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Difference Between Cheating And Mischief

Cheating is defined under section 415 “Whoever, by deceiving any person, fraudulently or dishonestly induces the person so deceived to deliver any proper¬ty 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”. Mischief is defined under section 425 “Whoever with intent to cause, or knowing that he is likely to cause, wrongful loss or damage to the public or to any person, causes the destruction of any property, or any such change in any property or in the situation thereof as destroys or diminishes its value or utility, or affects it injuriously, commits "mischief".
In Cheating, Individual persons and properties are affected. In Mischief, public and private properties are affected.
The accused deceives a person fraudulently or dishonestly and obtains the property. The accused causes wrongful loss or damage to the public or to any person.
1. Deception
2. Effect of Absence of Dishonest Inducement
3. Inducement
Ingredients of mischief-
1. Intention or knowledge
2. act resulting in destruction, damage or change
3. diminishing the value or utility
Aim of the wrong-doer is to have the property by fraudulent means, and to enjoy it. The accused here wants to injure or destroy the property.
Imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to one year or fine or both Imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three months, or with fine, or with both.
Illustration- A burns a valuable property belonging to Z intending to cause wrongful loss to Z. A has committed mischief. Illustration - A deceives Z into believing that A has fulfilled his portion of a contract with Z, which he has not, and therefore induces Z into paying money. A has commit cheating.


The Court concluded in the case of Indian Oil Corporation v. NEPC India Ltd. and Ors. That property ownership or possession is not a decisive element in the application of section 425 of the IPC. As a result, mischief can be held to have been done even if the accused is the owner of the property if all of the other required conditions are met.

In the case of Krishna Gopal Singh And Ors. v the State Of U.P., it was decided that if the accused committed an act without any intent or knowledge that the act in question is likely to cause wrongful loss or damage to any person or the general public, the act will not be considered mischief because the element of "Mens rea" is missing. Similarly, an act undertaken without free permission, i.e. under coercion or compulsion, will not be considered mischief.


In the case of K R Kumaran vs State of Kerala, a patient who was admitted to the hospital was examined by a doctor, who determined that the patient was in a situation in which he would not live. The doctor collaborated with the other defendants to issue a life insurance policy for the person who was about to die, and he certified that he was well and healthy in order to do so. The accused did this in order to collect the money from the insurance company after the patient passed away. The court found the defendant guilty of defrauding and tricking the insurance company in order to get benefits. Under the IPC, the accused was found guilty of cheating.

In the case of Nageshwar Prasad Sinha v Narayan Singh, the respondent and the accused reached an agreement. A portion of the cash was exchanged for the item that was handed over to the accused. After then, the accused failed to make the agreed-upon complete payment for the surrender of possession. The defendant also failed to execute the legal requirements associated with the surrender of possession because he had not been paid in full. The accused sued the respondent in civil court for specific performance. Under Section 420 of the IPC, the respondent filed a criminal complaint against the accused. The court determined that the accused's culpability was civil rather than criminal because he contributed to the payment for surrender of possession and it could not be proven that his goal was to defraud from the start.


The IPC's Mischief Law was written with the goal of providing protection against property destruction those results in unjust loss or harm to the public or a person. It's an outgrowth of the legal maxim sic utretuo lead as, which means "use your own property, but not in a way that injure your neighbor's or other's."

The Indian Penal Code considers cheating to be a criminal offence. It is done in order to earn or get an advantage from another person through deception. The individual who deceives another is well aware that he or she is putting the other person in an unfavourable situation. Cheating can be made a criminal offence under Section 420 of the IPC.

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