Criminal Law

Criminal Action after 5 Years and Bar of Section 468 Cr.P.C.

Criminal Complaint after 5 years has lapsed and whether the bar under Section 468 of Cr. P C, 1973 will be applicable in initiating criminal action in the above mentioned case.

Limitation prescribed under Section 468 of Cr.P.C. applies to only non-serious cases where the imprisonment term does not exceed three years. The section 468 of Cr.P.C, 1973 reads as:

“Bar to taking cognizance after lapse of the period of limitation. 

(1) Except as otherwise provided elsewhere in this Code, no Court, shall take cognizance of an offence of the category specified in sub-section (2), after the expiry of the period of limitation. 

(2) The period of limitation shall be— 

(a) six months, if the offence is punishable with fine only; 

(b) one year, if the offence is punishable with imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year; 

(c) three years, if the offence is punishable with imprisonment for a term exceeding one year but not exceeding three years. 

(3) For the purposes of this section, the period of limitation, in relation to offences which may be tried together, shall be determined with reference to the offence which is punishable with the more severe punishment or, as the case may be, the most severe punishment”. 


A chart showing the period of limitation applicable under section 468 of Cr.P.C. in respect of the provisions under which a criminal complaint may be filed against the accused is produced below:


IPC Charging Section

Punishment under IPC

Bar of Limitation under Cr.P.C. Section 468

Cheating: Section 415 IPC

Punishment under Section 417: punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to one year, or with fine, or with both.

under Section 468 (2) (b) – one year

Cheating: Section 415 IPC

Punishment under Section 420:

punished  with imprisonment  of either description

for a term which may extend to seven years, and shall also be liable to fine.

Bar of limitation under Section 468 Cr.P.C. not applicable as maximum punishment exceeds three years

Forgery: Section 463, 464 IPC

Punishment under Section 465 IPC: Whoever commits forgery shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both.

Bar of limitation under Section 468 (2) (c) – three years

Forgery for purpose of cheating

Punishment under Section 468 IPC: Whoever commits forgery, intending that  the document  forged shall  be used for the purpose of cheating, shall  be punished  with imprisonment  of either description for a  term which  may extend to seven years, and shall also be liable to fine.

Bar of limitation under Section 468 Cr.P.C. not applicable as maximum punishment exceeds three years

Criminal Conspiracy, Section 120 A IPC

Punishment under Section 120B IPC: the punishment of such a conspiracy be punished in the same manner as if he had abetted such offence.

Section 120: the offence be committed, be punished with imprisonment of the description provided for the offence, for a term which may extend to one-fourth of the longest term for such imprisonment.


Bar of limitation under Section 468 (2) applies -three years


However, it must be noted that Section 473 Cr.P.C., inter alia, provides

“Extension of period of limitation barred under Section 468 Cr.P.C in certain cases – Notwithstanding anything contained in the foregoing provisions of this Chapter, any Court may make cognizance of an offence after the expiry of the period of limitations, if it is satisfied on the facts and in the circumstances of the case that the delay has been properly explained or that it is necessary so to do in the interests of justice”.

Thus, if, cogent reasons are given for delay in filing complaint against the accused under sections 415, 463, 464 and 120A IPC, then a criminal complaint may be filed against the accused, subject to the Court being satisfied and condoning the delay. If the complainant had the knowledge of the accused’s criminal acts since more than 5 years and thereafter there have been several reminders, however, no actions were taken against the accused till date. Therefore, depending on the merits of the case in getting the delay of more than 6 years condoned under section 473 Cr.P.C. for complaints filed under sections 415, 463, 464 and 120A IPC are very low and such exercise will be fruitless.

However, it is evident from above, if, the complaint is filed under Section 420 IPC and/or Section 468 IPC then the bar of limitation under Section 468 Cr.P.C would not apply.

19 replies on “Criminal Action after 5 Years and Bar of Section 468 Cr.P.C.”

if the complaint file is under sec 3,4,5,10,11,13(1)(2) of maha. ownership flat act whether limitation under sec 486 of crpc applies

If the offence is a continuing offence then the bar of Section 468 CrPC would not apply. However, if the offence has already been committed and is not continuing then Section 468 can be invoked and limitation period would apply.

An FIR was lodged against an employee of a national institute by the institute’s director. It was on the basis of IT Act 66. It was lodged on 19-04-2012 though the alleged offence came to his notice in october 2011 itself. Till date no charge sheet has been filed nor any enquiry made. Can the FIR be quashed on this ground once it exceeds a period of three years.

FIR can be quashed on the grounds of delay in proceedings. However, Section 468 is limited to taking cognizance of events. As you have said that FIR has already been lodged within time then this provision may not be applicable.

