1. The applicant Chatar Singh has been convicted of the offence of perjury under Section 193, Indian Penal Code, and has been sentenced to 6 months' rigorous imprisonment and a fine of Rs. 10. This conviction and sentence were upheld on appeal by the Sessions Judge. Briefly put the facts, out of which the prosecution arose, were as follows:
One Ishri Prasad brought a suit against Chatar Singh seeking to recover from him the rent of a certain house and also his ejectment from the property. Chatar Singh filed his written statement on the 10th May 1908. His defence was that he was the owner of the house and in respect to the two agreements to pay rent, dated the 6th of December 1895 and the 20th of September 1892, which had been put forward by the plaintiff, he pleaded that he had left blank' stamped papers in the plaintiffs possession and probably the plaintiff had drawn up on those papers false agreements to pay rent. He was examined by the Court on the 10th of December 1908. He admitted at that time that the signatures on the two above-mentioned documents were genuine signatures, but again pleaded that he had left blank papers in possession of the plaintiffs which bore his signatures. His case was that on papers of that description the plaintiff had drawn up two kirayanamas. He was put upon his trial for perjury in respect to his statement which he had made that he had executed no kirayanama in favour of the plaintiff and that the house in suit was his property and did not belong to Ishri Prasad. I may note here that the property had been bought at an auction sale in the name of the plaintiff Ishri Prasad and that the applicant's case was that it was a benami purchase made by himself.
2. The applicant has been convicted by the Magistrate simply because on the 14th of December 1903 he had written with his own hands on a blank paper the words 'Tahrir taslim hai.' A similar endorsement had been made on the document of 1895, but that was signed by Chatar Singh's pleader and not by Chatar Singh. Both the Courts below have considered the endorsements sufficient evidence to conclusively prove that the statements made by Chatar Singh were false. The only other evidence, which is on the record, which would go to prove the falsity of the statement, is the evidence of the plaintiff, Ishri Prasad; but neither of the Courts below have placed any reliance on it nor is any mention of it to be found in either of the two judgments.
3. Reading the endorsements on these documents with the written statement of the 10th May 1908, and the applicant's statement made on the 12th of December 1908, it seems to me impossible to hold that the endorsements in any way establish the falsity of the statement made by the applicant as entered in the charge sheet. His case has been that the signature was genuine but had been put on blank paper and that the document inscribed on that paper was not made with his knowledge and consent. To pin him down to the words 'Tdhrir taslim hat' in these circumstances would be absurd, nor can the whole of the evidence on record be considered sufficient to convict the applicant.
4. I admit the application and set aside the conviction and sentence. The applicant need not surrender to his bail.