Skip to content


Prafulla Chandra Kharghoria Vs. Emperor - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
Subject Criminal
CourtKolkata
Decided On
Reported inAIR1931Cal8,129Ind.Cas.356
AppellantPrafulla Chandra Kharghoria
RespondentEmperor
Cases ReferredKrishnalal Mitra v. Emperor
Excerpt:
- .....pay sheets of general workshop and bioilershop for the month of february 1929 (ex. 3) by making false entries in respect of the aggregate sum of rs. 400 in the totals under the column nett amount payable, at pp. 3, 6, 11 and 13, viz:1. us. 1937-10-0 for rs. 1837-10-0 at p. 3.2. us. 1180- 1-0 for rs. 1080- 1-0 at p. 6. 3. us. 1.073- 0-0 for rs. 1573- 0-0 at p. 11. 4. rs. 849 - 8-0 for rs. 749 - 8-0 at p. 13.which papers and accounts belonged to the said assam oil company limited, your employer,, and thereby committed an offence punishable under section 477-a, i. p.c., and within my cognizance.2. the learned advocate for the appellant argues that the charge framed is in contravention of section 234, criminal p. c, inasmuch as the accused is charged with making more than three false.....
Judgment:

Suhrawardy, J.

1. In this case the appellant has been convicted under Section 477-A I. V. C, and sentenced to five years' rigorous imprisonment and a fine of Rs. 300 in default further rigorous imprisonment for one year. The only point which has been raised in this appeal is that the charge is bad under Section 234, Criminal P. C, and therefore the whole trial is vitiated by the defect in the charge. The charge framed by the committing Magistrate is in these words:

That you on or about the dates between 1st March 1929 and 13th March 1929 at Digboi, being a clerk in employment tinder the Assam Oil Company Limited, wilfully and with intent to defraud, falsified certain papers and accounts to wit, the pay sheets of General Workshop and Bioilershop for the month of February 1929 (Ex. 3) by making false entries in respect of the aggregate sum of Rs. 400 in the totals under the column Nett Amount Payable, at pp. 3, 6, 11 and 13, viz:

1. Us. 1937-10-0 for Rs. 1837-10-0 at p. 3.

2. Us. 1180- 1-0 for Rs. 1080- 1-0 at p. 6.

3. Us. 1.073- 0-0 for Rs. 1573- 0-0 at p. 11.

4. Rs. 849 - 8-0 for Rs. 749 - 8-0 at p. 13.

which papers and accounts belonged to the said Assam Oil Company Limited, your employer,, and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 477-A, I. P.C., and within my cognizance.

2. The learned advocate for the appellant argues that the charge framed is in contravention of Section 234, Criminal P. C, inasmuch as the accused is charged with making more than three false entries. Before construing the charge let us look to the language of Section 477-A. The section is divided into two parts. In other words, it speaks of two offences which are distinct and not interdependent. Clause 1 of the section makes the falsification of accounts, etc., an offence; and the latter portion of it makes it an offence to make a false entry or omit or alter or abet the omission or alteration of any material particular from or in, etc. The first offence consists in falsifying an account book or paper, writing, or valuable security. The falsification may be made by making false entries in the account or omitting to make entries which should have been made. Clause 2 of the section contemplates an offence which, apart from the falsification of the book, may be committed by a person by simply making false entries or omitting to make true entries. Now the charge framed in this case is primarily for falsification of certain papers and accounts, namely the pay sheets of General Workshop and Boiler-shop. That is one particular document stitched together in the form of a book and marked Ex. 3, which the appellant is accused of having falsified. The method by which falsification is made is detailed in the charge by pointing out four false entries in the account, which were made for the purpose of defalcating Rs. 400. What the accused is charged with is that on certain dates, between 1st and 13th March 1929, he falsified Ex 3 by making four false entries by overcharge, Rs. 100 on each occasion with the intention of misappropriating Rs. 400 at the end of the month when the amount was to be paid off. In my opinion, when a person is charged with falsification of accounts, any number of falsifications may be proved in order to sustain the principal charge of falsification. The view I take is fertified by some observations made in the case of Raman Behari Das v. Emperor [1914] 41 Cal. 722. There the point raised was that a joinder of three charges under Section 409, with three others under Section 477-A I.P.C., relating to different transactions, was not warranted in law. There the accused was charged with misappropriation of three sums of money and the falsification of accounts not relating to the amounts misappropriated but in respect of different items. The learned Judges held that such a charge is bad in law and it cannot be justified under Section 222 (2), Criminal P.C. In expressing their opinion upon this point they observed:

