(1) In this petition, the petitioner seeks a revision of the order of the Additional District Magistrate directing a further enquiry. The petitioner was charged under Ss. 465 and 201, Indian Penal Code, before the Joint Magistrate, Rajamundry. The case against him was that he issued several bills in the names of fictitious persons to cover up the sales and rendered himself liable under S. 465, Indian Penal Code. It was also said that, to further cover up the fictitious bills, he attempted to destroy the bills by setting fire to them.
The Joint Magistrate, while finding on the evidence on record, that the accused did issue receipts in the names of persons who did not exist and that he later attempted to burn the original bills came to the conclusion that the offences committed by the accused did not amount to one under S. 465 or under S. 201, Indian Penal Code According to the Magistrate, the bills issued by the petitioner did not amount to false documents within the meaning of S. 464, Indian Penal Code.
As the second charge was that he tried to destroy the evidence of the offence of forgery, an offence punishable under S. 201, Indian Penal Code and as no offencer of forgery was committed, the second charge also was unsustainable. In this view of the matter he discharged the accused.
(2) On revision by the State, the Additional District Magistrate set aside that order and ordered further enquiry. The reasons given by him as regards the first charge was unintelligible. The learned District Magistrate also thought that the offence of causing disappearance of evidence is a separate and distinct offence and requires investigation, as the petitioner sought to destroy evidence of the offence of forgery. It is against this order that the present revision petition is filed.
(3) In this petition, the view of the Additional District Magistrate regarding both the charges is canvassed. The first question for consideration is, whether an offence under S. 465 has been committed. It is true that the evidence established that bills were issued by the petitioner in the names of fictitious persons. But the question is, do they amount to false documents with in the meaning of S. 464, Indian Penal Code An offence under S. 465, Indian Penal Code, is committed only if a person makes a false document for purposes mentioned in S. 464, Indian Penal Code.
'A person is said to make a false document :
First : Who dishonestly or fraudulently makes, signs, seals or executes a document or part of a document, or makes any mark denoting the execution of a document, with the intention of causing it to be believed that such document or part of a document, was made, signed, sealed or executed by or by the authority of a person, by whom or by whose authority he knows that it was not made, signed, sealed or executed, or at a time at which he knows that it was not made, signed, sealed or executed ; or
Secondly : Who, without lawful authority, dishonestly or fraudulently by cancellation or otherwise, alters a document in any material part thereof, after it has been made or executed either by himself or by any other person, whether such person be living or dead at the time of such alteration ; or
Theirdly : Who, dishonestly or fraudulently causes any person to sign, seal, execute or alter a document, knowing that such person by reason of unsoundness of mind or intoxication cannot, or that by reason of deception practised upon him, he does not know the contents of the document or the nature of the alteration.'
Clauses (2) and (3) are not relevant for the purpose of this inquiry. Under S. 464, Indian Penal Code, what is essential is that the accused person must make a document with the intention of making it to be believed that it was signed by or by the authority of someone else, while he knows that it was not so made or authorised by that person. In this case the accused did not make the bills purporting to be made by or authorised by some person. The intention in issuing the bills may be fraudulent and he may be punishable for some other offence. But to bring it within the four corners of this section, the false document must be created with a view to make it appear that it was made by some other person who the accused knows, did not make it, see -- 'Queen Empress v. Kunju Nair', 12 Mad 114 (A). It follows that no offence under S. 465, Indian Penal Code, had been committed.
(4) Coming now to the offence under S. 201, Indian Penal Code, as the charge against him is that he caused disappearance of the evidence of the offence of forgery, and as the first charge falls, the ingredients essential to constitute an offence under S. 201, Indian Penal Code are lacking. It follows that the petition was rightly discharged by the Joint Magistrate and the Additional District Magistrate ought not to have set aside that order.
Before concluding I want to mention about something which requires investigation. In the order of the Joint Magistrate, it is stated :
'The Additional Public Prosecutor himself admitted in court that if no charge under S. 465 lies, then this also automatically falls as the accused is said to have caused the disapperance of evidence for the main charge under S. 465, Indian Penal Code.'
But, in the order of the District Magistrate, it is remarked :
'It is also said that the Additional Public Prosecutor admitted such a position while it is denied by the Additional Public Prosecutor in this Court.'
(5) It is true that the concession of the Additional Public Prosecutor is absolutely immaterial on a question of law, but whether he made such a concession or not, is material in this case, while the Joint Magistrate says that such a concession was made, the District Magistrate denies Additional Public Prosecutor having made such a statement. The District and Sessions Judge, Rajamundry, will enquire into this matter and submit a report within a month.
H. G. P.
(6) Order accordingly.