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Bhagwan DIn Vs. Gouri Shankar and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCivil
CourtAllahabad High Court
Decided On
Case NumberAppln. No. 115 of 1951
Judge
Reported inAIR1957All119
ActsEvidence Act, 1872 - Sections 45, 73 and 101 to 104
AppellantBhagwan Din
RespondentGouri Shankar and anr.
Appellant AdvocateM.K. Seth, Adv.
Respondent AdvocateJagdish Narain, Adv.
Excerpt:
civil - disputed handwriting - sections 45, 73, 101 to 104 of evidence act, 1872 - party denied execution of pronote - court can give opinion - held, judge should obtain opinion of an expert. - - the procedure adopted by the learned judge cannot be said to be good. it is no doubt open to a court to express its own opinion about the identity or otherwise of a disputed handwriting or thumb-impression but it would not be safe to base a conclusion entirely on such a comparison. theparties should be given opportunity to adduce freshevidence if they like......witness-box and stated on oath that he had not put his signature on the pronote or the receiptthe learned judge then compared the disputed signatures with some other admitted signatures of the defendant and came to the conclusion that the two signatures were made by the defendant. he then believed the plaintiff's evidence and decreed the claim. the procedure adopted by the learned judge cannot be said to be good. it is no doubt open to a court to express its own opinion about the identity or otherwise of a disputed handwriting or thumb-impression but it would not be safe to base a conclusion entirely on such a comparison.it was because of this conclusion of his based on his own comparison that he believed the plaintiff's evidence. the onus of proving that the document had been duly.....
Judgment:
ORDER

Randhir Singh, J.

1. This is an application in revision under Section 25 of the Provincial Small Cause Courts Act against the judgment and decree passed by the Judge of the Court of Small Causes, Lucknow.

2. It appears that a suit was instituted by the plaintiffs opposite-parties on the basis of a pronote, for Rs. 260/- alleged to have been executed by the defendant. The defendant, filed a written statement denying the execution of the pronote. The plaintiff entered into the witness-box but examined no other witness. The defendant also entered into the witness-box and stated on oath that he had not put his signature on the pronote or the receipt

The learned Judge then compared the disputed signatures with some other admitted signatures of the defendant and came to the conclusion that the two signatures were made by the defendant. He then believed the plaintiff's evidence and decreed the claim. The procedure adopted by the learned Judge cannot be said to be good. It is no doubt open to a court to express its own opinion about the identity or otherwise of a disputed handwriting or thumb-impression but it would not be safe to base a conclusion entirely on such a comparison.

It was because of this conclusion of his based on his own comparison that he believed the plaintiff's evidence. The onus of proving that the document had been duly executed, by the defendant evidently lay upon the plaintiff and the plaintiff ought to have led satisfactory evidence to prove that the signatures were made by the defendant. It was no part of the duty of the defendant to call an expert to support his contention.

It was obviously the duty of the plaintiff in the first instance to satisfy the court that the signatures had been affixed by the defendant. It has been observed in two cases of this Court, viz. Darshan Singh v. Prabhu Singh : AIR1946All67 and Azmat Ullah Khan v. Shyam Lal AIR 1947 All 411 (B) that if is not desirable that a Judge should take upon him-self the task of comparing the signatures in order to find out whether the disputed signatures agree with the other admitted signatures and the proper course is to obtain the opinion of an expert.

In the present case, the conclusions arrived at by the learned Judge were based entirely on his own comparison of the disputed signatures. The decree passed by the lower court should therefore be set aside.

3. As a result the application for revision is allowed and the decree passed by the court below is set aside. The case shall 20 back to the Court of Small Causes with a direction that it be readmitted to its original number and decided according to law. Theparties should be given opportunity to adduce freshevidence if they like.


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