Tuesday, 31 May 2016

How to prove essential ingredients of offence of forgery?

The condition precedent for an offence under sections 467, 468 and 471 is forgery. The condition precedent for forgery is making a false document (or false electronic record or part thereof). This case does not relate to any false electronic record. Therefore, the question is whether the accused (petitioners), in executing and registering the general power of attorney purporting to sell a property, can be said to have made and executed false document. 
An analysis of section 464 IPC shows that it divides false documents into three categories: 
The first is where a person dishonestly or fraudulently makes or executes a document with the intention of causing it to be believed that such document was made or executed by some other person, or by the authority of some other person, by whom or by whose authority he knows it was not made or executed. 
The second is where a person dishonestly or fraudulently, by cancellation or otherwise, alters a document in any material part, without lawful authority, after it has been made or executed by either himself or any other person. 
The third is where a person dishonestly or fraudulently causes any person to sign, execute or alter a document knowing that such person could not by reason of (a) unsoundness of mind; or (b) intoxication; or (c) deception practiced upon him, know the contents of the document or the nature of the alteration. 
In short, WHEN , if (i) he made or executed a document claiming to be someone else or authorized by someone else; or (ii) he altered or tampered a document; or (iii) he obtained a document by practicing deception, or from a person not in control of his senses. 
In Mohd. Ibrahim and others vs. State of Bihar (2009) 8 SCC 751 upon examining Section 463, 467 to 471 IPC as noted, herein above, the Court while dealing with sale-deeds executed by the accused held:
"There is a fundamental difference between a person executing a sale deed claiming that the property conveyed is his property, and a person executing a sale deed by impersonating the owner or falsely claiming to be authorized or empowered by the owner, to execute the deed on owner's behalf. When a person executes a document conveying a property describing it as his, there are two possibilities. The first is that he bonafide believes that the property actually belongs to him. The second is that he may be dishonestly or fraudulently claiming it to be his even though he knows that it is not his property. But to fall under first category of `false documents', it is not sufficient that a document has been made or executed dishonestly or fraudulently. There is a further requirement that it should have been made with the intention of causing it to be believed that such document was made or executed by, or by the authority of a person, by whom or by whose authority he knows that it was not made or executed. When a document is executed by a person claiming a property which is not his, he is not claiming that he is someone else nor is he claiming that he is authorized by someone else. Therefore, execution of such document (purporting to convey some property of which he is not the owner) is not execution of a false document as defined under section 464 of the Code. If what is executed is not a false document, there is no forgery. If there is no forgery, then neither section 467 nor section 471 of the Code are attracted. 
Case :- CRIMINAL MISC. WRIT PETITION No. - 17783 of 2010
Petitioner :- Rajesh Gandhi And Others
Respondent :- State Of U.P. And Another

Hon'ble Suneet Kumar,J. 

Order Date :- 30.5.2016 

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Landmark judgment of Supreme court revolutionizing MACT Cases

