Write a short note on the offence of forgery given under section 463 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860.
Section 463 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860, defines the offence of forgery and according to this section if any person makes any fake document or an incorrect electronic record with an intention to cause damage or injury to the public or to any person or to support any claim or title or to commit any fraud, then in such a case, it will be considered that an accused has committed the offence of forgery given under section 463 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860.
Section 3 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1873, defines the term document and according to this section document means any matter expressed or described upon any substance by means of letters, figures or marks or by more than one of those means, intended to be used or which may be used for the purpose of recording the matter.
In the leading case of Md. Ibrahim & ors vs State of Bihar & Anr. (SC 2009), the Hon’ble court held that a person is said to have made a false document if; –
- He made or executed a document claiming to be someone else or authorized by someone else; or,
- He altered or tampered a document; or,
- He obtained a document by practicing deception, or from a person not in control of his senses.
Moreover, in the leading case of Sheila Sebastian vs R. Jawaharaj (SC 2018), the Hon’ble court held that a person is said to make a fake or invalid document or false electronic record who fraudulently or dishonestly constitutes;
• Makes, signs, ties or administers a document or part of a document;
• Makes or communicates any electronic record or part of any electronic record;
• Affixes any (electronic stamp) on any electronic report;
• Makes any image indicating the execution of a document or the authenticity of the electronic signature; with the intention of making, it to be believed that such document or portion of document, electronic record or electronic signature was made, signed, sealed, accomplished, transmitted or affixed by or by the authorization of a person by whom or by whose authority he knows that it was not made, signed, sealed, executed or affixed.
According to the provisions of section 463 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860, the main element to constitute the offence of forgery is criminal intention. If a document has been made by an accused with a criminal intention, then only he can be convicted for having committed the offence of forgery. The making of fake document by itself does not make an accused liable for having committed the offence of forgery. To secure the conviction of an accused, it is necessary for the prosecution to prove the criminal intention of an accused person.
In the leading case of Ram Narain Poply vs CBI (SC 2017), the Hon’ble court held that the term forgery as used in the statute is used in its ordinary and popular acceptance. In order to constitute forgery, the first essential is that the accused should have made a false document. The false document must be made with an intention to cause harm or injury to the public or to any class of society or to any community.
Section 465 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860, describes the punishment for the offence of forgery and according to this section, if any person has been convicted for having committed the offence of forgery, then in such a case, he will be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years or with fine or both.