Mobarik Ali Ahmed vs The State of Bombay

Published On: 21st March, 2024

Authored By: Suhani Rai
Christ University, Delhi


The plaintiff is a Goan businessman who served as the director of a company that conducted import and export operations in Goa under the name Colonial Limitada. In Goa, rice was extremely scarce at the relevant period. His friend Rosario Carvalho put him in touch with someone named Jasawalla, who was also operating as a commission agent in Bombay under the name Universal Supply Corporation. Subsequently, this agent introduced the complainant to the dealer from Karachi, Pakistan, who was the only one exporting rice. During that period, the appellant operated out of Karachi under the names Atlas Industrial and Trading Corporation and Ifthiar Ahmed & Co. Additionally, through communications between Jasawalla and the two parties, the complainant and the appellant, a deal was arranged to buy 1200 tons of rice to be sent from Karachi to Goa for £ 51 per ton. 25% of the total amount was to be paid in advance, 50% upon rice shipment, and the remaining amount was to be paid upon presentation of the shipping documents. Afterward, on 23rd July 1951, 81,000 was paid to one of the defendants who was acting as the appellant’s agent. He then gave the complainant the payment receipt on the appellant’s behalf. The appellant provided information indicating that rice would be shipped, and the amounts were paid based on the appellant’s various representations. All of these amounts were acknowledged as having been received by the appellant, and the appellant’s agent produced the receipt on his behalf. The second and third sums of money, totaling Rs 2,30,000 and 2,36,900, were paid on August 28 and August 29, 1951. In actuality, the rice was never transported. All of the appellant’s telegram contacts were fraudulent and deceptive, and the complaint never received the money back. The Presidency Magistrate found the appellant guilty on three counts of cheating, one for an amount of 81,000, the second for a sum of 2,30,000, and the third for a sum of 2,36,900, in accordance with Section 420 read along with Section 34 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860.

Legal Issue

  • If someone who is not an Indian citizen would be subject to the Indian Penal Code, 1860?
  • If the offender committed the offense outside of India, whether or not he will be held accountable or penalized?

Appellant’s Argument

  1. a) The appellant is a citizen of Pakistan and did not enter India at any point when the offense was being committed. He cannot be prosecuted in an Indian court since he has not committed any crimes that are punishable under the Indian Penal Code.
  2. b) The appellant cannot be prosecuted and found guilty for a different offense than the one at hand because he was taken from England via extradition in relation to another offense, the trial of which is still ongoing.
  3. c) That he is exempt from punishment under Sections 420 and 34 of the Indian Penal Code, which covers dishonesty and deceit in relation to the conveyance of property. In this case, the appellant is not concealing the truth because he signed the telegraph and showed the complainant and Jasawalla the godown of rice. This demonstrates that he is not lying.

Complainants Arguments

A defendant who is found guilty of committing an offense due to their actions may be prosecuted by the court whose local jurisdiction the offense was committed.

 Because the appellant went to England and refused to return the rice after payment, he is responsible under Sections 420 and 34 of the IPC. Letters and telegrams received by the agent or the person submitting the complaint: In the first instance, the letters the appellant presented have his signature on them attesting to the accuracy of the material. There is no question about a fact or piece of evidence that meets the requirements for direct evidence or excellent evidence, as specified in sections 45 and 47 of the Indian Evidence Act.


The Court declared that he was guilty “in absentia” and that anybody who violates the Penal Code’s requirements, whether they are Indian or not, will be held accountable under Section 2 of the Indian Penal Code. According to Section 2 of the Indian Penal Code, everyone who disobeys its rules may face consequences regardless of their ethnicity. Sections 3 and 4, which address extraterritorial jurisdiction and extension, respectively, apply to this case. The highest court decided that the appellant was turned over in line with the Fugitive Offenders Act, which does not have any analogous provisions and supports the notion that fresh trials should be held to assess the validity of an offense, in order to show the second argument. In response to the third query about the validity of the evidence so created, take into account the following two elements: telegrams and letters. The veracity and correctness of the letters were confirmed, and they held true. It was decided that he must be held accountable for his actions regardless of whether he was an Indian citizen at the time of the offense or not. As a result, he was sentenced to two years in jail for the first count of the payment and twenty-two months for the second. He will be imprisoned for a total of three years and ten months.


When it comes to criminal jurisdiction, an act can be considered performed within English territory even though the person performing it may not be in the country. For example, someone who, while traveling abroad, hires an innocent intermediary or uses the post office to commit a crime in England is considered to have committed the crime in England. A person is subject to English jurisdiction if they commit an offense while they are outside of England and some or all of its essential components occur in England. It seems that although the perpetrator of this crime is not a foreign national, he may nevertheless face legal consequences should he decide to return to England in the future. Because all the elements of the offense occur inside the municipal boundaries, the exercise of criminal authority in these situations under common law is actually an exercise of municipal jurisdiction.

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