Cheating in Pakistan is defined as dishonest concealment of facts or deceiving someone by presenting falsehood as facts. Cheating itself is a crime that’s covered in the Pakistan Penal code from Section 415 to Section 419.

The act of Deceiving involves dishonesty, which in most cases leads to fraud. In this article, we will discuss Cheating in Pakistan, along with relevant citations for cheating in Pakistan.

Fraudulent and dishonest intentions (mens rea) and inducement at the time of performance of act (actus rea) are essential ingredients for the commission of an offence of cheating and onus always lay on prosecution to primae facie establish said ingredients for taking cognizance in the matter

2004 MLD 1403

What is Cheating in Pakistan?

Pakistan’s Penal Code narrates cheating as an act where one deceives others to obtain something that they couldn’t obtain otherwise (through honesty). This action has very broad and varied levels of impact on its victims. Cheating in Pakistan has various modes as well; such as using forged documents or trademarks, as well as impersonation.

If someone claims to be somebody they are not (impersonating someone else), this would be known as personation. This also falls into the crime of cheating in Pakistan. Cheating is the dishonest act of presenting information known to be false as true, including impersonation.

Deception is an essential element in the offence of cheating

PLD 1973 SC 619

Legally Defining Cheating in Pakistan

To legally define cheating in Pakistan, we first need to visit the actions and intentions of the criminal (that we are pursuing the crime of cheating against). Their crimes must include acts of dishonesty by deception, and a reason for acting dishonestly (known as the “motive”).

The term “Dishonestly” is defined in Section 24 of the Pakistan Penal Code as “Whoever does anything with the intention of causing wrongful gain to one person or wrongful loss to another person is said to do that thing ‘dishonestly'”. How they portray this dishonesty would be exerted by deception; either by concealing facts known to be true, or by presenting facts known to be false, or a mixture of the two.

Dishonest concealment of facts is a deception within the meaning of section 415 [cheating in Pakistan]

1905 SCMR 1249

The factors that amount to Cheating in Pakistan

The ingredients required to constitute the offense of cheating, and to prosecute successfully, are the following:-

  1. An attempt to cheat by Inducement (through deceptive means) is established
  2. The inducement happens through the act of deception that was utilized
  3. That, had the deception of not happened, the action obtained through cheating would not of happened.

If there is mere inducement and it does not involve any other element of fraud or dishonest intention, then delivery of any property on account of said inducement would not amount to cheating

1976 PCrLJ 22

The different forms of cheating

  • Cheating by using Documents known to be fake
    • When documents are used (either made by forgery, using counterfiet stamps or using documents used something else) to show an item to be something it isn’t.
    • The possession of known fake documents and production of forged documents is also crime in itself.
  • Cheating by using trademarks or brand names without consent under false pretenses (i.e. counterfeit goods)
    • An example of this is when someone uses a brand name on an item without their consent, usually on an item of inferior quality, to attract a higher price.
    • Cybercrimes are also committed by phishing scams when criminal gangs create websites copying legitimate businesses or banks to acquire personal details.
  • Cheating by personation
    • This is when someone claims to be somebody that they are not.
    • Personation crimes are also commited as a cybercrime, when a message is sent to a recipient claiming to be from a legitimate company or bank, when it is usually from a criminal wishing to defraud the recipient.
  • Cheating by concealment of facts
    • If you have been offered something, but the full details were not given to you and intentionally concealed (which would of affected your judgement of purchase) then this would also be considered cheating in Pakistan.
    • In some matters, intentional concealment of facts would be considered an act of fraud.
  • Cheating by misrepresenting facts
    • When a fact has been presented to you that is completely false and untrue (in other words, a lie) which could induce an unsuspecting person to act on it (be it a purchase, or to give consent on an action) this would also be considered cheating in Pakistan.

An accused [for cheating] cannot be punished for a mistake or negligence

1990 PCrLJ 1170

Cheating in Pakistan by Personation

When we deal with people, we often take people at face value. As this is known by con artists and scammers, criminals tend to pretend to be someone they are not. This way, they can gain your trust dishonestly, and perhaps entice you into deals and offers that you would perhaps not of entered if you knew their true identities.

There are various sections of the Pakistan Penal Code that cover different forms of cheating in Pakistan by impersonation. For example, Personating a Public Servant is covered in Section 170 PPC, and personation of Juror or Assessor is covered in Section 229 PPC.

A Broken promise does not amount to cheating

1992 PCrLJ 141

What you should do if you fall victim to this crime

If this has happened to you, you should seek immediate legal assistance, and inform all relevant organizations (such as banks if it involves your bank details, credit cards, or cheques) and agencies (the Police, and the FIA Cybercrime wing if this has happened online as a cybercrime). You should submit an FIR without delay, and pursue the matter rigorously.

Whether you’re a victim or someone who is wrongfully being prosecuted for this crime, we can help. If you require assistance from one of our expert criminal lawyers in Pakistan, Whatsapp us on 0308 551 0031 (or 0092 308 551 0031 if you are contacting us from outside of Pakistan). Alternatively, fill out this form below and one of our representatives will get back to you.