CHAPTER XVIII, Section 463-477A of INDIAN PENAL CODE (IPC) – OFFENCES RELATING TO DOCUMENTS AND TO PROPERTY MARKS

463. Forgery.

Whoever makes any false documents or part of a document with intent to cause damage or injury, to the public or to any person, or to support any claim or title, or to cause any person to part with property, or to enter into any express or implied contract, or with intent to commit fraud or that fraud may be committed, commits forgery.

464. Making a false document.

A person is said to make a false document or false electronic record-
First – Who dishonestly or fraudulently-
(a) makes, signs, seals or executes a document or part of a document,
(b) makes or transmits any electronic record or part of any electronic record;
(c) affixes any electronic signature on any electronic record;
(d) makes any mark denoting the execution of a document or the authenticity of the electronic signature,

with the intention of causing it to be believed that such document or part of document, electronic record or electronic signature was made, signed, sealed, executed, transmitted or affixed by or by the authority of a person by whom or by whose authority he knows that it was not made, singed, sealed, executed or affixed; or

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Secondly – Who, without lawful authority, dishonestly or fraudulently, by cancellation or otherwise, alters a document in any material part thereof, after it has been made or executed either by himself or by any other person, whether such person be living or dead at the time of such alteration; or 

Thirdly – Who dishonestly or fraudulently causes any person to sign, seal, execute or alter a document, knowing that such person by reason of unsoundness of mind or intoxication cannot, or that by reason of deception practised upon him, he does not know the contents of the document or the nature of the alteration. 

Illustrations-
(a) A has a letter of credit upon B for rupees 10,000 written by Z. A, in order to defraud B, adds a cipher to the 10,000, and makes the sum 1,00,000 intending that it may be delivered by B that Z so wrote the letter. A has committed forgery.

(b) A, without Z’s authority, affixes Z’s seal to a document purporting to be a conveyance of an estate from Z to A, with the intention to selling the estate to B, and thereby of obtaining from B the purchase-money. A has committed forgery.

(c) A picks up a cheque on a banker-signed by B, payable to bearer, but without any sum having been inserted in the cheque. A fraudulently fills up the cheque by inserting the sum of ten thousand rupees. A commits forgery.

(d) A leaves with B, his agent, a cheque on a banker, signed by A, without inserting the sum payable and authorizes B to fill up the cheque by inserting a sum not exceeding ten thousand rupees for the purpose of making certain payment. B fraudulently fills up the cheque by inserting the sum of twenty thousand rupees. B commits forgery.

(e) A draws a bill of exchange on himself in the name of B without B’s authority, intending to discount it as a genuine bill with a banker and intending to take up the bill on its maturity. Here, as A draws the bill with intent to deceive the banker by leading him to suppose that he had the security of B, and thereby to discount the bill, A is guilty of forgery.

(f) Z’s will contains the these words- “I direct that all my remaining property be equally divided between A, B and C.” A dishonestly scratches out B’s name, intending that it may be believed that the whole was left to himself and C. A has committed forgery.

(g) A endorses a Government promissory note and makes it payable to Z or his order by writing on the bill the words “Pay to Z or his order” and signing the endorsement. B dishonestly erases the words “Pay to Z or his order”, and thereby converts the special endorsement into a blank endorsement. B commits forgery.

(h) A sells and conveys an estate to Z. A afterwards, in order to defraud Z of his estate, executes a conveyance of the same estate to B, dated six months earlier than the date of the conveyance to Z, intending it to be believed that he had conveyed the estate to B before he conveyed it to Z. A has committed forgery.

(i) Z dictates his will to A. A intentionally writes down a different legatee from the legatee named by Z, and by representing to Z that he has prepared the will according to his instructions, induces Z to sign the will. A has committed forgery.

(j) A writes a letter and signs it with B’s name without B’s authority, certifying that A is a man of good character and in distressed circumstances from unforeseen misfortune, intending by means of such letter to obtain alms from Z and other persons. Here, as A made a false document in order to induce Z to part with property. A has committed forgery.

(k) A without B’s authority writes a letter and signs it in B’s name certifying to A’s character, intending thereby to obtain employment under Z. A has committed forgery in as much as he intended to deceive Z by the forged certificate, and thereby to induce Z to enter into an express or implied contract for service.

Explanation 1-
A man’s signature of his own name may amount to forgery.

Illustrations-
(a) A signs his own name to a bill of exchange, intending that it may be believed that the bill was drawn by another person of the same name. A has committed forgery.

(b) A writes the word “accepted” on a piece of paper and signs it with Z’s name, in order that B may afterwards write on the paper a bill of exchange drawn by B upon Z, and negotiate the bill as though it had been accepted by Z. A is guilty of forgery; and if B, knowing the fact, draws the bill upon the paper pursuant to A’s intention, B is also guilty of forgery.

