1. The appellant was tried upon a charge under Section 467 of the Indian Penal Code by a learned Assistant Sessions Judge, Alipore, sitting with a Jury. The Jury returned a unanimous verdict of guilty which the learned Judge accepted. The appellant was convicted and sentenced to suffer rigorous imprisonment for 4 1/2 years.
2. The prosecution case was that the appellant, a pleader's clerk, committed forgery by altering the digit * '8' to * '3' of the figure * '1368' as also by erasing the word *(sic) in a copy of a registered bainapatra kept in volume 85 at Alipore Sub-registry Office. The charge however way forging * a certain document purporting to be a valuable security, to wit, a registered bainapatra, executed by Nabiruddin Mistry in favour of Bepin Behary Das, deed No. 7675 of the year 1955 recorded in volume No. 85 at page 288 etc.
3. The appellant pleaded not guilty to thecharge and his case was that he had been coercedto make a confessional statement to the Sub-Registrar, Alipore.
4. It is not disputed that nowhere in his summing up did the learned Judge refer to the document as a copy of the registered bainapatra. As already observed, the charge was in respect of the registered bainapatra and not in respect of any copy. The question, therefore, was whether or not on the charge as it stood the appellant could have been convicted, it being common case that there was no forgery of the original registered bainapatra. There is the further question as to whether or not the copy of the document concerned can be regarded as a valuable security within the meaning of Section 30. In our view, it is the original bainapatra which is a valuable security and not a copy of it. Therefore, the appellant could not in any event have been convicted under Section 467 of the Indian Penal Code. With regard to these two matters of law, the learned Judge not only misdirected himself but also misdirected the Jury. The misdirection as to the nature of the document was, in our view, a very serious misdirection which was (bound to induce an erroneous verdict. In that view of the matter we are obliged to set aside the Jury's verdict and the consequent conviction and the sentence imposed upon the appellant. We direct accordingly.
5. Let the appellant be discharged from his bail bond.
D.N. Das Gupta, J.
6. I agree.