it was discovered that the certificates were forged and that the accused had neither obtained a B.A. degree nor was he a teacher. Held, by making the false statement about his being a graduate and a teacher in the application submitted to the University, the accused did deceive the University. His intention clearly was to make the University give him permission to appear in the M.A. examination. The accused would have succeeded in the commission of the offence of cheating if the admission card had not been withdrawn. Under the circumstances, the accused was guilty of attempting to cheat under section 420 read with section 511, IPC.
Breach of Contract
It is mentioned u/s 415 to 420 of Indian Penal Code, 1860.
It is mentioned u/s 73 of Indian Contract Act, 1872.
It is dealt under criminal law.
It is dealt under civil law.
It is a dishonest act done in order to gain advantage over the other.
It is a cause of action which occurs when the binding agreement is not performed.
In it intention to deceive exists at the time when inducement is made. In the beginning, only the person must have fraudulent intention regarding the promise to constitute it as an offence of cheating.
In it the malice intention does not exist from the beginning of the contract. The breach is done due to some reasons at the time when it is about to get binding
Sushil Kumar Datta v. State of West Bengal, (1985) Cr LJ 1948 Cal.
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 under section 420 is justified since he did not belong to Scheduled Caste.
 S.W. Palanitkar V. State of Bihar- 2001(10) TMI 1150-
Supreme court held that to convict a person for the offence of cheating there should be pre-existing dishonest or fraudulent intention of the person from the beginning but in case of Breach of Contract the dishonest intention is not present in the beginning of the agreement.

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