(c) A picks up a bill of exchange payable to the order of a different person of the same name. A endorses the bill in his own name, intending to cause it to be believed that it was endorsed by the person whose order it was payable; here A has committed forgery.

(d) A purchases an estate sold under execution of a decree against B. B, after the seizure of the estate, in collusion with Z, executes a lease of the estate of Z at a nominal rent and for a long period and dates the lease six months prior to the seizure, with intent to defraud A, and to cause it to be believed that the lease was granted before the seizure. B, though he executes the lease in his own name, commits forgery by antedating it.

(e) A, a trader, in anticipation of insolvency, lodges effects with B for A’s benefit, and with intent to defraud his creditors; and in order to give a colour to the transaction, writes a promissory note binding himself to pay to B a sum for value received, and antedates the note, intending that it may be believed to have been made before. A was on the point of insolvency. A has committed forgery under the first head of the definition.

Explanation 2-
The making of a false document in the name of a fictitious person, intending it to be believed that the document was made by a real person, or in the name of a deceased person, intending it to be believed that the document was made by the person in his lifetime, may amount to forgery.

Illustration-
A draws a bill of exchange upon a fictitious person, and fraudulently accepts the bill in the name of such fictitious person with intent to negotiate it. A commits forgery.

465. Punishment for forgery.

Whoever commits forgery shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both.

CLASSIFICATION OF OFFENCE
Punishment—Imprisonment for 2 years, or fine, or both—Non-cognizable— Bailable—Triable by Magistrate of the first class—Non-compoundable.

466. Forgery of record of court or of public register, etc.

Whoever forges a document or an electronic record, purporting to be a record or proceeding of or in a Court of Justice, or a register of birth, baptism, marriage or burial, or a register kept by a public servant as such, or a certificate or document purporting to be made by a public servant in his official capacity, or an authority to institute or defend a suit, or to take any proceedings therein, or to confess judgment, or a power of attorney, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to seven years, and shall also be liable to fine.

Explanation-
For the purposes of this section, “register” includes any list, data or record of any entries maintained in the electronic form as defined in clause (r) of sub-section (1) of section 2 of theInformation Technology Act, 2000.

CLASSIFICATION OF OFFENCE
Punishment—Imprisonment for 7 years and fine—Non-cognizable—Non- bailable—Triable by Magistrate of the first class—Non-compoundable.

467. Forgery of valuable security, will, etc.

Whoever forges a document which purports to be a valuable security or a will, or an authority to adopt a son, or which purports to give authority to any person to make or transfer any valuable security, or to receive the principal, interest or dividends thereon, or to receive or deliver any money, movable property, or valuable security, or any document purporting to be an acquittance or receipt acknowledging the payment of money, or an acquittance or receipt for the delivery of any movable property or valuable security, shall be punished with imprisonment for life, or with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine.

CLASSIFICATION OF OFFENCE
Para I: Punishment—Imprisonment for life, or imprisonment for 10 years and fine—Non-cognizable—Non-bailable—Triable by Magistrate of the first class— Non-compoundable.
Para II: Punishment—Imprisonment for life, or imprisonment for 10 years and fine—Cognizable—Non-bailable—Triable by Magistrate of the first class—Non-compoundable.

468. Forgery for purpose of cheating.

Whoever commits forgery, intending that the document forged shall be used for the purpose of cheating, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to seven years, and shall also be liable to fine.

CLASSIFICATION OF OFFENCE
Punishment—Imprisonment for 7 years and fine—Cognizable—Non-bailable—Triable by Magistrate of the first class—Non-compoundable.

469. Forgery for purpose of harming reputation.

Whoever commits forgery, intending that the document forged shall harm the reputation of any party, or knowing that it is likely to be used for that purpose, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years, and shall also be liable to fine.

CLASSIFICATION OF OFFENCE
Punishment—Imprisonment for 3 years and fine—Cognizable—Bailable—Triable by Magistrate of the first class—Non-compoundable.

470. Forged document.

A false document or electronic record made wholly or in part by forgery is designated “a forged document or electronic record“.

471. Using as genuine a forged document.

Whoever fraudulently or dishonestly uses as genuine any document or electronic record which he knows or has reason to believe to be a forged document or electronic record, shall be punished in the same manner as if he had forged such document or electronic record.

CLASSIFICATION OF OFFENCE
Punishment—Punishment for forgery of such document—Cognizable—Bailable— Triable by Magistrate of the first class—Non-compoundable.

472. Making or possessing counterfeit seal, etc., with intent to commit forgery punishable under section 467.

Whoever makes or counterfeits any seal, plate or other instrument for making an impression, intending that the same shall be used for the purpose of committing any forgery which would be punishable under section 467 of this Code, or, with such intent, has in his possession any such seal, plate or other instrument, knowing the same to be counterfeit, shall be punished with imprisonment for life, or with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to seven years, and shall also be liable to fine.

