Legal Advice

Can a fraud case be filed against someone who is not a citizen of India?

Question: Question: I am creating online content and uploading it on the various websites. One of my client resides in United Kingdom. He has ordered to write thirty unique contents per months for his website. I have done this work but he refuses to pay for them. He has committed fraud and prepared from me several […]

Advise

Question: I am creating online content and uploading it on the various websites. One of my client resides in United Kingdom. He has ordered to write thirty unique contents per months for his website. I have done this work but he refuses to pay for them. He has committed fraud and prepared from me several contents on the false promise. Can a fraud case be filed against someone who is not a citizen of India?

Asked from: Bihar

Yes, a fraud case can be filed against someone who is not a citizen of India, as long as the alleged fraud occurred within India or involved Indian citizens or entities. The jurisdiction of Indian courts extends to cases where the cause of action, or the event giving rise to the claim, has occurred within the territory of India.

However, there are some additional considerations when the accused is not a citizen of India. The Indian legal system has no jurisdiction over foreign citizens outside of India, and therefore the accused would have to be physically present in India in order to be tried in an Indian court. If the accused is not present in India, the Indian court may request the accused’s country of citizenship to assist in the arrest and extradition of the accused to India.

It’s also worth noting that the process of extradition, in case the accused is not present in India, can be a complicated and time-consuming process, and it will require the cooperation of the accused’s country of citizenship.

Territorial jurisdiction in IPC

The Indian Penal Code (IPC) is the main criminal code of India, which applies to all citizens of India and to all persons on Indian territory, regardless of their nationality. The IPC lays down the general principles of criminal law and defines a wide range of criminal offenses, including those related to murder, theft, and fraud, among others.

The territorial jurisdiction of the Indian courts in relation to the IPC is determined by the place where the offense was committed. If the effect of a particular offence is committed in India the Indian court has the territorial jurisdiction to try that offence. According to the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), Indian courts have jurisdiction over an offense if the offense was committed:

  • Within the local limits of the court’s jurisdiction
  • On a journey or voyage to or from India
  • In a place that is within the exclusive jurisdiction of India
  • On a ship or aircraft registered in India

Additionally, Indian courts have jurisdiction over offenses committed by Indian citizens or residents outside of India, if the offense is punishable under Indian law and if the accused is found within the territory of India.

Shivendra Pratap Singh

Advocate

High Court Lucknow