The learned counsel submitted that in respect of the
legislative changes suggested in the judgment rendered in Jai
Prakash v. National Insurance Company Limited and Others, reported
in (2010) 2 SCC 607, there is a Bill already introduced for
amendment to the Motor Vehicles Act and that it is currently
pending before the Parliament for consideration. Barring that, one
other aspect which required to be dealt with immediately by way of
suggestion to the Insurance Councils is in paragraph 23, which
reads as under:-
“23. In cases of death, where the liability of
the insurer is not disputed, the insurance
companies should, without waiting for the
decision of the Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal
or a settlement before the Lok Adalat,
endeavour to pay to the family (legal
representatives) of the deceased, compensation
as per the standard formula determined by the
decisions of this Court.”
Insofar as the said suggestion is concerned, learned Solicitor
General drew our attention to the response filed before us on
behalf of the General Insurance Council, in particular paragraph 4,
which states that presently the procedure suggested in Paragraph 23
is being followed by the Insurance Companies in Delhi by way of a
Scheme called “Claims Tribunal Agreed Procedure” which was
formulated by the Delhi High Court in the judgment dated 16.12.2009
passed in FAO No.843 of 2003 in Rajesh Tyagi & Ors. v. Jaibir Singh& Ors. It is also mentioned therein that Tribunal
 as well as the
Legal Service Authority are taking effective steps to implement the
said procedure, which is being carried out in the National Capital
Territory of Delhi. In paragraph 5, it is further submitted that
since this procedure has been successful in Delhi it can be
extended on pan India basis. The agreed procedure has also been
filed as Annexure R5 with the response filed on behalf of the
General Insurance Council.
We have also perused the procedure, which has been placed
before us as Annexure R5 with the response which, in our view,
appears to be a comprehensive one and that we can issue further
directions to the Registrar General of the Delhi High Court to
ensure that procedure is strictly followed insofar as Delhi is
concerned and also circulate the said procedure to all the other
High Courts and the Registrar General of all the other High Courts
are directed to ensure that the said procedure is implemented
through the Motor Accidents Claims Tribunals in coordination with
the Legal Service Authorities as well as the Director General of
Police of the States concerned.
 S U P R E M E C O U R T O F I N D I A
Petition(s) for Special Leave to Appeal (C) Nos.11801-11804/2005
(Arising out of impugned final judgment and order dated 07/12/2004
in FAO No. 4845/2003 07/12/2004 in FAO No. 4846/2003 07/12/2004 in
FAO No. 4847/2003 07/12/2004 in FAO No. 4848/2003 passed by the
High Court of Punjab & Haryana at Chandigarh)
JAI PRAKASH Petitioner(s)
(For Final Disposal)
Date : 13/05/2016 
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Monday, 30 May 2016

Procedure to be followed by court if objection is raised for asking particular question in cross examination

When the relevancy and the admissibility of a particular question is seriously raised, it is the endeavour of the Court to elicit the answer after recording the objectives. The final decision on such objectives can be decided at the end of the trial. This view has been taken by this Court in the Judgment reported in 2015 SCC Bom 2571 in the case of Neema Hingarh vs. Ashish Hingarh, wherein it has been observed at Para 8 thus:
"8. In the case of Irfan Badshah (supra), the learned Single Judge of Delhi High Court considered Section 148 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 as also the decision of the Apex Court in the case of Special Cell, New Delhi v. Navjot Sandhi alias Afshan Guru, MANU/SC/0396/2003 : (2003) 6 SCC 641, wherein it was observed thus,
"...the endeavour of the Court wherever there is a serious dispute with regard to the relevancy and admissibility of a question should be to elicit the answer of the witness after noting the objections. The final decision to reject particular evidence as irrelevant or inadmissible can be if required taken at the end of the trial. This procedure benefits even the appellate court as in a case where the question is disallowed or excluded from evidence and the appellate court feels that the same was essential, it is at this stage not required to remand back the matter for re-examination of the witness. Cross-examination is the main tool of an accused to test the veracity of the evidence of the witness and discredit his trustworthiness. Moreover, this does not mean that the trial court will not exercise its discretion in disallowing irrelevant questions."
In such circumstances, I find that the procedure followed by the learned Trial court refusing to allow the questions at the time of the cross examination, is not at all justified, unless the Court comes to the conclusion that the questions are inter alia those which a party cannot be forced to answer and are patent erroneous and put to delay the proceedings and for oblique purpose or have no nexus with the dispute between the parties.
Writ Petition No. 411 of 2015
Decided On: 09.07.2015
Appellants: Ajit Sukhijia
Respondent: Edgar Francisco Valles and Ors.
Hon'ble Judges/Coram:F.M. Reis, J.
Citation:2016(2) ALLMR447
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Leading Judgment on cross examination of witness as to his character