A series of falsification of accounts made to cover a single act of defalcation may be laid in one charge under Section 477-A, I. P.C., and they are not three distinct offences committed by an accused person merely by reason of the fact that he makes more than one false entry to cover one defalcation.

3. We have been referred to several cases which are to the same effect as the decision in Raman Behari's case. In Kasi Viswanathan v. Emperor [1907] 30 Mad. 328 it was held that it was illegal to try a person on a charge which alleged three distinct acts of criminal breach of trust and three distinct acts of falsification of accounts. In Queen-Empress v. Matilal Lahiry [1899] 26 Cal. 560 the Court was called upon to decide whether the alteration in the law by Section 222 (2), Criminal P.C., covered also a charge under Section 477-A, I. P.C. The answer was in the negative. There the question was raised with regard to the charge framed at the trial. The accused was charged with a general falsification of accounts for a period extending over two and a half years. No particulars whatever of any falsification were specified, but the accused was put upon his trial on a vague and general allegation of falsification of accounts during a period of nearly two years and a half. After stating that such a charge was bad in law the learned Judges proceeded to observe:

Every act of falsification of a book or account would amount to an offence under the Code under Section 234, Criminal P.C.

4. It would appear from a close examination of the judgment that the charge in that case against the accused was falsification of a number of accounts extending over two and a half years. We do not think that that ease lends any support to the appellant. Some support may be sought for the view pressed on behalf of the appellant from the decision in Krishnalal Mitra v. Emperor : AIR1927Cal946 . There the accused was charged with making false entries in the pay bill and monthly cash account for the months of May 1924, June 1924 and March 1925. The learned Judges held that in that case the accused was charged with six separate and distinct documents, that is to say, three pay bills and three monthly accounts, and that therefore the whole trial was illegal as not more than three of such offences committed within the space of twelve months could be tried at one time. There also the ratio decidendi was that the accused was charged with more than three offences in respect of more than three documents. In my opinion,, when a person is charged with falsification of accounts, any number of false entries or omission of entries may be proved in order to prove falsification. The real charge under Section 477-A is falsification of accounts and in order to support it there is no reason why prosecution should be restricted to only three instances of falsification and not more. If the accused is charged with making false entries only, it may reasonably be said that the making of each false entry is a distinct offence.

5. There is another point of view from which this question may be considered. If the intention of the accused is to defalcate a certain amount the actual method adopted in order to facilitate the defalcation must be taken as forming one transaction with the defalcation within the meaning of Section 235, Criminal P.C., as part of the res gestae. If the intention is to defalcate a certain amount, any act done to achieve the object as making false entries must form part of the same transaction : see the observation above quoted from Raman Behari's case. In this case it may be said that the accused is not charged with falsification of Rs. 400 and the entries are not proved in support of the intention of the accused to embezzle that amount. The charge clearly gives notice of what the prosecution intended to prove, and I do not think that the absence or defect in the charge has in any way prejudiced the accused. In my judgment, accordingly, the objection taken by the appellant on the ground that the charge is defective must fail.

5. The appeal is dismissed.

6. The appellant must surrender to his bail and serve out the remainder of the sentence.

Costello, J.

7. I agree.


Save Judgments// Add Notes // Store Search Result sets // Organizer Client Files //