Counterfeiting stamps- sec 255- 263A – The Legal Lock

Introduction:-

Chapter XII discussed 35 sections whose topic is of offenses relating to coins and government stamps. In which offenses relating to coin deals with sections (230-254) under IPC and government stamps deals with sections (255-263A) under IPC.

In this article we discussed about counterfeiting stamps which deals with section (255-263A) under Indian penal code, 1860. In the sections (255-263A) of IPC provide punishment for offenses relating to stamps issued by the government.

Section 255:- Counterfeiting the government stamp.

The term ‘stamp’ has been used here in its generic term. It is an impression by means of a die upon paper, parchment or other material and is sold on payment of a charge or tax printed on it for the purpose of revenue or services rendered by the state.

The stamp may be adhesive or non-adhesive. The adhesive stamps are those used in judicial work, posts and telegraph offices, the forest and either revenue departments of the government along with non-adhesive stamps are used intended for the implementation of contracts, writing of plaints as well as appeals, and so forth .

Ingredients:-

  • The accused counterfeited or knowingly preformed any part of the process of counterfeiting
  • The counterfeiting was that of a stamp issued by the government for purposes of revenue.

Section 256:- Having the possession of an instrument or a material for counterfeiting government stamp.

According to the IPC, section 256 is similar to section 235 discussing about coins. It makes the very preparation to counterfeit the government stamp an offense in view of the gravity of the act in question. This section punishes a person who is found in possession of an instrument or material for the purpose of counterfeiting the government stamp. The punishments under this act might extend to 7 years and fine as well.

Ingredients:-

  • The accused had in his possession an instrument or material
  • Such an instrument was for the purpose of being used or knowing or having reason to believe that it was intended to be used for the purpose of counterfeiting any stamp of the government.
  • The government stamp was subjected meant for the reason of revenue.

Section 257:- making or selling instruments for counterfeiting government stamps:-

According to the IPC, the section 257 corresponds to sections 233 and section 234, and it punishes making or selling instruments for counterfeiting government stamps with imprisonment which may extend to seven years and fine.

Ingredients:-

  • The accused made or performed any part in the process of making or buying or selling or disposing of any part in the process of making or buying or selling or disposing of any instrument for the purpose of counterfeiting any stamp issued by the government for purposes of revenue .
  • He knew or had reason to believe that such an instrument was intended to be used for the purpose of counterfeiting stamps.

Section 258:- the sale of counterfeit government stamps.

Section 258 discussed the sale of counterfeit government stamps which are punishable by imprisonment that may extend to 7 years and fine. This is cognizable and non-bailable offense and non-compoundable.

Ingredients:-

  • The stamp in question was a counterfeit of a stamp issued by the government
  • The accused sold or offered for sale any stamp which he knew or had reason to believe it to be a counterfeit of stamps issued by the government for the purpose of revenue.

Section 259:- having the possession of counterfeit government stamp.

Section 259 of the IPC punishes a person who is found in possession of stamps, knowing them to be counterfeit of any stamp for the purpose of revenue by the government. The punishment of this offense may make longer to seven years of imprisonment along with fine. This is cognizable and non-bailable offense and non-compoundable and also triable by a magistrate of the first class.

Ingredients:-

  • The accused was in possession of a stamp
  • Such a stamp was a counterfeit of a stamp issued by the government for the purposes of revenue
  • The accused knew that the stamp in question was counterfeit
  • That the accused intended to use or dispose of it as an authentic or obsessed with it in arranging that it might be used the same as a genuine.

Section 260:- Using as genuine a government stamp known to be a counterfeit

Section 260 of the chapter XII under IPC, discussed the offense of using a counterfeit stamp as a genuine stamp. Punishment in such cases may extend to seven years of imprisonment or fine or both.

Ingredients in this act to prove:-

  • This stamp in question of this section is a counterfeit of a stamp issued by the government meant for the reasons of revenue and
  • That knowing that such a stamp as counterfeit, the accused used it as a genuine stamp,

The offense of this section is cognizable, bailable, non-compoundable ant triable by a magistrate of first class.

Section 261:- the effacing, writing of substances bearing government stamps or removing from documents a stamp used for it, with the intent to cause loss to the government.

According to IPC, section 261 is corresponds to sections 246 and section 248, relating to coins. It relates to removing or effacing any substance from a stamp issued by the government or removing or effacing any writing used on or after such a stamp, or else removing as of any writing or a document any stamp which has been used intended for such document or else writing in order that such a stamp may be used for a different writing or document with the intention to defraud or cause loss to the government in this section.

This section deals with two distinct acts:-

  • Removing writing from a stamped paper and also,
  • Removing a stamp from a writing or document.

Section 262:-using the government stamp familiar to have been before used.

Section 262 under IPC makes punishable the fraudulent use of a stamp already used with imprisonment which may extend to two years or fine or both. This is cognizable and non-bailable offense and non-compoundable and also triable by any magistrate.

Ingredients:-

  • The stamp used was a stamp issued by the government for the purpose of revenue;
  • The stamp had already been used
  • The accused used it again
  • While using the stamp the accused knew that it had been used before; and
  • The accused intended to defraud the government

Section 263:- Erasure of mark denoting that stamp has been used.

The offense of this section is cognizable and non-bailable offense and non-compoundable and also triable by a magistrate of the first class. Section 263 of IPC punishes three categories of acts.

They are:-

  • Erasure or removal of a mark denoting that a stamp has been used
  • Possession of stamp so erased and
  • Sale or disposal of whichever stamp.

In this section under IPC, the punishment may be expanding to imprisonment in support of three years or with fine or else with both.

The ingredients of this section:-

  • In case of erasure it must be established that-
  • The stamp in question was issued by the government for the purpose of revenue;
  • The stamp bore the mark that it had been used
  • The accused removed or erased such as mark o impression and
  • The accused did so with the intention to defraud or cause loss to the government
  • In case of possession it must be proved that:-
  • The stamp in question was issued by the government for purposes of the revenue
  • The stamp bore the mark or impression showing that it had been used
  • The accused removed or erased such mark or impression
  • The accused knew at the time that such marks or impressions had been removed or erased.

Section 263A:- the prohibition of fictitious stamps.

Under IPC, this section was added by criminal law (amendment) act 3 of 1895, section 2 in consequence of the resolution of the international postal congress held at Vienna in 1891 to prohibit the growing traffic of fictitious stamps.

This section discusses about the sale of any fictitious stamps or the use of such stamps for postal purposes. The offense in this section is cognizable, bailable, non-compoundable and triable by any magistrate.

The ingredients of this section 263A:-

To convict a person under this section it must be proved that the accused-

In this section, made, dealt in or sold any fictitious stamp or knowingly altered the same

Knowingly used a fictitious stamp for any postal purpose, or

Had in his possession without lawful excuse any fictitious stamps

Or made or else without lawful excuse had in his possession any die, plates or instruments or materials for making fictitious stamps.

References:-

KD GUAR, THE INDIAN PENAL CODE [As amended by the criminal law ( Amendment ) act, 2018]


Megha Jains Megha Jains

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