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Section 467: Forgery

 

                                              Section 467: Forgery



Introduction

In today's world, it's fairly usual to come across scenarios when someone receives an unauthorized benefit through forging. Forgery can take numerous forms, including signature forgery, document fabrication, electronic record forgery, and so on. It is well known that the Indian Penal Code, 1860, functions as Armour in defending Indian residents from different offences through its provisions. Forgery is also included in this category.


Meaning

The production, addition, or alteration of any writing, record, instrument, stamp, register, deed, or other document in a false manner to the detriment of another individual's right is referred to as forgery. It is an illegal act motivated by the aim to defraud. When an instrument is forged, it is altered in such a way that it has legal value or can be used to establish legal liability if it is passed off as genuine.

According to Section 463 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 forgery occurs when a person creates false documents or electronic records, or a portion of such documents or records, with the intent to cause injury or damage to the public or another person, or to support a particular claim or title, or to cause another person to part with property or enter into any express or implied contract, with the intent to commit fraud or that fraud may be committed. Wills, deeds, patents, cheques, certificates of authentication, identification documents, medical prescriptions, contracts, and other documents are frequently forged.


Elements of forgery as per Section 463 of IPC

  • The document or electronic record or the part of it should be false in fact

  • Such document or electronic record or any part of it should be created dishonestly or fraudulently

  • Such creation of a false document or electronic record or any part of it should be done with an intention to –

  • Cause injury or danger to the public or any individual.

  • Cause any individual to part with property.

  • Support any claim or title.

  • Enter into any express or implied contract.

  • Commit fraud or that fraud may be committed.


In the case of Sushil Suri v. CBI and Others, the aforementioned elements were established (2011). It is important to note that the term "fraud" in Section 463 of the IPC relates to the infringement of an individual's legal right, and that the purpose to defraud entails the intent to deceive and cause legal harm. A case of forgery, on the other hand, can only be made where there is an element of fraud in the creation of a fraudulent document or electronic record, or a portion of one.


General defenses to forgery

There are certain general defenses to protect oneself from the allegation of forgery, they are as follows –


  • Absence of intent– In every case of forgery, the element of intent is the most important component in determining the crime. As a result, if the person accused of forgery has no intention of committing the crime, they cannot be found guilty.

  • Coercion– If a person accused of forgery establishes that he was forced to conduct forgery as a result of coercion or any other threat leading to coercion, that person cannot be found guilty.

  • Lack of knowledge– If the person accused of forgery establishes that they had no knowledge that the document or legal instrument in question was forged, they will not be found guilty of forging.


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