MATHURA NATH SAH DEO Vs. BIRIA URAON
HIGH COURT OF PATNA
MATHURA NATH SAH DEO
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Shearer, J. -
(1.) THE petitioners, who are father and son, obtained a loan of Rs. 885/- from the Deputy Commissioner of Ranchi for the purpose of reclaiming or improving certain land belonging to them. In the application which they made for this loan they gave particulars of their land, stating that in all it comprised an area of 38.03 acres. THE Courts below have both come to the conclusion that while 36.07 acres of this land was in the possession of the petitioners, the remaining 1.96 acres belonged to the prosecutor Biria Uraon, and that the petitioners had deliberately made a false statement in the hope that eventually they might be able to dispossess Biria Uraon from this land. Now, even if this was so, it is quite impossible to maintain the conviction of the petitioners under Section 423 of the Penal Code as the false state ment which they made was not a false statement of the kind made punishable by that section. Clear ly it is not a false statement relating to the con sideration for the charge which was created on their land. THE decision of Spencer, J. in 'IN RE: MANIA GOUNDAN', 37 Mad 47 supports the argu ment of Mr. Baldeva Sahay for the petitioners. THE other decision relied on by the lower appel late Court, 'LEGAL REMEMBRANCER v. AHI LAL MANDAL', 48 Cal 911, is also of no real assistance to the prosecution. In that case it is clear that the false statement was a false statement relating to the consideratior for the transfer, and the only question that arose was whether or not the document had been executed fraudulently. On the view taken by the Courts below the petitioners no doubt acted fraudulently. That, however, was not enough. In order to make them criminally liable it had also to be shown that the false state ment which they made was a statement which came clearly within the purview of Section 423 of the Penal Code. An argument which weighed with the Courts below was that the petitioners would not have obtained so large a loan as they did if they had admitted that the area of land in their possession was less than they represented it was. This, however, does not appear to have been clearly established. In any event, it would be quite wrong for me to alter the conviction from one under Section 423 to one under Section 415 of the Penal Code now. THE application will be allowed, and the conviction and sentence will be set aside.;
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