Specific allegation of 'dishonest inducement' against a person is must to attract section 420: Supreme Court

  • Aishwarya Iyer
  • 10:39 AM, 14 May 2022

The Supreme Court has held that in order to make out a case under Section 420 (Cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), there must be a dishonest inducement to deceive a person to deliver any property to any other person.

"As per Section 420 of IPC, whoever cheats and thereby dishonestly induces the person deceived to deliver any property o any person, can be said to have committed the offence under Section 420 of IPC...", noted a bench of Justices MR Shah and BV Nagarathna while quashing the criminal proceedings against one Rekha Jain for the offence under Section 420.

Jain had approached Supreme Court after the Karnataka High Court had denied her relief under section 482 of Criminal Procedure Code (Cr.PC) wherein she sought quashing of FIR against her.

A complaint was filed against Kamalesh Mulchand Jain (Rekha's husband), alleging, that by misrepresentation, inducement, and with an intention to cheat him, the Kamalesh had taken away 2 kg and 27 grams of gold jewellery.

During investigation, it was found that Rekha Jain was absconding and the jewellery was with her, therefore, an investigation was carried out against her as well.

"In the complaint/FIR, there are no allegations whatsoever to the effect that the accused ­Rekha Jain induced the complainant to part with the gold jewellery. Therefore, in the absence of any allegation of inducement by the accused Rekha Jain, she cannot be prosecuted for the offence under Section 420 of IPC. There must be a dishonest inducement by the accused....", noted the top court.

Thus while quashing the criminal proceedings for the offence under Section 420 of IPC only, the top court clarified that the proceeding were quashed only to that extent and not for any other offence(s), if any, committed by Jain.

Case Title: Rekha Jain vs. The State of Karnataka & Anr.