Mera finance company ke saath dispute hua hai, Company ka allegation hai ki maine two mobile phones alag-alag name se alag-alag place se finance

karwaye hai, FIR se pehale company ke kuch employee mere office mai aaye aur mujhse meri hand-writting and jinke document se mobile phone finance

hua hai unke name 8-10 papers par forcefully likhwaya jiseki maine koi complaint kisi bhi police station mai nhi di thi, Court mai meri hand-writting li

gayee ab case ki chargesheet dakhil ho chuki hai jiseme maine dekha ki wahi meri hand-writting joki company employee ne forcefully lee thi police ne

forensic ke liye bheji hui hai aur forensic ki report pending hai, Main ye janna chahta hu forensic report positive aane par mujhe koi pareshani ho sakti hai

agar ho sakti hai to mujhe kya karna chahiye

I was working in a private bank in 1994-95 in their Head office credit department. A proposal to sanction a letter of credit was received from a branch, and it was processed at Head office, for sanction by the Executive director and the Chairman, in May 1995. I had no approval authority. The proposal was recommended by the Executive director and approved by the chairman, and finally by the RESERVE Bank of India. RBI while approving the L?C had diluted the terms I had processed, and the dilution was to render the L/C clean instead of backed by documents. This recommendation to RBI was not sent or processed by me, but by the branch directly.

The documents under the L/c were received by the branch of the bank in sept 1995, who examined it and paid the L/c, and I had no role what so ever in the process.

I resigned from the bank in September 1995, and did not attend office thereafter, and was relieved in Dec 1995. The letter of credit for import devolved on the bank in Feb 1996, and the bank sanctioned a term loan to pay the L/c. The account continued and was classified as NPA in 1997. The bank with the approval of RBI had sanctioned further amounts to the customer in1997/98 etc.,

In 2008 CBI filed a criminal case, against me , the ED and the Chairman u/s 120 b, 420 and PC act. , calling us public servant. Mumbai HC on the basis of a writ filed by the ED/Chairman said that we are not public servant and so PC act is not applicable to us.
CBI has filed appeal in SC, which is pending. Meantime they have also filed at Magistrate court, excluding P C act, but since the matter is before SC, there is no movement in the Magistrate court.

Now the question is,
a) The bank was owned and managed by the ED and Chairman. There was no need for them to join with me an employee with out any approving power, to do conspiracy.
b)I left the bank in 1995 Sept/Dec, and I have the relieving letters etc., CBI has alleged that I have recommended the Term loan in 1996 Feb which is factually wrong.
c)RBI, as regulator has approved, and in fact diluted the terms of the L/c, to a clean L/c.

Some time in 2008 CBI issued me a notice asking me to appear before them as witness, and they did not give me enough time to travel. (just one day gap). I wrote to them saying that please give me another date. They did not reply, and simply added me as accused in their 2008 filing.

d)This private bank was taken over by a public sector bank in 2004. The complaint filed by the bank with CBI does not make any mention about me, but about the branch manager. How the CBI added my name with out even speaking to me once, just on the basis of a notice sent to me by post, and dropped the name of the branch manager is not clear.

What should I do now? Should I move Mumbai high court for quashing the Charge sheet against me? or file for discharge with the Magistrate court?

CBI appeal is still before the SC, and may get decided in 2015 end.

Will be thankful for your guidance

Since the matter is sub-judice, the lower court may be averse to take any action but you can definitely file for quashing under your line of argument, since you have nothing to lose. Please consult local advocate for better guidance in this matter. Good luck.

sir 1 lack rupees was seized and confiscated from us by police in its action under cheating, abatement, forgery . trial court gave verdict in our favour in Aug’ 2012.
so can we we recover it now in 2015 under sec 452 CrPC. or is it time barred. any remedy…kindly reply at the eariest plz sir…

The bar of limitation is 3 years if you file suit for recovery. You have to show that you came to know of the court verdict within 3 years and filed accordingly. However, you can also file for recovery under 452 CrPC but you should have claimed the money within 6 months. Further, the court should have also mentioned in the verdict to return the money to the rightful owners. Check with local lawyer for further help. Good luck.

I was a medical student in Patiala, Punjab. In year 2005 I did internship for which I was paid stipend by the medical college. The stipend was deposited into to my account by the college for a 2 month period when I did not attend the internship and I never used the money which is still sitting in my bank. My ex-wife has filed a 420 charge against me in yr 2008 that I received money for a time period that I never worked for. I live in USA and have not returned to India to face the trial. The Judge closed the case in Oct 2015 to be re-opened when I come to India, Is this now considered time barred since the complaint was filed in yr 2008?

hi sir,

One of my friend was in a situation. the situation is im mentioning 3 alphabets for the clarity person”A-“the person ho bought a fake documents.person “B”-is a friend of Person “A”.person “C”- is a party who makes documents.

coming to the story:

Person”A”is a job search and he approachedPerson” B” and Person” B” told to Person” A” that he knows a consultancy where they offers jobs with Person”A” and Person”C” had discussion and Person”A” got a education document from the Person “C” which is fake and he payees money of 60000 and along with it he pays 20000rs for job now the Person “C” had lift up his hand of offering job.

No the actual thing is that an amount of 50000 thousand as transferred to Person”B” by Person” A”. and Person”A” told it to transfer to Person”C”. the person “B” transferred it to Person”C”.Now the Person” A “was blackmailing Person”B” because of sharing the information about the consultancy now he was putting Person”B” as main criminal and he was saying that he will put a case on Person “B”.though that Person “B” doesnt get any benefit from Either Person”C” or Person” A”.

Now my main doubt :

Is that case or FIR ill be applicable on Person” B”

and what will happen if the Person” A” put a case on Person “B” on threatening that he took all the money for job can Person”A” can do that

what are the IPC codes applicable on

Person A-
Person B-
Person C-

Please help on this so that it ill help on to Person B to come out of it.


If the offence is punishable for three years,then is it barred by limitation under section 468 Cr.p.c.

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