Suits under Section 406/420 of the Penal Code
Now a days Suits under Section 406 and 420 of the Penal Code 1860 are very common in Criminal Courts of Bangladesh. Section 406 and Section 420 are mainly deals with the punishment of Criminal Breach of Trust and Cheating & dishonestly inducing deliver of property.
Criminal Breach of Trust: Section 405 defines Criminal Breach of Trust as follows:
Whoever, being in any manner entrusted with property, or with any dominion over property, dishonestly misappropriates or converts to his own use that property, or dishonestly uses or disposes of that property in violation of any direction of law prescribing the mode in which such trust is to be discharged, or of any legal contract, express or implied, which he has made touching the discharge of such trust, or willfully suffers any other person so to do, commits “criminal breach of trust”.
Punishment: According to section 406 the punishment for Criminal Breach of Trust is as follows:
Whoever commits criminal breach of trust shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years, or with fine, or with both.
Whether Bailable or Nonbailable: According to the Second Schedule of the Code of Criminal Procedure 1898, Criminal Breach of Trust is a Non Bailable Offence.
Cheating: Section 415 defines the term Cheating as follows:
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”.
Punishment of Cheating: According to section 417 Whoever cheats shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to one year, or with fine, or with both.
Section 420: Cheating and dishonestly inducing deliver of property – Whoever cheats and thereby dishonestly induces the person deceived to deliver any property to any person, or to make, alter or destroy the whole or any part of a valuable security, or anything which is signed or sealed, and which is capable to being converted into a valuable security, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to seven years, and shall also be liable to fine.
Whether Bailable or Nonbailable: According to Second Schedule of the Code of Criminal Procedure 1898, Cheating and Cheating and dishonestly inducing deliver of property both offences are Billable.
Important Court Decisions regarding Section 406/420:
- The allegation depicted in the complaint in an outcome of a typical partnership business transaction which is civil in nature and as such continuation of criminal proceeding against the Petitioner certainly tantamounts to abuse of the court and as such it shoulb be quashed. 56 DLR 169
- Money Claims, not the outcome of a particular transaction but arose after year end accounting following regular business between the parties. If on settlement of accounts at the end of a period some money falls due to one party from the other party and the other party fails to pay the dues such liability can not be termed criminal liability. Allegation that dues were allowed to accrue dishonestly neither attract an offence under section 420 nor section 406 or under any other section. The whole allegation in complaint petition even if true cannot form basis of criminal proceeding. The proceedings are quashed. 42 DLR (AD) 240