The law clearly recognizes a difference between simple payment/investment of money and entrustment of money or property. A mere breach of a promise, agreement or contract does not, ipso facto, constitute the offence of the criminal breach of trust contained in Section 405 Indian Penal Code without there being a clear case of entrustment. In the context of contracts, the distinction between mere breach of contract and cheating would depend upon the fraudulent inducement and mens rea. The mere inability of a party to return the loan amount cannot give rise to a criminal prosecution for cheating unless fraudulent or dishonest intention is shown right at the beginning of the transaction, as it is this mens rea which is the crux of the offence. The legislature intended to criminalise only those breaches which are accompanied by fraudulent, dishonest or deceptive inducements, which resulted in involuntary and inefficient transfers, under Section 415 Indian Penal Code. Satishchandra Ratanlal Shah v. State of Gujarat, (2019) 9 SCC 148.
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The ingredients in order to constitute a criminal breach of trust are:
(1) Entrusting a person with property or with any dominion over property,
(2) That person entrusted (a) dishonestly misappropriating or converting that property to his own use; or (b) dishonestly using or disposing of that property or willfully suffering any other person so to do in violation (i) of any direction of law prescribing the mode in which such trust is to be discharged, (ii) of any legal contract made, touching the discharge of such trust.
The ingredients of an offence of cheating are:
(1) There should be fraudulent or dishonest inducement of a person by deceiving him,
(2) (a) The person so deceived should be induced to deliver any property to any person or to consent that any person shall retain any property; or
(b) The person so deceived should be intentionally induced to do or omit to do anything which he would not do or omit if he were not so deceived; and
(3) In cases covered by, 2(b) the act of omission should be one which causes or is likely to cause damage or harm to the person induced in body, mind, reputation or property. Arun Bhandari v. State of U.P., (2013) 2 SCC 801.