Cheating– (Section 415, Indian Penal Code, 1860) – Explained with Illustrations
Whoever, by deceiving any person, fraudulently or dishonesty 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 was 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”. (S. 415).
A dishonest concealment of facts is a deception within the meaning of this section (Section 415) (one year with or without fine).
The essential ingredients of the offence are: (1) deception of any person and (2)(a) fraudulently or dishonestly inducing that person (i) to deliver any property to any person, or (ii) to consent that any person shall retain any property; or (b) intentionally inducing that person to do or omit to do anything which he would not do, etc.
To constitute the offence of cheating it is not necessary that the act which the person deceived is induced to do should actually cause harm to him. It is enough that the act which the person deceived has been induced to perform is likely to cause damage or harm to him.
The ingredients required to constitute the offence of cheating are: (1) There should be fraudulent or dishonest inducement of a person by deceiving him; (2)(a) The person so deceived should be induced to deliver any property to any person or to consent that any person shall retain any property; or (b) The person so deceived should be intentionally induced to do or omit to do anything which he would not do or omit if he were not so deceived; and (3) In cases covered by (2)(b) the act or omission should be one which causes or likely to cause damage or harm to the person induced in body, mind, reputation or property. (Ram Jus v. State of U.P., 11 S.C. J. 264).
(a) 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, (b) A, by exhibiting to Z, a false sample of an article, intentionally deceives Z into believing that the article corresponds with the sample, and thereby dishonestly induces Z to buy and pay for the article. A cheats, (c) A, by pledging as diamonds articles which he knows are not diamonds, intentionally deceives Z, and hereby dishonestly induces Z to lend money.
(d) A intentionally deceive Z into a belief that A means to repay any money that Z may lend to him and thereby dishonestly induces Z to lend him money, A not intending to repay it. A cheats, (e) A intentionally deceives Z into a belief that A has performed A’s part of a contract made with Z, which he has not performed and thereby dishonesty induces Z to pay money, A cheats, (f) A sells and conveys an estate to B.
A knowing that in consequence of such sale he has no right to the property sells or mortgages the same to Z without disclosing the fact of the previous sale and conveyance to B and receives the purchase or mortgage money from Z.
(ii) A is guilty of the offence of cheating. The licence is property within the meaning of Section 420 of the Indian Penal Code.
(iii) It has been held in Rex v. Narain Rao, (1949 A.L.J. 303) that the debtor was guilty of cheating and not merely of an attempt to cheat.
(iv) A is guilty of the offence of cheating. He induced B to part with property (Rs. 1,000) on a false representation that he would pay the same as bribe to die Income-Tax Officer, while he had no intention of doing the same.
A. A in need of money borrows Rs. 500 from B on interest and writes out a bond for Rs. 500 in favour of B and hands it over to B. B gives a cheque for Rs. 500 to A towards the consideration of the bond. B subsequently changes his mind and does not mean to lend money to A and the cheque given by B could not be cashed. State, giving reasons, what offence, if any has B committed.
B has committed no offence because none of the ingredients of the offence of cheating are present in the conduct of B. When B got A to execute the bond in his favour he had all the intention to make the loan to him. It was only subsequently that he changed his mind.
Therefore, it cannot be said that at the time A executed the bond and delivered it to B, B had fraudulently or dishonestly or intentionally induced A to execute the bond and deliver the same to him. The mere fact of subsequent change of mind would not make the execution of bond and its delivery as being brought about by fraud. B is, therefore, innocent.
B. The accused after purchase of the goods from the complainant pays the price by cheques. The cheques on presentation to the bankers are returned unpaid. After removal of the goods and subsequent to the dishonour of cheques, the accused did not at all contract the complainant and inform him as to why the cheques had been dishonoured. Has the accused committed any offence? If so, what?
Illustration (f) to S. 415, I.P.C. reads:
“A intentionally deceives Z into a belief that A means to repay any money that Z may lend to him and thereby dishonestly induces Z to lend him money, A not intending to repay it A cheats.” On its plain language it is manifest from illustration (0 to S. 415 I.P.C. that what is material is the intention of the drawer at the time the cheque is issued, and the intention has to be gathered from the facts on the record.
Where the accused paid the price of the property purchased by cheque, there would be an implied representation that the cheque is a good and valid order for payment of the amount and that the cheque would be paid when presented for payment.
If from the circumstances it is established that the failure to meet a cheque was not accidental but was the consequence expected by the accused, the presumption would be that the accused intended to cheat. (Bhola Nath Arora v. The State, 1982 Cri. L.J. 1482, Delhi) [Also see Ke- shavji Madhvji v. Emperor, A.I.R. 1930 Bom. 179, Ajodhya Prasad v. Chiranjilal, A.I.R. 1957 All. 246 and Shantilal v. State, A.I.R. 1956 Madh. Bha. 19].