1. The two appellants have been convicted in this case by the learned Additional Sessions Judge of Coimbatore of various charges connected with the manufacture of what, according to the prosecution, are counterfeiting King-Emperor's coins during May, 1936. The facts found by the learned Judge and, in view of the legal argument to which I shall refer later, not seriously challenged in the appeal before me, were that the first appellant instructed the second appellant to make for him a number of two anna pieces and that when these pieces were manufactured he made most of them up into a bundle which he gave to P.W. 3, his servant, with instructions that P.W. 3 should surreptitiously introduce them into the shop of P.W. 6 with whom he had lately conceived various grounds of enmity. P.W. 3 accordingly took the bundle and placed it in P.W. 6's shop. Information was then given to the police to the effect that if they searched P.W. 6's shop and house they would discover that he had counterfeit coins in his possession. A search was accordingly made and the bundle was duly discovered. It is on these facts that the two appellants were charged. There were four charges against them. The first was against the first accused that some days before the 24th May, 1936, he had abetted the counterfeiting of King-Emperor's two anna coins by the second accused and therefore he had committed an offence punishable under Sections 109 and 232, Indian Penal Code. The second charge was that the second accused had actually counterfeited those coins and committed an offence punishable under Section 232, Indian Penal Code. The third charge was that the first accused had on the 24th May, 1936, been in possession of certain materials knowing or having reason to believe that they were intended to be used for the purpose of counterfeiting coins, an offence punishable under Section 235, Indian Penal Code. And fourthly the first accused was charged at about the same time and place with being in possession of counterfeit coins fraudulently or with intent that fraud might be committed, an offence punishable under Section 243, Indian Penal Code. I ought at this stage to add that in addition to the counterfeit coins discovered by the police in P.W. 6's shop a few more coins said to be similar in design to those were also discovered in a cash box in the first accused's house.
2. The argument that has been pressed before me in appeal is a very ingenious one which does not seem to have occurred either to the learned Additional Sessions Judge or to any of the parties at the trial. It is this, that if coins are made to resemble genuine coins and the intention of the makers is merely to use them in order to foist a false case upon their enemies, those coins do not come within the definition of ' counterfeit coins ' given in the Indian Penal Code. I think there can be no doubt that this argument must be accepted. The definition of ' counterfeit' is to be found in Section 28, Indian Penal Code. A person is said to ' counterfeit' who causes one thing to resemble another thing, intending by means of that resemblance to practise deception, or knowing it to be likely that deception will thereby be practised. The important words for our present purpose in that definition are ' intending by means of that resemblance to practise deception.' Now if the intention of a person who makes or causes coins to be made is to use them in order to commit some other offence such as giving false information against an enemy, that intention prima facie is not to practise such deception. If we examine the situation in the present case we find that it was exactly the reverse of that intention. It was obviously the intention of the first accused that the police officers should be the first to see these counterfeit coins and that they should not be deceived by their appearance because if they were deceived then the whole purpose of making the complaint to the police against P.W. 6 would be frustrated. It is clear therefore that if the object of the manufacturer was to carry out this nefarious scheme of foisting a false case on P.W. 6, these coins are not counterfeit because they do not fall within the definition of Section 28. Of course there is no direct evidence in this case that the first accused and the second accused were heard talking over the details of their plot. It is conceivable, theoretically, that all that the first accused did was to go to the second accused and ask him to make counterfeit coins without disclosing to him the reason why he wanted them. But on the other hand it is quite clear from the way in which the case has been treated and discussed in the judgment of the learned Additional Sessions Judge, and clear also from the actual four charges which have been framed in this case that the prosecution case was this, that the manufacture was for the deliberate purpose of foisting a false case on P.W. 6. There is nothing at all to suggest in this case that either the first accused or the second accused had attempted or intended to attempt to put these coins into circulation. And although some little difficulty is introduced into the case by the fact that certain coins were found not only in P.W. 6's shop but also in the first accused's cash box, that difficulty ought not to outweigh the fact that in the case as a whole stress was laid by the prosecution on the fact that both these coins and the others must have been recently made by the second accused, and no kind of suggestion was made that either of the accused wished at any time to put these coins into circulation.
3. I am therefore of opinion that what has happened in this case is that the prosecution has misconceived entirely the sections under which the accused ought to have been prosecuted. The real complaint of the Crown or of society against these accused was not that they made a number of coins to look like genuine two anna coins but that they dishonourably attempted to bring an innocent man, P.W. 6, to trouble by means of the coins which they made. They ought certainly to have been prosecuted for the real offences which on the evidence, if believed, they must have committed, namely, falsely causing criminal proceedings to be instituted against P.W. 6 under Section 211, Indian Penal Code, or fabricating false evidence against him under Section 195, Indian Penal Code. I do not know why no attempt was made to prosecute the two appellants or at any rate the first appellant under these sections. It is obvious that the appellants are not persons who are manufacturing coins with the intention of infringing the monopoly of the mint or of causing loss to the currency owning public. As I have already said more than once, there is nothing in the case to show that they intended any of these coins ever to be put into circulation. Therefore even if they could rightly have been held to be guilty under the sections under which they have been charged, their offences would in one sense of the word be only technical offences under those sections. However, I have held that the coins which were seized in this case and which are the subject-matter of the charges are not counterfeit coins because it was the clear prosecution case that the intention of the appellants in manufacturing them was merely to make use of them in order to assist them in filing a false charge.
4. The result is that the appellants must be found not guilty and acquitted and their bail bonds cancelled.