STATE OF U.P. Vs. LAL CHAND
HIGH COURT OF ALLAHABAD
STATE OF U.P.
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M.H. Beg, J. -
(1.)THIS is an appeal against an acquittal from a charge Under section 241 I.P.C. It was alleged that the Respondent went to the shop of Birju singh (P.W. 5) on 23rd May, 1962, at about 3p.m. at the Jahangirabad Mari(sic) in the district of Bulandshahr and delivered ten 50 np. coins for which he was to receive Rs. 5/ -. Evidently, Birjoo Singh, who is a shop -keeper, needed change for the purpose of carrying on business. After producing tea genuine 50 np. bits, the Appellant produced ten more 50 np. bits which Birju Singh (P.W. 5) refused to take on the ground that they were counterfeit. It appeals that while the Appellant was still at his shop, holding ten counter feit coins in his right hand because Birjoo Singh had refused to take them inspite of his attempt to induce Birju Singh to take them, the police arrived and arrested him. A recovery memo (Ex.ka.1) was prepared on the spot. The ten counter feit 50 np. coins were found separately from the ten bits which were genuine. There was also some other change upon the person of the Appellant which was taken into possession by the police, but there were only twenty 50 np. bits out of which ten counterfeit 50 nP. bits had been separated from the ten genuine ones. It was the counterfeit ones which the Appellant had tried to pass off as genuine. The Appellant had tried to induce Birju Singh to take them but Birju Singh had refused. This case is supported by the two witnesses of the recovery, Jagdish (P.W. 2) add Anandi Lal (P.W. 3), who are also stop keeper in the same bazar. The fact that the ten counterfeit coins said to have been held by the Appellant in his right hand were actually counterfeit has been proved by the evidence of Sri S.N. Bose (P. W. 4), Coin Expert, and his report (Ex. Ka. 3). The respond -ent did not deny having tried to pass on the coins which were proved be counter -feit. He stated, under Section 342 Code of Criminal Procedure, that he did not (sic) that the coins were counterfeit and that he had on him the money which be had received by selling four articles which he described as "newal", what ever that may be. Evidently, the Respondent intended to imply that the coins which he tried to pass on were part of the price he had received for the commodities he had sold. If it were true that the Appellant did not know that the ten coins he was trying to deliver to Birju Singh afterwards were counterfeit, it is difficult to understand why the Appellant had separated them from the coins which were genuine. The fact that the genuine coins and the counter feit coins had been separated and that he had tried to deliver the genuine ones first and the counter feit afterwards indicates that there was a purpose behind this separation and attempt to deliver the counter feit coins only afterwards. The purpose seems to have been to win the confidence of Birju Singh first. The fact that he tried to deliver ten counter feit coins in the fashion mentioned above has been duly proved by the three witnesses together with the evidence of Charan Singh (P.W. 1), who recovered the coins and stated that the information that the Appellant was trying to pass on the counter feit coins was conveyed to him by an informer. There being no adequate explanation by the Respondent, the knowledge of the counter feit character of the coins follows as an inescapable inference. The learned Magistrate who acquitted the accused after observing that the prosecution could not possibly prove the Respondent's subjective state of mind, held that the prosecution had failed to prove it. Apparently, the learned Magistrate was of the view that it is never possible for the prosecution to prove such knowledge on the part of an accused person. Such knowledge is always a matter of inference from circumstances which appear against an accused. The accused has to explain these circumstances. The circumstances, that he was found in possession of these ten counter feit coins, separated from genuine ones and tried to induce Birju Singh to take them, have not been explained by the Appellant. I, therefore, hold that the offence under Section 241 IPC has been proved against the Appellant beyond all reasonable doubt. No possible reason has been shown for the witnesses to depose falsely against the Appellant who took up the plea that he was implicated out of ranjish but he gave no reason for the alleged ranjish.
(2.)THE Appellant has not been shown to be a confirmed dealer in counter feit coins. No previous offence has been proved against him. Therefore, the ends of justice will be served by imposing upon him a sentence of fine only. The maximum fine which can be imposed under Section 241 IPC is ten times "the value of the coin counter feited". I am afraid the section is not happily worded in asmuch as the actual value of the counter feited coins would be less than the face value. It appears to me that the intention of the Legislature was clearly to indicate that the fine may extend to ten times the face value of the counter feit coins. Therefore, the maximum fine which can be imposed is Rs. 50/ - only.
I, therefore, set aside the order of acquittal and convict the Respondent under Section 241, IPC and sentence him to pay a fine of Rs. 50/ - and in default, to undergo RI for a period of one month. Mr. Saddiqi is holding a pauper brief on behalf of the Respondent who will himself be informed through the Magistrate concerned of the sentence imposed upon him and will get two months time from the date of information for the deposit of the fine.
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