Can a wife be accused of cheating, (420) for the husband 's criminal act ?
Can cheating Case be Quashed if no Allegation of Dishonest Inducement is made ?It is very commonly observed that in order to exert pressure, especially in cheating cases, a wife is made an accused for a criminal act of her husband. Police also generally toe that line of action and unnecessarily, innocent wife is dragged into problems.Courts are reluctant too to give any relief at this stage of investigation. However, in a significant development, the Supreme Court has ruled that to make out a case against a person for an offence under Section 420 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 there must be a dishonest inducement to deceive a person to deliver any property to any other person.In Rekha Jain Vs The State of Karnataka & Anr., the Respondent No. 1 in the present appeal (original complainant), had lodged a complaint against one Kamalesh Mulchand Jain, alleging, inter ¬alia, that by misrepresentation, inducement and with an intention to cheat, the said Kamalesh Mulchand Jain had taken away 2 kg and 27 grams of gold jewellry.Thereafter, an FIR was registered for the offence under Section 420 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 and at the time of investigation, it was found that Rekha Jain, the wife of the accused was absconding and the gold jewellery, taken away from the original complainant by her husband Kamalesh Mulchand Jain, was with her.Therefore, the investigation was carried out against her as well. Rekha Jain approached the Hon’ble Karnataka High Court by way of a Petition under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, however, the Hon’ble Karnataka High Court refused to quash the criminal proceedings/FIR.Feeling aggrieved and dissatisfied with the impugned judgment and order dated September 15, 2020 passed by the Hon’ble Karnataka High Court at Bengaluru in Criminal Petition No. 3442/2020, by which, the Hon’ble Karnataka High Court had dismissed the said criminal petition and had refused to quash the FIR/criminal proceedings against Petitioners.Offence of cheating under Section 420 of Indian Penal CodeTo make out a case against a person for the offence under Section 420 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860, there must be a dishonest inducement to deceive a person to deliver any property to any other person.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 the Indian Penal Code, 1860 for which she has been charge-sheeted.Allowing the appeal, the Hon’ble Supreme Court observed that the Hon’ble Karnataka High Court should have exercised its powers under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 to rightfully quash the criminal proceedings against Rekha Jain for the offence under Section 420 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860, for which she stands wrongfully accused.The Hon’ble Karnataka High Court has in fact committed a grave error in not quashing the criminal proceedings against Rekha Jain, this being a fit case for exercise of their powers in this regard.This decision will go a long way in protecting thousands of innocent wives being implicated in false and frivolous 420 cheating cases, everyday throughout the country and must come as an eye opener for police authorities, who knowingly or unknowingly become party in this kind of planned and planted allegations.
Dr. Ajay Kummar Pandey( LLM, MBA, (UK), PhD, AIMA, AFAI, PHD Chamber, ICTC, PCI, FCC, DFC, PPL, MNP, BNI, ICJ (UK), WP, (UK), MLE, Harvard Square, London, CT, Blair Singer Institute, (USA), Dip. in International Crime, Leiden University, the Netherlands )Advocate & Consultant, Supreme Court of India & High Courts4C Supreme Law International, Delhi, NCR. Mumbai & DubaiTel: M- 91- 9818320572. Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgFacebook: /4Clawfirm, /legalajay/ Linkedin: /ajaykumarpandey1/ Twitter: /editorkumar / Youtube: c/4cSupremeLaw/ Insta: /editor.kumarg989