Human behaviour depends on wants and needs. People can be tempted sometimes to fulfil their requirements by cheating or committing fraud with other individuals. Thus, to protect and preserve some fundamental rights and social values along with maintenance of peace and order in the society criminal law has prescribed a set of and norms and forbade some conducts. It also prescribes the punishments for whoever disregards these standards and prohibited behaviours.

The Indian Penal Code (IPC) explains the provisions about the offenses of cheating under Sections from 415 to 420.

Section 415 defines “Cheating,”

Section 416 explains about “Cheating by Personation,”

Section 417 describes “Punishment for Cheating,”

Section 418 defines “Cheating with knowledge that wrongful loss may ensue to person whose interest offender is bound to protect;”

Section 419 explains “Punishment for Cheating by Personation;”

Section 420 describes “Cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property.”

Section 415 –

  • It describes cheating as
    • deceiving any person;
    • dishonestly or fraudulently inducing an individual so deceived to deliver property to anyone or consent that anyone can retain the property;
    • Intentionally causing the person so deceived to omit anything which may cause harm or damage that person’s mind, body, property or reputation.

As per this section, deception is dishonest concealment of the facts or providing false or misleading information.

Section 416 –

  • An individual is said to “Cheat by Personation” if he/she cheats by portraying to be some other person, or by intentionally substituting one person for another, or pretending that a person is other than who he/she really is.

The offence is considered committed whether the individual personated is an imaginary or a real person.

Section 417 –

  • The punishment for cheating is imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to one year or fine or both.

The offence under this Section is bailable, non-cognizable, or compoundable with the consent of the Court where prosecution for such offence is pending and triable by a Magistrate.

Section 418 –

  • A person who deceives with the knowledge that his action may cause wrongful loss to an individual whose interest in the matter to which the cheating relates, he/she was bound, by legal contract or law to protect, will be punished.
  • The punishment is imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years or fine or both.

The offence under this Section is bailable, non-cognizable, or compoundable with the consent of the Court where prosecution for such offence is pending and triable by a Magistrate.

Section 419 –

  • The punishment for cheating by personation is imprisonment of either description for a term which may prolong to three years or fine or both.

The offence under this Section is bailable, non-cognizable, or compoundable with the consent of the Court where prosecution for such offence is pending and triable by a Magistrate.

Section 420 –

  • A person who cheats and dishonestly persuades an individual deceived to deliver property to anyone, or to make, destroy or alter the whole or a part of valuable security, or anything that is sealed or signed, and is capable of being converted into a valuable security, will be punished.
  • The punishment is confinement of either description for a term that may prolong to seven years and will be liable to pay fine.

The offence under this Section is bailable, non-cognizable, or compoundable with the consent of the Court where prosecution for such offence is pending and triable by a Magistrate.