1. In this case the petitioner has been committed to the Court of Session to take his trial on a charge under Section 471 read with Section 467 of the Indian Penal Code.
2. It appears that one Nimai Haldar and others brought a suit to recover possession of some 3 bighas of land. They asserted, it would seem, that they were petitioner's tenants and cited him to depose as a witness and to produce his title-deed. He produced as his title-deed the document now said to be a forged document and gave evidence with regard to it.
3. We are invited in the present application to quash the commitment and in support of the application three contentions are advanced before us. It is urged, firstly, that no sanction having yet been given for the prosecution of the plaintiffs, the prosecution of the petitioner should not be allowed to proceed; secondly, that no sanction having been given for the prosecution of the petitioner under Section 193 of the Penal Code in respect of the statements he made regarding the document, the prosecution in respect of the documents itself should not be permitted; and thirdly, that on the facts alleged by the prosecution there has been no user'' by the petitioner.
4. We are of opinion that all these contentions fail.
5. The petitioner was not a party to the suit in question. He was a witness and in the face of the provisions 'of Section 195 (c) and of the cases reported as Akhil Chandra Sen v. Queen-Empress 22 C. 1004 : 11 Ind. Dec. (N.S.) 667 and Debilal v. Dhajadhari Goshami 9 Ind. Cas. 557 : 15 C. W. N. 565 : 12 Cr. L. J. 101 it cannot be said that sanction to his prosecution in respect of the document produced by him is necessary. No doubt in certain cases, in exercise of its powers of supervision, this Court has stayed the prosecution of minor offenders until the bar to the prosecution of the principals should have been removed. But that is a matter of discretion rather than a question of law, and the case for the prosecution here is that the petitioner was in fact the principal offender. The first two grounds urged cannot, therefore, be sustained.
6. In support of the third contention we have been referred to the case reported as In re Muthiah Chetty 13 Ind. Cas. 286 : 36 M. L. T. 21 : (1912) M. W. N. 455 : 13 Cr. L. J. 46. But in that case it was found that the production of the document there in question was involuntary. Here it is alleged that the petitioner's production of his document, his title-deed in answer to a citation in which no particular deed was specified, was voluntary and mainly to serve the petitioner's own ends. Further it is open to the Court to alter and add to charges, and the question how far the provisions of Section 474 of the Penal Code are applicable may be one for the consideration of the Court.
7. We accordingly discharge this Rule.