Panchapakesa Ayyar, J.
1. The two petnrs. in this case, the president & clerk of a co-operative stores in Vadipatti, have been convicted under Section 477(a), I. P. C. read with Section 109, I. P. C. for falsifying the accounts of the stores of Vadipatti by making two false & fraudulent entries in the account books of the stores (Ex. P. 12) regarding two false & fraudulent bills (Exs. P. 13 & P. 14 dated 16-2-1949 & 1-5-1949) about the alleged sale of cane jaggery& ground-nut on these days when really these things had been sold away before 27-1-1949 & the bills (EXS. p. 13 & p. 14) were bogus & false ones not relating to any genuine sales to the parties mentioned, or for the sums mentioned, or for the qualities mentioned, or on the date mentioned. They were sentenced by the First Addl. First Class Mag. Madura, to pay fines of Rs. 500 & Rs. 200 respectively. On appeal the learned Sess. J. of Madura reduced the fine on accused 1 to Rs. 400 & on accused 2, a clerk under his control & subject to his orders, to Rs. 50.
2. I have perused the entire records & heard the learned counsel for the petnrs. & the learned Public Prosecutor contra. Mr. Govind Swamina-than, for the petnrs. conceded that the two bills were not true bills, & were bogus & false ones, but stated that nobody had been defrauded of property, or caused wrongful loss eventually & that every member of the stores & the stores itself had received all the moneys due to him. He argued that, though the bills were not true & genuine ones & were indeed false ones, there was no fraud as there was no deprivation of property, & therefore there could be no conviction for an offence under Section 477(a). I cannot agree. Section 477(a) only requires the falsification of accounts with intent to defraud. It does not require any deprivation of property. In fact, fraud means what it says, namely, making a person believe what is not true with intent to cause some injury of some kind in property or reputation to him or to suppress some previous fraudulent transaction & action about it. It has been held by a F. B. of the Calcutta H. Ct. in Queen Empress v. Abbas Ali, 25 Cal. 512, as follows:
'The word 'fraudulently' should not be confined to transactions of which deprivation of the property, either actual or intended, forma part.'
They held finally that deprivation, actual or intended, is not a necessary ingredient to defraud. They also reld. upon the decision in Reg. v. Tashack, (1849) 4 Cox C. C. 38, in support of the view they took. A Bench of the Calcutta H. Ct has, later on, held in Emperor v. Rash Behari, 35 Cal. 450, that the making of false entries in a book or register by any person in order to conceal a fraudulent or bogus act falls within the purview of Section 477(a), I. P. C. inasmuch as the intention is undoubtedly to defraud. I have absolutely no hesitation in holding that both the petnrs. in this case acted fraudulently in bringing into being these two bogus false bills, Exs. P. 13 & P. 14, & entering them in the account books of the stores, Ex. P. 12 as if they represented genuine transactions. The two bills were admittedly false, & entering them in the society's account as if they were true was undoubtedly done with intent to defraud, & for the purpose of concealing the previous fraud of the petnrs. It cannot be said that making false entries regarding bogus transactions in the accounts of a co. or stores will not injure the co. or stores in property, & will be only 'a game in fraud', like a schoolboy's game or play. Often these accounts have to be put into Ct. either for claiming something on behalf of the stores, or for defending some action against the stores, & once it is proved or admitted that bogus & false entries are to be found in the accounts (no honest society could avoid making such admissions in cases like this), no Ct. will act on these accounts. These accounts containing false entries will be thrown out as unworthy of credence for any purpose whatever, & that will be doing very serious pecuniary injury indeed to shops & societies, whose usual method of proof, offensive & defensive, is in such accounts kept in the usual course of business. If the president & the clerk of the society go round making such false entries, regarding false bills & transactions in the stores accounts, that will certainly be 'fraudulent' also within the purview of Section 477(a), I. P. C. even though no one may lose one pie eventually. by such false & fraudulent conduct or entry on the part of the petnrs. The law is not concerned with the 'eventual result'. Thus, a pick-pocket, hoping to get a good scoop, puts his hands into the pocket of a millionaire, but, unfortunately finds it empty, still, he will commit an offence despite his eventually gaining not a pie. So, I confirm the conviction of petnr. 1 but, considering all the circumstances, reduce the sentence to a fine of RS. 100, or, in default, R. I. for one month. The excess fine, if paid, will be refunded.
3. A special argument was urged on behalf of petnr. 2. viz. that he was only a clerk under the orders of petnr. 1 & so, had to make those, false & fraudulent entries in the account book from fear. The law allows fear as a reason for acquittal in such offences only if there is fear of instant death or instant grievous hurt apprehended to result in instant death, which is not alleged or proved in this case. So the conviction of petnr. 2 also was correct. He was given sufficient indulgence, in the matter of sentence, after considering the above circumstances. Therefore his conviction & sentence are confirmed & the petn. is dismissed as regards him.