Introduction To Section 467
Section 467 is an essential part mentioned under the chapter 18th of the Indian Penal Code, 1860, titled “Offenses related to the property and the documents.” Section 467 basically deals with forgery of a valuable security or a will etc. but before going further first, we need to understand the meaning of the term “Forgery.” So basically it’s a kind of white-collar crime which is generally referring to the false making of an any legal data with the mala-fide intention to defraud a person other than himself or herself. The offence is not an offence until the false document or legal instrument was actually used in the commission of a crime to defraud the person other than himself or herself.
Section 463 of the penal code explains the term “Forgery” in detail, i.e., Any Person who creates or makes –
- False Document (wholly or partly)
- False E- Record (electronic record)
- with the mala – fide intention to cause injury
- to the public at large or any person other than himself or herself.
Reasons prescribe for creating such false legal documents:
- to give legal support to any type of claim or any type of title, or
- to take part in the person’s property, or
- to enter into any agreement, enforceable by law (implied or express), or
- with the intention to defraud someone.
So basically, forgery simply means any kind of a false document which is much essentially concerned with an altered object. Counterfeiting is a similar term which is used in the context of forging a currency or money. And in addition, it’s not only about forging money or currency but consumer goods some times also be counterfeits with a specific reason if those goods aren’t manufactured by the designated manufacturer who has given or flagged by the trademark symbol or given any kind of label with the same.
SECTION 467 – Indian Penal Code – Forgery of valuable security
It states that, Any person who creates a false legal instrument,
- Which appears to be valuable security, or
- A Will, or
- A legal authority to adopt a son, or
- which purports or appears to be giving legal authority to the person other than himself or herself to make any valuable security, or
- to transfer any valuable security, or
- to receive or deliver any property (movable, immovable, money), or valuable security, or
- Any legal instrument which appears to be receipt of money acknowledging the payment, or
- A receipt acknowledging the delivery of any property(movable in nature) or valuable security.
So, Section 467 of IPC is a forgery of valuable will, etc. (mentioned above in detail). Under Sec. 467 – merely forging that legal instrument or document is sufficient for punishment under this, even if that legal instrument may not be used for forgery and no money is obtained by that document. In simple term, possession of that legal instrument or any document and their intention to use that is more than sufficient to convict the person. E.g., if any type of forged treasury bond is found with a person for Rs. 25 Lacs, then, it should be seen as, the law will assume that the Bond was forged with the mala – fide intention is to gain Rs.25 Lacs, in a process that person should come under the ambit of section 467, convicted and got punished under the said provision. For example, fake treasury bonds, fake wills, etc.
The offence under this section (section 467) is considered as an extended form of forgery or aggravated form. By seeing the punishment itself, one can determine the seriousness of this offence. Where any person other than himself or herself, who falsely signs an instrument which is legal in nature or document for the purpose of creating it a valid document in the eyes of the law, then he or she is guilty and may be convicted for signing a false legal document. As such copying, any legal database or taking the signature of an agent on a blank draft form was held to be an offence under section 467. Also, getting registered a sale deed by impersonating the real owner is punishable under this section. The first and foremost condition to convict under this section is that person forged anything which could be considered as valuable security like Any certificate forged by a candidate seeking admission in any institution was held to be not guilty as the certificate does not come under the ambit of a term “valuable security.” Dishonestly or fraudulently collecting the money sent by any means (includes online transaction + Money orders) personating as the payee (the person who pays) is punishable and under this section (section 467).
One more section under this chapter, which has a significant place in Section 468 of the Indian Penal Code, which deals with “Forgery with the purpose of Cheating.”The reasons for discussing this section under this as many of the personality or legal fraternity were in the opinion that both the section (Section 467 and 468) are similar but they are not, the only thing which is absent and should be considered while convicting a person is, the person who is doing this is doing with any valuable security, and in another with the purpose of cheating only, the reason is under section 467 there must be a false representation which deals with the “valuable security” and will but under section 468, with the purpose of cheating only is the essential criteria and in authors opinion the distinction is must because there is a vast difference between both the section when one examines their punishment clause because under this (section 468) the punishment prescribed by the lawmakers is imprisonment which may extend up to 7 year or fine or both and in other (section 467) the offence is considered more heinous than Section 468.
Imprisonment for Life or 10 Years or Fine or Both. The offence under this (section 467) is Non-cognizable and non-bailable (this only signifies the seriousness of this particular section) and triable by Judicial Magistrate First Class.