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Government of Bengal Vs. Gannoo Mahto - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal
CourtKolkata
Decided On
Judge
Reported in4Ind.Cas.124
AppellantGovernment of Bengal
RespondentGannoo Mahto
Excerpt:
penal code (act xlv of 1860), section 193 perjury - evidence act(i of 1872), section 145--previous deposition--appeal from acquittal--fact and law--criminal procedure code (act v of 1898), section 417. - .....the accused under section 258, criminal procedure code, on a charge of intentionally giving false evidence before the munsiff of bhagalpur under section 193, indian penal code. it appeared that the accused was twice examined in cases before the munsif and that in the last case he denied that he had deposed in the suit against jhontikanj and others two years before. he further said that he did not know if there was a case against jhonti or against hansa sonar and he did not depose against plaintiff in any such case. it is admitted that this statement is false and that the grounds on which the learned deputy magistrate has thrown out the case are with one exception untenable. the deputy magistrate has misapplied section 145 of the evidence act which has no bearing whatever on this.....
Judgment:

1. This is an appeal on behalf of Government in a case in which the Deputy Magistrate of Bhagalpur acquitted the accused under Section 258, Criminal Procedure Code, on a charge of intentionally giving false evidence before the Munsiff of Bhagalpur under Section 193, Indian Penal Code. It appeared that the accused was twice examined in cases before the Munsif and that in the last case he denied that he had deposed in the suit against Jhontikanj and others two years before. He further said that he did not know if there was a case against Jhonti or against Hansa Sonar and he did not depose against plaintiff in any such case. It is admitted that this statement is false and that the grounds on which the learned Deputy Magistrate has thrown out the case are with one exception untenable. The Deputy Magistrate has misapplied Section 145 of the Evidence Act which has no bearing whatever on this case and thereby rendered the proceedings futile by excluding the previous deposition. He has further held that the words charged have not been proved apparently because the vernacular words, used by him of which no record seems to have been kept as they were given in a rent suit, have not been set up. On both these points he is in error, but it is urged that his third finding that it has not been proved that the accused intentionally gave false evidence or that he had any reason or motive to give false evidence is a finding of fact that we cannot go behind. But where there is an appeal as in this case there is under Section 417, Criminal Procedure Code, this Court is a Court of appeal on the facts as well as on the law, and it is our duty to decide whether as a matter of fact there is or is not sufficient evidence of intention on the record. He cannot plead forgetfulness as his attention was drawn to his previous statement and to the case in which it was made by the pleader who was cross-examining him. His triple denial of having given evidence at all after his attention had been drawn to the fact that he had, shows that the denial was deliberate and with knowledge. He expressed no possible doubt on the point. He is a well-to-do educated man who frequently gives evidence in rent suits against the plaintiff and it is inconceivable that he can have forgotten this case after his attention was drawn to it or that if it had for the moment escaped his memory he could be justified, in continuing to positively deny that he had ever given evidence in any such case. A perfectly adequate motive is assigned by the Munsif in his order giving sanction and this motive can be inferred by his conduct in the two cases as deposed to by the witnesses, Mohan Singh, who was plaintiff in both cases, and Khohanar Dutta Misra who was a witness for the plaintiff in both cases. They prove that the accused gave evidence for the defendants in both cases and in the second case one of the defendants Daboo was his own brother. The Munsif's order-sheet of 1906 which is proved by the witness Girwar Nath, peskar shows that the plaintiff won the case. Obviously, therefore, if the accused admitted he had given evidence against the plaintiff he would have been further cross-examined as to why that evidence was disbelieved. Furthermore, a tehsildar named Ajodhya Misir, a respectable man, deposes that there is ill-feeling between the accused Gannoo and Mohan Singh, the plaintiff in both cases. The latter says he has had several cases with Gannoo Mahton. Under these circumstances, we cannot but hold that the accused Gannoo Mahton intentionally gave false evidence. We accordingly allow the appeal, set aside the finding of acquittal in the lower Court and convict Gannoo Mahton of the offence under Section 193, Indian Penal Code, with which he was charged and sentence him to be rigorously imprisoned for six months.


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