Forgery as per Indian Penal Code

By Grishma Shetty at lexcliq


Forgery means making of a false documents or false electronic records with the criminal intention to use it as a genuine record or electronic record. Merely making a false electronic document is not punishable under section 463 of IPC unless it is used as if it were genuine document. Making of false documents or part of it with the intent to cause damage or injury to any public or any person  to cause any person to part with property or to enter into express or implied contract or to commit fraud .

Making of false document:

Under section 464 of IPC deals with a person who makes a false document or false electronic record,-

  1. Who dishonestly or fraudulently makes, signs, seals or executes a documents or a part; makes or transmits any electronic record or part of any electronic record; or takes electronic signature or electronic record; or makes any mark denoting the execution of a document or electronic signature, with the intention of causing it to be believed that such document or part was made, signed, sealed, executed, transmitted by the authority of a person by whom or by whose authority it was not to be made ,signed, sealed or executed.
  2. Who, without lawful authority, dishonestly pr fraudulenty, cancellation or otherwise alters a document or an eelctronic record in any material part thereof,after it has been made, executed or affixed with electronic signature ,either by himself or other person whether living or dead at the time of alteration.
  3. Who dishonestly or fraudulently causes any person to sign, seal, execute or alter a document or electronic record knowing that such person by reason of unsoundness of mind or intoxicated can do so, or he does not know the contents of the document or electronic record or the nature of alteration.

Cases –

Md. Ibrahim and others v. State of Bihar and anothers

The court held  that there are two possibilities that may arise when a person executes a document conveying a property describing it as his. First, the bonafide belief that the property actually belongs to him. The Second, dishonest or fraudulent claim by him even though he knows that it is not his property. But to fall under the first category of ‘false documents’, it is not sufficient that a document has been made or executed dishonestly or fraudulently. There is a further requirement that it should have been made with the intention of causing it to be believed that such a document was made or executed by, or by the authority of a person, by whom or by whose authority he knows that it was not made or executed. When a document is executed by a person claiming a property that is not his, he is not claiming that he is someone else nor is he claiming that he is authorized by someone else. Therefore, the execution of such a document  is not the execution of a false document as defined under Section 464 of the Code.

Dr. Vimla v. Delhi Administration

The court held that if there was no pecuniary or any other gain to the accused, he cannot be convicted for the offence of forgery. In this casw Dr. vimla purchased a car with her own money in the name of her daughter Nalini who is 6 months old at that time and got insurance policy transfered in the name of Nalini by signingher name. she also received compensation for the claim made by her in respect to accidents. Thw claims being true , she received the money by signing the form as Nalini. Thus, entire transaction with  regard to the care was in the name of her minor daughter. The insuance company di not obtained any benefit or suffered any loss .Therefore, Dr. vimla had not drfrauded nor befitted as such she was not guilty of  forgery.

Punishment for forgery –

Under section 465 of IPC whoever commits forgery shall be punishable with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to 2 years , or with fine or both .

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