Whoever, by means for any communication device or computer resource cheats by personating, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years and shall also be liable to fine which may extend to one lakh rupees.
Revati receives an email that appears to have been sent from a famous online shopping website in India. Email promises her to an iPod at a discounted price if she pays Rs. 500 as a deposit amount.
Attracted by the offer, she visited a link specified in the email and it redirected her to a webpage where she entered her net-banking username, password and other information. In reality, the email as well as website was fake and her information is stolen and misused.
Investigations revealed that the fake email and website was created by Rohit.
He would be liable under this section.
There are three aspects to this section
1. It needs to be proved that the person is cheated
Cheating is defined under Section 415 of the Indian Penal Code.
It reads as –
Whoever, by deceiving any person, fraudulently or dishonestly induces the person so deceived to deliver any property to any person, or to consent that any person shall retain any property, or intentionally induces the person so deceived to do or omit to do anything which he would not do or omit if he were not so deceived, and which act or omission causes or is likely to cause damage or harm to that person in body, mind, reputation or property, is said to “cheat”.
A dishonest concealment of facts is a deception within the meaning of this section.
- A, by falsely pretending to be in the Civil Service, intentionally deceives Z, and thus dishonestly induces Z to let him have on credit goods for which he does not mean to pay. A cheats.
- A, by putting a counterfeit mark on an article, intentionally deceives Z into a belief that this article was made by a certain celebrated manufacturer, and thus dishonestly induces Z to buy and pay for the article. A cheats.
2. It must be cheating by personation
Cheating by personation is defined under Section 416 of the Indian Penal Code.
It reads as –
A person is said to “cheat by personation” if he cheats by pretending to be some other person, or by knowingly substituting one person for another, or representing that he or any other person is a person other than he or such other person really is.
The offence is committed whether the individual personated is a real or imaginary person.
- A cheats by pretending to be a certain rich banker of the same name. A cheats by personation.
- A cheats by pretending to be B, a person who is deceased. A cheats by personation.
3. Cheating by personation must be by using any communication device or computer resource.
|Acts covered||Cheating by personation using a computer resource/cell phone or other computer resource|
|Investigation authorities||Police officer not below the rank of Inspector.Controller of Certifying Authorities or a person authorized by him|
|Relevant courts||Judicial Magistrate First Class Court of Session|