HIGH COURT OF KARNATAKA
STATE OF MYSOEE
Referred Judgements :-
INDU BHUSAN CHATTERJEE V. STATE
ALI AHAMAD KHAN V. KING EMPEROR
NANGU BHAGAT V. EMPEROR
SOHAN LAL V. EMPEROR
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(1.)The Petitioner has been found guilty of being in possession of counterfeit coins knowing these to be false and sentenced to undergo rigorous imprisonment for one year. The evidence relating to the coins being found with him has been believed by two Courts and there is no good reason to treat it either as insufficient or unreliable. Nevertheless the conviction is attacked on the ground that the coins are not proved to be counterfeit and that the search conducted by the Police to secure these is illegal.
(2.)The coins were sent to the Mint Master for examination and he communicated the opinion that these were not genuine. This is not sufficient by itself, as contended for the Petitioner, in the absence of evidence by the expert before Court to conclude that the coins are false. There is however the testimony of Police Officers and the finding of the Court as also the opinion of assessors to the effect that these were faked ones. The Petitioner when his attention was drawn to the evidence and asked to offer explanation, if any, to what was alleged against him, did not deny that these were such and even in the appeal before the Sessions Court, Be is said to have not disputed it. One need not be an expert to find out a bad coin and experience shows that many have the knack and capacity to mark it out readily even though the same is mixed up with good ones. At the time the police officers entered the Accused's house, these are said to have been lying before him tied up in a piece of cloth and he is alleged to have thrown away some into a basket. Some instruments or materials with which the process of imitation may be carried on were also kept by the side of the petitioner. The objection to the conviction on the score of inadequacy of proof about the coins not being genuine is untenable.
(3.)The search as a result of which the coins were seized was commented upon as high handed and unwarranted. Section 166 of the Code of Criminal Procedure relied upon for this states:
" (1) Whenever an officer in charge of a Police Station or a Police Officer making an investigation has reasonable grounds for believing that anything necessary for the purposes of an investigation into any offence which he is authorised to investigate may be found in any place within the limits of the Police Station of which he is in charge, or to which he is attached, and that such thing cannot in his opinion be otherwise obtained without undue delay, such officer may, after recording in writing the grounds of his belief and specifying in such writing, so far as possible, the thing for which search is to be made, search, or cause search to be made, for such thing in any place within the limits of such station."
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