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Meharban Ali Khan Vs. Sita Ram - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal
CourtAllahabad
Decided On
Reported inAIR1929All374; 118Ind.Cas.232
AppellantMeharban Ali Khan
RespondentSita Ram
Excerpt:
- .....to the higher revenue courts on the ground that no commutation of rent was necessary as the rent payable was already payable in cash at the rate of rs. 110 a year.3. subsequently the zamindar prosecuted sita ram for preparing a wrong record in terms of the provisions of section 218, i.p.c. the trial court of the magistrate rightly pointed out that on proof of sita ram's statement being false he could be prosecuted for an offence under section 193 for giving false evidence, but that no offence under section 218 was made out. the provisions of that section are:whoever, being a public servant, and being as such public servant, charged with the preparation of any record or other writing, frames that record or writing in a manner which he knows to be incorrect, and with a certain.....
Judgment:

Dalal, J.

1. This is an application in revision from the discharge of a patwari of an offence under the provisions of Section 218, I.P.C. The learned Judge is wrong both in law and fact. In my opinion the Magistrate arrived at a correct decision on the question of law. In a certain revenue suit brought by a tenant against the zamindar Sajjad Ali Khan for commutation of rent in kind into cash rent the patwari Sita Ram was examined as a witness. The revenue Court is generally in a hurry, and to avoid taking down a statement in detail the patwari was directed to prepare a written statement (fard) according to his papers and file it. He prepared a 'fard' and made a statement on oath.

I file 'fard' exhibit A. It is prepared by me according to settlement rates and the papers of 1333 Fasli.

2. The suit was heard ex parte, so there was no cross-examination. It appears that in the village record of 1333 Fasli a rent of Rs. 110 payable by the plaintiff-tenant was entered. The zamindar subsequently appealed to the higher revenue Courts on the ground that no commutation of rent was necessary as the rent payable was already payable in cash at the rate of Rs. 110 a year.

3. Subsequently the zamindar prosecuted Sita Ram for preparing a wrong record in terms of the provisions of Section 218, I.P.C. The trial Court of the Magistrate rightly pointed out that on proof of Sita Ram's statement being false he could be prosecuted for an offence under Section 193 for giving false evidence, but that no offence under Section 218 was made out. The provisions of that section are:

Whoever, being a public servant, and being as such public servant, charged with the preparation of any record or other writing, frames that record or writing in a manner which he knows to be incorrect, and with a certain intention, is said to commit an offence under that section.

4. The patwari was undoubtedly a public servant, and possibly his intention may be presumed to cause loss to the zamindar, but the patwari as such patwari was not charged with the preparation of the ''fard.' This 'fard' was prepared to save trouble to the revenue Court of writing down the patwari's evidence in detail. It is not a 'fard' which he was bound to supply to a tenant on demand. In that case it may have been termed a 'fard' with the preparation of which he may be said to have been charged. In no sense can the statement be called a public document which was his duty to prepare. The learned Judge of the lower appellate Court has quoted a Punjab ruling which is not before me. There is, however, a ruling of this Court in Empress v. Mazhar Husain [1883] 5 All. 553 which supports the interpretation which I place on the terms of Section 218. A clerk in the office of a municipality in charge of certain records having been required to produce them, and being unable to do so, fabricated and produced similar documents. This Court held that such fabricated documents not being records or writings with the preparation of which the clerk was charged, he could not be legally convicted of an offence under Section 218.

5. On the facts also the Judge is wrong. The finding of the Board of Revenue that rent was payable in kind in no way affects the question whether the patwari made a false statement on oath or not, that according to the papers of 1333 Fasli no rent in cash is payable by the tenant. It is not possible for me to direct further inquiry into an offence under Section 193 because the sanction of the Court in which that offence was committed is wanting. This application is dismissed.


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