Pocket Notes



Section 463 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 defines the offence of forgery and Section 464 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 substantiates an equivalent by providing a solution as to when a false document might be said to make for the aim of committing an offence of forgery under Section 463 of IPC. Therefore, it is often stated that Section 464 of the Indian Penal Code defines one among the ingredients of forgery, that is, making of a false document.

Section 465 of IPC, 1860 provides punishment for the commission of the offence of forgery. To sustain a conviction under Section 465 of IPC, 1860, first, it’s to be proved that forgery was committed under Section 463 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860, implying that ingredients under Section 464 of the Indian Penal code should even be satisfied. Therefore, until and unless the ingredients specified under Section 463 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 are satisfied, an individual can’t be convicted under Section 465 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 by solely counting on the ingredients of § 464 of IPC because the offence of forgery would remain incomplete.

When an individual is claimed to have a false document?

In the matter of Md. Ibrahim & Ors V/s State of Bihar & Anr, (2009) 8 SCC 751, it had been held that an individual is claimed to have made a ‘false document’, if:

  • He made or executed a document claiming to be somebody else or authorized by someone else; or, 
  • He altered or tampered a document; or,
  • He obtained a document by practising deception, or from an individual not on top of things of his senses.

Analysis of Obiter of Sheila Sebastian (Supra)

Case to be referred – Sheila Sebastian vs R.Jawaharaj on 11 May 2018

Forgery is often described as merely the means to realize an end- the top being deception. the most difference between cheating and forgery is that in cheating the deception is oral, whereas in forgery it is in writing.

The very basis of the offence of forgery is that the making of a false document with the criminal intent to cause damage to a person. Only those acts of forgery, which are amid the weather of deception and injury, are often said to be covered by the definition of forgery under § 463 and 464 of the Indian Penal Code.

  • Making of a false document is that the soul of forgery. What constitutes a false document or a part of the document isn’t the writing of any number of words which in themselves are innocent, but the affixing of the seal or signature of some person to the document or a part of a document knowing that the seal or signature isn’t his which he gave no authority to affix it. In other words, the falsity consists within the document, or a part of a document, being signed or sealed with the name or seal of an individual who didn’t, in fact, sign or seal it.
  • To constitute forgery within the meaning of Section 463 of the IPC, 1860, the subsequent ingredients must be established:
  • The document or a part of the document must be false;
  • It must be made dishonestly or fraudulently within the meaning of the words as utilized in Section 464 of the IPC, 1860; and,
    • It must be made with one among the intents specified under Section 463 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860.
    • Preparation for forgery is not an offence under the provisions of the Indian Penal Code, 1860.

Points to Remember

  • There is a fundamental difference between an individual executing a purchase deed claiming that the property conveyed is his property, and an individual executing a purchase deed by impersonating the owner or falsely claiming to be authorized or empowered by the owner, to execute the deed on owner’s behalf. Latter may be a case of forgery and not the previous.
  • When an individual executes a document conveying a property describing it as his, there are two possibilities. the primary is that he really believes that the property actually belongs to him. The second is that he could also be dishonestly or fraudulently claiming it to be his albeit he knows that it’s not his property. Both these possibilities fall outside the purview of the offence of forgery.

When a document is executed by an individual claiming a property which is not his, he is not claiming that he is somebody else neither is he claiming that he’s authorized by somebody else. Thus, execution of a document, purporting to convey some property of which he is not the legal owner, is not an execution of a false document as defined under Section 464 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860. If what is executed is not a false document, regards being had to Sections 463 and 464 of IPC, there’s no forgery.

The definition of ‘false document’ may be a part of the definition of ‘forgery’. Production of a document is different than causing it to be made. For constituting an offence under Section 464 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860, it is imperative that a false document is formed and therefore the accused person is that the maker of an equivalent, otherwise the accused person is not responsible for the offence of forgery.

Even if a person features a legal claim or title to property, he is going to be guilty of forgery if he counterfeits documents to support it.

Where an accused person obtains a real signature upon a false document, by inserting the document during a heap of papers placed for signature before the person signing it, the accused person can’t be held responsible for the commission of an offence under Section 464 IPC as no deception is often construed to possess been practised on the person signing the document preventing him from knowing the character of the document.


A person is said to have made a false document or record if one among the subsequent three conditions stand satisfied, namely:

  • Impersonation: The document has been falsified with the intention of causing it to be believed that such document has been made by an individual, by whom the person falsifying the document knows that it had been not made.
  • Altering the documents by causing interlineations and obliterations: Where an individual without lawful authority alters a document after it has been made.
  • Receiving the documents by exercising deception: When the document is formed to be signed by an individual who thanks to his mental incapacity (intoxication or unsoundness of mind) doesn’t know the contents of the documents which were made.

For a document to be a false document, it is not necessary that it must be an entire document. However, if a document, say a deed of sale is caught before any signature, partially or fully, is put thereon, then, the deed won’t be treated as a false document inasmuch because the offence will still remain at the stage of preparation, but if the accused is caught, while signing such a deed, the offender is often said to possess been caught, when the offence had gone beyond the stage of preparation and had already entered into the zone of a plan to commit the offence of forgery.

Therefore, before the method of the signing of the deed commences, the ‘making’ of the false document will remain under process and therefore the crime will remain within the stage of ‘preparation’. it will be a bit like making of a replica key to a lock for committing theft or procuring of poison for committing murder. For merely making such a key, albeit the intended offence is theft, one cannot be held to possess attempted to commit the offence of theft. Similarly, procuring of poison will not constitute an offence of plan to commit murder, though the target may need been to administer poison to a selected person. The law punishes a person not for guilty intention, except for the overt act done.

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