What types of questions can be asked to witness in cross examination for examining his character?
 Section 146 of the Indian Evidence Act appears in the chapter entitled "of the examination of witnesses" and permits certain questions to be put in the cross-examination of a witness.Sections 133 to 145 of the Evidence Act prescribe the order and the manner of the examination of witnesses. Those Sections also deal with the provisions relating to other questions such as when the leading questions should and should not be asked and questions as to the evidence of matters in writing, Section 146 says that when a witness is cross-examined, he may, in addition to the question referred to in the earlier Sections, also be asked questions which tend.
(1) to test his veracity, (2) to discover who he is and what is his position in life, or (3) to shake his credit, by injuring his character, although the answer to such questions might tend directly or indirectly to criminate him, or might expose or tend directly or indirectly to expose him to a penalty or forfeiture.
Clauses (1) and (2) are self-explanatory. Clause (3) of Section 146 permits question in the cross-examination to shake the credit of a witness and for this purpose his character may he injured. In other words, injuring the character of a witness for the purpose of shaking the credit of that witness can be the subject matter of the assault. The assault on the character of a witness permitted by Clause (3) of Section 146 must be directed only for the purpose of shaking the credit of the witness and not for any other purpose, In other words, if the cross-examination was intended to shake the credit of a witness it must naturally be to impugn the credibility of that witness in relation to the matter which is involved and relevant under one or the other provisions of the Evidence Act. It is not permissible to have recourse to Clause (3) of Section 146 to ask all sorts of questions which are not necessary to shake the credibility of that witness.
9. The three types of questions which are permitted Under Section 146 may be relevant under the other provisions of the Evidence Act or they may not be relevant though they are permitted to be asked Under Section 146. In case the question relates to a matter relevant to the suit or the proceeding the provisions of Section 132 shall apply to that question as provided Under Section 147. If, on the other hand, such questions relate to a matter not relevant to the suit or proceeding, powers have been given to Court to decide whether the witness Shall be compelled to answer and prescribe the limits and the manner in which that question can be asked and answer to that question be given. This is provided by Section 148 of the Evidence Act which however is not applicable if the question which is not relevant relates to the shaking of the credibility of the witness by injuring his character as provided in Clause (3) of Section 146. The question aimed at injuring the character of a witness must be only with the object of shaking his credit and therefore limitation on that question is contained in Clause (3) of Section 146 itself. That the permission given under Clause (3) of Section 146 of the Evidence Act cannot be allowed to degenerate into a licence for the purpose of shaking the character of a witness indiscriminately is fairly well-established. In S. Pillay v. G. S. T. Shaikh Thumby, AIR 1940 Rang. 113 : 41 Cri LJ 790 the practice of asking questions indiscriminately by having recourse to the provisions of Section 146has been rightly frowned upon. Mosley, J. has commented on a matter of which he regretted to find frequent recurrences in trial in Rangoon Magistrate's Court, The question in issue in that case was whether the trade-mark claimed by the complainant as his own belonged to him, and if so, whether the accused had committed the offences complained of. Possession of tins with a counterfeit trade-mark, or possession of dies of that trade-mark. The complainant was however subjected to a long cross-examination on matters entirely unconnected with the case as to profit and loss and as to stock-in-trade, as to account books and as to loans incurred by him. Even the Income-tax Officer was cited as a witness to give inadmissible evidence as to the complainant's account books. Mosley, J. proceeded to say :--
.....Section 146Evidence Act, allows question in cross-examination to shake the credit of the witness by injuring his character. Section 148 of the Act lays down that where a question is only relevant to character, the Court should decide whether the question should be asked, and such questions are improper if the imputation which they convey is of such character that the truth of the imputation would not affect or would only slightly affect the opinion of the Court as to the credibility of the witness on the matter to which he testifies.
He commented that there was an impression prevalent that any witness may be asked any questions at any time as to whether he is a man of substance, and that if the accused can show that the complainant or other witness is in embarrassed circumstances, or is not a man of substance, that necessarily affects the credibility of the witness on any matter to which he deposes.
10. To the same effect are the following observations of the Privy Council in The Bombay Cotton Manufacturing Co., Limited v. Raja Bhadur Shivlal Motilal, 17 Bom LR 455 : AIR 1915 PC 1 Cross-examination to credit is necessarily irrelevant to any issue in an action, its relevancy consists in being addressed to the credit or discredit of the witness in the box so as to show that his evidence for or against the relevant issue is untrustworthy ;
In R. B. Chari v. State it has been held that Sections 145148 and 155 indicate that the credit of a witness can be said to have been shaken only if it can be shown that he is not a man of veracity, and not that he is of bad moral character. A black-marketeer is not necessarily untruthful nor a non-black-marketeer necessarily a man of veracity. There is therefore no reason for rejecting the evidence of a witness on the ground alone that he is a black-marketeer.
