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Allahabad High Court
Emperor vs Qadir Bakhsh And Ors. on 14 November, 1907
Equivalent citations: (1908) ILR 30 All 93
Author: B A Aikman
Bench: Banerji, Aikman


Banerji and Aikman, JJ.

1. This is an appeal by the Local Government from an original order of acquittal passed by the efficiating Sessions Judge of Benares. The three accused were committed to his Court charged with the offence of counterfeiting coin, punishable under Section 231, Indian Penal Code. It is proved and admitted that under the direction of Qadir Bakhsh the first accused, the other two accused, who are workmen in his employment, manufactured, out of German silver, coins which we have satisfied ourselves by inspection closely resemble genuine coins current in the Nepal State. The learned Officiating Sessions Judge was of opinion that as it was not the intention of the accused that deception should be practised, nor had they knowledge that deception was likely to be practised, no offence was committed. He refers to the explanation appended to Section 231, Indian Penal Code, which, we may remark, has no application to the case. He overlooked the provisions of Section 28 of the Code in which the word counterfeit is defined and in particular the second Explanation appended to that section, That Explanation is as follows: “When a person causes one thing to resemble another, and the resemblance is such that a person might be deceived thereby, it shall be presumed, until the contrary is proved, that the person so causing the one thing to resemble the other thing intended by means of that resemblance to practise deception or knew it to be likely that deception would thereby be practised.” As we have said above, the coins manufactured by the accused are very, good imitations of a genuine coin, and we have no hesitation in holding that persons might be deceived by the resemblance. That being so, the presumption referred to in the Explanation arises, and it is for the accused to prove that their intention was innocent or that they did not know that it was likely that deception would be practised. The learned Counsel who has appeared on behalf of the accused contends that the accused have discharged the onus which lies on them. In support of his contention he has referred to the low charge made by the accused for manufacturing the coins; to the fact that the accused manufactured a larger number of coins which are not current than of coins which are current in Nepal; to the frank admission made by the accused, and to the absence of concealment. These are undoubtedly circumstances to be taken into consideration, but we are of opinion that they are insufficient to discharge the burden which the law imposes on the accused. As the learned Government Advocate has urged in his argument, it is a dangerous thing to manufacture imitations of current coins, and this is no doubt the reason for the stringency of the law as contained in Explanation 2 of Section 28 of the Indian Penal Code. We are therefore of opinion that the appeal must be allowed. The learned Government Advocate, however, does not press for a heavy sentence and explains that the object of the appeal is to obtain a pronouncement by this Court as to whether the law laid down by the Court below was correct. Having regard to this and to the circumstances of the case we impose a light sentence. We allow the appeal, set aside the order of acquittal, and convicting Qadr Bakhsh, Algu and Karim Bakhsh under Section 231, Indian Penal Code, direct that the District Magistrate do send for the three accused and detain them in his Court until the rising of the Court. We further order that, the accused Qadir Bakhsh do pay a fine of Rs. 10 or in default undergo one month’s rigorous imprisonment.

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