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Section 420 IPC - Cheating Case Liable To Be Quashed If No Allegation Of Dishonest Inducement Is Made Against Accused: Supreme Court

Ashok KM
11 May 2022 8:04 AM GMT
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The Supreme Court observed that, to make out a case against a person for the offence under Section 420 of the Indian Penal Code, there must be a dishonest inducement to deceive a person to deliver any property to any other person.

In this case, the complainant lodged a complaint against one Kamalesh Mulchand Jain (husband of Rekha Jain), alleging, inter­alia, that by misrepresentation, inducement and with an intention to cheat him, the said Kamalesh Mulchand Jain had taken away 2 kg and 27 grams of gold jewellery. FIR was registered for the offence under Section 420 of Indian Penal Code (IPC). During the course of the investigation, it was found that Rekha Jain, the wife of the accused was absconding and the gold jewellery, taken away from the original complainant by her husband – Kamalesh Mulchand Jain, was with her, therefore, the investigation was carried out against her also. Rekha Jain approached the Karnataka High Court by way of a petition under section 482 of Cr.PC to quash the FIR against her for the offence under Section 420 of IPC. The High Court refused to quash the criminal proceedings/FIR and thus she approached the Apex Court.

Before the Apex Court, Rekha Jain contended that when there are no allegations of inducement by her, it cannot be said that she has committed any offence as alleged for the offence under Section 420 of IPC. The State opposed the appeal contending that Rekha Jain was found to be in possession of the gold jewellery, which was taken away from the complainant.

Referring to the complaint and FIR, the bench noted that the entire allegations are against the accused Kamalesh Mulchand Jain and there are no allegations whatsoever to the effect that the accused ­ Rekha Jain induced the complainant to part with the gold jewellery.

"As per Section 420 of IPC, whoever cheats and thereby dishonestly induces the person deceived to deliver any property to any person, can be said to have committed the offence under Section 420 of IPC. Therefore, to make out a case against a person for the offence under Section 420 of IPC, there must be a dishonest inducement to deceive a person to deliver any property to any other person. In the present case, there is no allegation at all against accused – Rekha Jain of any inducement by her to deceive and to deliver the gold jewellery. The allegations of dishonest inducement and cheating are against her husband – accused – Kamalesh Mulchand Jain. Therefore, considering the allegations in the FIR/complaint as they are, and in the absence of any allegation of dishonest inducement by Rekha Jain, it cannot be said that she has committed any offence under Section 420 of IPC for which she is now chargesheeted"

Allowing the appeal, the court observed that the High Court should have exercised its powers under Section 482 of Cr.PC to quash the criminal proceedings against Rekha Jain for the offence under Section 420 of IPC.

Case details

Rekha Jain vs State of Karnataka | 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 468 | CrA 749 OF 2022 | 10 May 2022

Coram: Justice MR Shah and BV Nagarathna

Headnotes

Indian Penal Code, 1860 ; Section 420 - To make out a case against a person for the offence under Section 420 of IPC, there must be a dishonest inducement to deceive a person to deliver any property to any other person. (Para 8)

Click Here To Read/Download Judgment





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