It is not necessary to multiply the authorities but from what has been stated above and considering the clear terminology of Sections 146 to 148 it is clear that Clause (3) of Section 146does not open the gates to unbridled cross-examination of a witness in order to assail his character except in so far as it is necessary to shake his credit in relation to the matter in issue. This proposition is now a matter of text-book knowledge. Sir James Fitzjames Stephen has been quoted in Sar-kar on Evidence (on page 1318, 12th Edition) as follows :
I shall not believe, unless and until it is so decided upon solemn agreement, that by the law of England a person who is called to prove a minor fact not really disputed, in a case of little importance, thereby exposes himself to having every transaction in his past life, however private, inquired into by persons who may wish to serve the basest purposes of fraud or revenge by doing so, Suppose for instance, a medical man were to prove the fact that slight wound had been inflicted and been attended to by him would it be lawful under pretence of testing his credit, to compel him to answer upon oath a series of questions as to his private affairs extending over many years and tending to expose transactions of the most delicate and secret kind, in which the fortune and character of other persons might be involved? If this is the law, it should be altered.
11. Fortunately that is not the law of this land.
12. Considering the abovementioned legal position which according to us is the correct legal position, it is obvious that the question which has been put to the complainant and to which the objection was taken on his behalf by an application made on 4th November 1976 is the question which is clearly inadmissible Under Section 146 of the Evidence Act. The article edited by him in the magazine in its issue of January 1975 regarding Nehru family is totally irrelevant and is not covered by any of the clauses of Section 146. It is for example not to test his veracity nor is it to discover who he is and what is his position in life because it is well-known to everyone concerned that he is the editor of the magazine. This question is not intended to shake his credit by injuring his character because the question is not aimed at his character at all in relation to a matter in issue. The question is patently asked for the purpose of scandalizing and embarrassing the witness. Such a question is not allowed Under Section 146 of the Evidence Act and as already mentioned in the Court below it was not shown how this question was relevant under any other provisions of the Evidence Act.
13. Mr. Badkar avers that looking to the past trend of the cross-examination and looking to the past other pieces of inadmissible evidence already admitted it is possible that same type of questions will be asked and the process of the Court will be abused. As stated earlier we do not comment upon the evidence which has already been brought on record and the learned Magistrate at the time of giving the judgment will undoubtedly ignore inadmissible evidence which has been inadvertently brought on record. If the questions of the type which has been impugned in this case are allowed to be asked without there being warrant for the same by the provisions of the Evidence Act the process of the Court will undoubtedly be abused. Normally it is not advisable for the High Court to interfere with the discretion exercised by the trial Court. Mr. Badkar's grievance that the complainant has been subjected to gruelling cross-examination of eight hours may or may not be valid. It is not possible for a court to impose an embargo on the time that can be taken for the cross-examination. Ultimately the extent and the manner of cross-examination will depend upon the facts and circumstances of the case and the issues involved in it as pointed out by this Court in Yeshpal Jashbhai Parikh v. Rasiklal Umedchand Parikh, 57 Bom LR 282 : 1955 Cri LJ 1159, as follows--
As a general rule, the Court would not be justified in imposing a time limit upon the cross-examination of a witness. But the Court may, in the course of a trial, come to the conclusion that the cross-examination has been unnecessary or irrelevant or even rambling, and in such a case the Court has power to control the cross-examination of a witness by counsel of the opposite party. Such power should be exercised in a reasonable way.
It is therefore clear that the trial Court at no stage of the proceeding should lose con trol over the same and should see that the cross-examination does not go on in a rambling way or extend to questions impermissible under the provisions of the Indian Evidence Act. Subject to these qualifications the powers of a trial Court are wide and indeed they should be. We are sure that the learned trial Magistrate will bear in mind the observations made by Sir James Fitzjames Stephen quoted by us above and will not allow the cross-examination which is not permissible Under Section 146 or any other provisions of the Indian Evidence Act. To allow the accused to cross-examine the complainant merely because the complainant has chosen the arena of the Magistrate's Court and to assail his character not for the purposes covered by the provisions of the Evidence Act but for some other purposes such as embarrassing him and to ask such other further questions which are not relevant but which will only embarrass and expose him to other proceedings will amount to an abuse of the process of the Court.
Bombay High Court
Dr. Baburao Patel vs Bal Thackeray And Anr. on 4 March, 1977
Equivalent citations: 1977 CriLJ 1637,1979MHLJ11

Bench: Shah, Jahagirdar
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