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ipc:part:counterfeit

Counterfeit

Section 28 of the Indian Penal Code,1860.

A person is said to “counterfeit” who causes one thing to resemble another thing, intending by means of that resemblance to practise deception, or knowing it to be likely that deception will thereby be practised.

Explanation 1: It is not essential to counterfeiting that the imitation should be exact.

Explanation 2: When a person causes one thing to resemble another thing, and the resemblance is such that a person might be deceived thereby, it shall be presumed, until the contrary is proved, that the person so causing the one thing to resemble the other thing intended by means of that resemblance to practise deception or knew it to be likely that deception would thereby be practised.

For a thing to be termed ‘counterfeit,’ there should be some sort of resemblance sufficient to cause deception. If there is no such resemblance, it cannot be said to be ‘counterfeit,’ e.g., a counterfeit currency note which would not even deceive a villager. The word ‘counterfeit’ does not connote an exact reproduction of the original counterfeited. The difference between the counterfeit and the original is not therefore limited to a difference existing only by reason of faulty reproduction.

The word ‘counterfeit’ occurs in offences relating to coin provided in Chapter XII and offences relating to trade and property marks in Chapter XVIII. The ‘thing’ counterfeited may be a coin or a piece of metal. Its value is immaterial. The counterfeited coin may be more valuable so far as money value is considered than the coin for which it is intended to pass.

If coins are made to resemble genuine coins and the intention of the makers is merely to use them in order to foist a false case upon their enemies, those coins do not come within the definition of counterfeit coins. For the purposes of the section, there must be an intention to practise deception or knowledge that deception will be practised. The deception meant is with regard to the nature of the coins. It is deception through the resemblance of the true coin with the false and it means that someone must be led to believe that the false coin is a true one.

The main ingredients of counterfeiting as laid down in Section 28 are:

  1. Causing one thing to resemble another thing;
  2. Intending by means of that resemblance to practice deception; or
  3. Knowing it to be likely that deception will thereby be practiced.

Explanation 2 lays down a rebuttable presumption where the resemblance is such that a person might be deceived thereby. In such a case the intention or the knowledge is presumed unless the contrary is proved.


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