Sadasiva Aiyar, J.
1. Exhibit F even according to the defence is forged document, as the defence was that the date '2nd October 1910' was dishonestly altered into 22nd October 1910 through the machinations of the prosecution 9th witness, in whose house the 1st accused alleges that he had left it for safe custody.
2. That Exhibit F was used by the 1st accused (respondent in this appeal) in the suit brought by him on it is clear. Unless the date '22nd October 1910' could be established for the pro-note, his suit brought on 22nd October 1913 would be barred.
3. It is impossible to believe hi statement that he did not know of the alteration when he gave in to his Vakil (P.W. No. 2) to file a suit on the 21st October 1913. The learned Sessions Judge rightly disbelived the defence story that prosecution 9th witness altered the date in collusion with prosecution 1st witness without the 1st accused's knowledge.
4. Though there may be no proof that Exhibit F was not exeuted by the deceased Pentareddi, part of the document (as it stands) was mad ewith the intention of causing it to be believed that it was made 'at a time at which' it was not really made and the 1st accused used it knowing it to be such a forged document. He is, therefore, clearly, guilty under Section 471, Indian Penal Code, though there is not sufficient evidence to find him guilty under Section 467 (the other count under which he was charged in the Sessions Court.)
5. I would, therefore, allow the appeal and convict the 1st accused under Section 471, Indian Penal Code.
6. As regards the sentence, there is nothing to show that the 1st accused is a confirmed criminal and his having become afraid to appear in Court and prosecute the suit brought on Exhibit F (which suit was dismissed for default) rather indicates the contrary.
5. I thank that a sentence of two years' rigorous imprisonment might be held to be not inadequate in this case.
6. I would, therefore, sentence the 1st accused to two years' rigorous imprisonment setting aside the acquittal.
7. I agree, although I think the sentence is somewhat lenient considering that the serious offence of forgery is extremely frequent and rarely detected.