There Must Be Dishonest Inducement By Accused To Constitute Offence U/s. 420 IPC - Supreme Court
A Supreme Court Bench of Justice M.R. Shah and Justice B.V. Nagarathna while quashing criminal proceedings under Section 420 of IPC held that in the absence of any allegation of inducement by the accused, she cannot be prosecuted for the offence under Section 420 IPC as there must be dishonest inducement by the accused.
The Court thus observed, "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."
Mr Saket Gogia appeared on behalf of the Complainant.
A complaint was lodged against the husband of the Appellant, alleging that by misrepresentation, inducement and an intent to cheat, the husband of the Appellant had taken away gold jewellery from the Complainant. An FIR was registered under Section 420 of IPC. During the course of the investigation, it was found that the Appellant was absconding and the stolen gold jewellery was with her. The investigation was carried out against her as well, which led to the Appellant approaching the High Court by way of a Petition under Section 482 of CrPC to quash the FIR against her. The High Court refused.
The Appellant approached the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court opined that the Appellant could not be prosecuted for the offence under Section 420 of IPC, since all the allegations in the FIR/complaint were against her husband, and no allegations that the Appellant had induced the Complainant to part with the gold jewellery.
To that end, the Supreme Court held that "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".
It also opined that the High Court should have exercised its powers under Section 482 of CrPC to quash the criminal proceedings against the Appellant.
The Supreme Court quashed the criminal proceedings against the Appellant under Section 420 of IPC and allowed the appeal.