D.P. Gupta, J.
1. This appeal has been preferred against the order passed by Sessions Judge, Pratapgarh on April 30, 1976 convicting the accused appellant Gafoor Beg for committing an offence punishable Under Section 471 IPC and sentencing him to 2 years' rigorous imprisonment and a fine of Rs. 5000/-. in absence of payment of fine, to six months' further rigorous imprisonment.
2. The facts of the case, which are no longer in dispute, are that the appellant Gafoor Beg was employed as a Bundle Lifter in Tehsil Pratapgrah. In the year 1965 a post of Patwari in district Chhitorgarh fell vacant. Appellant Gafoor Beg submitted an application, Ex. P. 11. on March 29, 1905 for his promotion and appointment as Patwari and represented in that application that he had passed Hindi Matric examination. Along with that application, the appellant filed Ex. p. 4, a copy of marks-sheet purporting to have been by the Head Master, Government Mnlti-purpose Higher Secondary School, Mandsore and showing that Gafoor Beg had passed the Matriculation examination. The application of appellant Gafoor Beg was accepted and the Collector, Chhitorgarh passed an order dated April 8, 1965 promoting the appellant from the post of Bundle Lifter to the post of Patwari. The appellant thereafter worked on the post of Patwari. He was, however, asked to produce the original Matriculation Certificate, as he only produced a copy of the marks-sheet, on the basis of which he was promoted as a Patwari. The appellant was unable to produce the original certificate and he took a false plea that the same was kept in the pocket of his coat, which by mistake was given by him for washing and thereby the original certificate was lost. The appellant expressed his inability to produce the original.
3. The Collector, thereupon made enquiry from Head Master of the School from which the appellant is said to have passed the Matriculation examination. The Head Master of the Govt., Multipurpose Higher Secondary School, Mandsore reported that Roll No. 498, which the appellant had specified in the copy Ex. p. 4. was that of Rashid Beg and that the marks-sheet, copy of which was produced as one purporting to be that of Gafoor Beg, was really the marks-sheet of Rashid Beg, who had passed the Matriculation examination in 1963, appearing from that school. On receiving the aforesaid information from the Head Master of the School, the Collector filed a complaint before the police. After an investigation was made in the case, the appellant was charge sheeted in respect of offences Under Sections 420 and 471 J.P.C. Learned Magistrate discharged the appellant of the offence Under Section 420 IPC, but on revision to the Court of Sessions Judge, Pratapgarh, the order of discharge was set aside and the case was remanded to the learned Magistrate for further enquiry. Thereupon a charge under Section 420 IPC was also framed. During the pendency of the proceedings for committment, the new Criminal Procedure Code came into force and the accused was committed to the Court of Sessions.
4. Learned Sessions Judge, Pratapgarh framed charges Under Section 466 and 471 IPC against accused appellant. During his examination in the Sessions court, the appellant admitted that he never appeared in the Matriculation examination nor he passed the said examination. But he decided having prepared the marks-sheet, Ex. p. 4 but he admitted that he produced the same along with the application Ex. p. 10 before the Tehsildar, Pratapgarh seeking promotion to the post of patwari. After a trial, learned Sessions Judge acquitted the appellant of the offence under Section 466 IPC on the ground of absence of evidence, but, convicted him of the offence under Section 471 IPC and sentenced him for the said offence as stated above.
5. Learned Counsel for the appellant did not advance any arguments regarding the merits of the case. The appellants own admission in the statement made Under Section 313 Cr. P.C. along with the documents Ex. p. 4, Ex. P. 10, Ex. P. 11 and Ex. P. 14 fully go to prove that the appellant fraudulently and dishonestly used as genuine the document Ex. P. 4 namely the marks-sheet, which he knew or had reason to believe to be a forged document. As admitted by the accused that he never passed the Matriculation examination, the said marks-sheet of his having passed the Matriculation examination (10th class) could not have come into existence. It may also be mentioned here that Rashid beg is the brother-in-law of the appellant Gafoor Beg. As a matter of fact, Rashid Beg had passed the Matriculation examination m the year 1963 from the school in question and his Roll No. was 498. When it is admitted that the appellant did not appear at or pass the Matriculation examination, Ex. P. 4 which is a copy of the marks-sheet and which was produced by the appellant along with his application, Ex. P. 10 before Tehsildar, Pratapgarh, seeking his promotion to the post of Patwari, was necessarily a forged document and as the appellant knowing the said Ex. P. 4 to be a forged document, used the same for the purpose of seeking promotion, the offence under Section 471 is squarely brought home to the accused appellant and his having committing the said offence is proved beyond doubt.
6. The appellant was promoted, on the basis of the application Ex. P. 10 and Marks-sheet Ex. P. 4, to the post of Patwari by the order of the Collector, Ex. P. 2 dated April 8, 1965. Learned Counsel for the appellant submits that as the appellant was allowed only the non-matric grade on the post of Patwari, this forged certificate submitted by him was not of much benefit to him. That may be so but it cannot be denied that the appellant tried to take benefit and he did make use of the forged document Ex. P. 4, with full knowledge that the same was a forgery. It was only after making an inquiry into the matter that 'it was subsequently discovered by the Collector, Chittorgarh that Ex. P. 4 was a forged document.
7. As regards the question of sentence, it was brought to my notice that the appellant was dismissed from Govt. service. The occurrence had taken place in the year 1965 and more than 15 years elapsed since then, It cannot also be lost sight of in this respect that although the appellant tried to use the forged document Ex. P. 4 as genuine, yet he could not get any particular benefit therefrom, as he was given non-matric grade on the post of Patwari. Considering all the facts and circumstances of the case, I am of the view that it would be proper to reduce the sentence awarded to the accused appellant and that the ends of Justice would be met in the preset case if the sentence awarded to the appellant is reduced to rigorous imprisonment for one month instead of 2 years. The sentence of fine awarded by the learned Sessions Judge shall, however, remain unaltered.
8. In the result, the appeal is partly allowed and although the conviction of the appellant under Section 471 IPC is maintained, the sentence awarded to him is reduced to one month's rigorous imprisonment and a fine of Rs. 500/-, in default of payment fine he shall under go one month's rigorous imprisonment. The order of the learned Sessions Judge, Pratapgarh is modified to the extent mentioned above.