1. Petitioner has been sentenced to three years' rigorous imprisonment by the Assistant Sessions Judge, Guntur, under Sections 471 and 467, I.P.C. for filing a forged receipt in a suit on a promissory note in which he was defendant.
2. Two points are taken in revision Firstly, that if a case is transferred only the Court which originally received the forged document can complain under Section 476 Criminal P.C. It is a continuing offence and any Court seised of the case can complain.
3. Secondly, that the learned Sessions Judge misdirected himself when he observed that the burden of proof did not lie upon the prosecution to prove that the receipt filed by the pleader was the receipt given to the pleader by the accused. The observation is not happily worded because the burden is on the prosecution to make out its case. It might have been said rather, that there is a fair presumption that the document given to a pleader is the document filed, and the accused should offer some rebuttal. I do not find that the learned Judge failed to regard the case from this aspect, or that the petitioner has been prejudiced. That ends the matter so far as revision is concerned, but there has been discussion of the merits, and I may add that on the merits I agree with the lower Courts.
4. The petitioner's defence is that a forged receipt was substituted for a genuine receipt by his enemies. He has done little to show that there was a genuine receipt. In the suit he cited no evidence to prove it, and gave up his plea of discharge when the plaintiff took an oath. He never summoned the attestator who might corroborate the writer.
5. His enemies are not likely to have elaborated a plot merely to defeat his plea of discharge to the amount of Rs. 150 and the chances of getting him prosecuted for perjury were remote. If the suit had come on for trial, and he had at once said that the receipt was not the receipt he gave his vakil, the Court would not have prosecuted him. And anyone who had taken the trouble to arrange this trap, would nave taken care to spring it in the suit itself. If the suit were settled without reference to the document there was great risk of the Court declining to move in the matter of a document which had not really affected the issue.
6. If the plaintiff himself was in the plot he certainly would not have taken an oath instead of putting the petitioner to the proof of his alleged discharge. And if the petitioner genuinely believed that he held the plaintiff's thumb-marked receipt he would never have consented to abide by an oath and lose his money. As for the futility of the fabrication, people for whom litigation is a tissue of falsehood lose all sense of truth and cannot distinguish between a good and a bad lie; just as some are colour blind they became truth blind. The petition is dismissed.