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Is it theft or not?

(Querist) 18 May 2020 This query is : Resolved 
In the Restaurant, When a customer ordered food after he ate the food, Then he unable to pay the money.
So, Can I know how it will be punishable for this offense?
Is it can call theft or not?
Raj Kumar Makkad (Expert) 18 May 2020
The situation do not constitute theft rather this is a civil liability of customer to pay the bill. If he fails do perform his liability then further civil action of recovery on the part of hotel authorities may be got initiated.

Guest (Expert) 18 May 2020
Prashant Motak who has an MBA -- Marketing degree was arrested by Mumbai Police on May 21 --2016 for non -payment of Hotel bills at Hotel Trident.
Guest (Expert) 18 May 2020
In the case of Restaurants the Non Payment of Food Bills is also an Offence and Section 420 IPC could be applied basing on the nature of complaint.
Govardhan Varma (Querist) 18 May 2020
Dear Sir,
can u suggest me a caselaw for the reference for 420 IPC and also how to recover the bill amount.
Rajendra K Goyal (Expert) 18 May 2020
How are you concerned?
Govardhan Varma (Querist) 18 May 2020
Dear Goyal ji,
My concern is
1.Punishment for the offence for the non payment of the bill and
2.Recovery of my bill amount.
Guest (Expert) 18 May 2020
IPC sections to be filed should not be your worry and the concerned Police would decide. First consult an local good Advocate and file your complaint in a legally acceptable format/ manner with out any delay to the concerned Police.
P. Venu (Expert) 18 May 2020
In my understanding, it is only a matter of breach of contract unless the non-payment bill is of aggravated form, when a large group of person are involved and/or the amount involved is substantial.
Raj Kumar Makkad (Expert) 18 May 2020
Is it sure that the author is the owner of the hotel and not the person who ate at the hotel without paying its value or a student who is concerned only for discussion?
Rajendra K Goyal (Expert) 18 May 2020
1. In case police has initiated, under which sections the police has initiated action?. Punishment would be in accordance of the charges and proofs before the court.
2. For recovery of bill amount, civil action can be taken.
Raj Kumar Makkad (Expert) 18 May 2020
Taking a person into custody by the local police so as to thwart the expected criminal force, cannot be termed as arrest. Non-payment of the value after having eaten the eatables may be the result of various reasons so unless and untill the malafide intention is shown, it cannot be concluded that a criminal act has been committed by the so-called customer.
T. Kalaiselvan, Advocate (Expert) 19 May 2020
Not paying the bill after eating in the restaurant may be for various reasons, i.e., the customer would have been hungry hence he sat down and ate the stuff, but he realised his mistake of not having the money only after satisfying his hunger though he was ware that he was not having money.
Some restaurant owners deal with such cases at their own discretion, like extracting work from the defaulters to some extent or allow them by pardoning them magnanimously, some hardcore owners try to get them punished through police by giving a complaint under the cheating offence.
The police may also use their discretion by registering a petty offence against the defaulters with fine amount or if there is huge pressure from the owner then they may book them under cheating offence.
As a matter of fact, such things do not come under crime but may come under civil liability as rightly opined by expert Shri RK Makkad Sir.
You may revert with more details on the subject so that you can get more proper opinion on this.

Govardhan Varma (Querist) 17 January 2021
Thank you for your answer


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