CLASSIFICATION OF OFFENCE
Punishment—Imprisonment for life, or imprisonment for 7 years and fine— Cognizable—Bailable—Triable by Magistrate of the first class—Non-compoundable.

473. Making or possessing counterfeit seal, etc., with intent to commit forgery punishable otherwise.

Whoever makes or counterfeits any seal, plate or other instrument for making an impression, intending that the same shall be used for the purpose of committing any forgery which would be punishable under any section of this Chapter other than section 467, or, with such intent, has in his possession any such seal, plate or other instrument, knowing the same to be counterfeit, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to seven years, and shall also be liable to fine.

CLASSIFICATION OF OFFENCE
Punishment—Imprisonment for 7 years and fine—Cognizable—Bailable—Triable by Magistrate of the first class—Non-compoundable.

474. Having possession of document described in section 466 or 467, knowing it to be forged and intending to use it as genuine.

Whoever has in his possession any document, knowing the same to be forged, and intending that the same shall fraudulently or dishonestly be used as genuine, shall, if the document is one of the description mentioned in section 466 of this Code, be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to seven years, and shall also be liable to fine; and if the document is one of the description mentioned in section 467, shall be punished with imprisonment for life, or with imprisonment of either description, for a term which may extend to seven years, and shall also be liable to fine.

CLASSIFICATION OF OFFENCE
Para I:
Punishment—Imprisonment for 7 years and fine—Cognizable—Bailable— 
Triable by Magistrate of the first class—Non-compoundable.
Para II: Punishment—Imprisonment for life, or imprisonment for 7 years and fine— Non-cognizable—Bailable—Triable by Magistrate of the first class—Non-compoundable.

475. Counterfeiting device or mark used for authenticating documents described in section 467, or possessing counterfeit marked material.

Whoever counterfeits upon, or in the substance of, any material, any device or mark used for the purpose of authenticating any document described in Section 467 of this Code, intending that such device or mark shall be used for the purpose of giving the appearance of authenticity to any document then forged or thereafter to be forged on such material, or who, with such intent, has in his possession any material upon or in the substance of which any such device or mark has been counterfeited, shall be punished with imprisonment for life, or with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to seven years, and shall also be liable to fine.

CLASSIFICATION OF OFFENCE
Punishment—Imprisonment for life, or imprisonment for 7 years and fine—Non-cognizable—Bailable—Triable by Magistrate of the first class—Non-compoundable.

476. Counterfeiting device or mark used for authenticating documents other than those described in section 467, or possessing counterfeit marked material.

Whoever counterfeits upon, or in the substance of, any material, any device or mark used for the purpose of authenticating any document or electronic record other than the documents described in section 467 of this Code, intending that such device or mark shall be used for the purpose of giving the appearance of authenticity to any document then forged or thereafter to be forged on such material, or who, with such intent, has in his possession any material upon or in the substance of which any such device or mark has been counterfeited, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to seven years, and shall also be liable to fine.

CLASSIFICATION OF OFFENCE
Punishment—Imprisonment for 7 years and fine—Non-cognizable—Non- bailable—Triable by Magistrate of the first class—Non-compoundable.

477. Fraudulent cancellation, destruction, etc., of will, authority to adopt, or valuable security.

Whoever fraudulently or dishonestly, or with intent to cause damage or injury to the public or to any person, cancels, destroys or defaces, or attempts to cancel, destroy or deface, or secretes or attempts to secrete any document which is or purports to be a will, or an authority to adopt a son, or any valuable security, or commits mischief in respect of such documents, shall be punished with imprisonment for life, or with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to seven years, and shall also be liable to fine.

CLASSIFICATION OF OFFENCE
Punishment—Imprisonment for life, or imprisonment for 7 years and fine—Non- cognizable—Non-bailable—Triable by Magistrate of the first class—Non- compoundable.

477A. Falsification of accounts.

Whoever, being a clerk, officer or servant, or employed or acting in the capacity of a clerk, officer or servant, wilfully, and with intent to defraud, destroys, alters, mutilates or falsifies any book, electronic record, paper, writing, valuable security or account which belongs to or is in the possession of his employer, or has been received by him for or on behalf of his employer, or wilfully, and with intent to defraud, makes or abets the making of any false entry in, or omits or alters or abets the omission or alteration of any material particular from or in, any such book, paper, writing, valuable security or account, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to seven years, or with fine, or with both.

Explanation-
It shall be sufficient in any charge under this section to allege a general intent to defraud without naming any particular person intended to be defrauded or specifying any particular sum of money intended to be the subject of the fraud, or any particular day on which the offence was committed.

CLASSIFICATION OF OFFENCE
Punishment—Imprisonment for 7 years, or fine, or both—Non-cognizable— Bailable—Triable by Magistrate of the first class—Non-compoundable.

Next,
CHAPTER XVIII (478-489E) of IPC – OFFENCES RELATING TO DOCUMENTS AND TO PROPERTY MARKS


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