1. This case is a very clear one, and there can be no doubt that the prisoners have been properly convicted. No one appears for the 1st prisoner, and in his appeal petition all that he says amounts to nothing more than a plea that he is a feeble old man and has been made a tool of by others. That such is the case appears to be true, and we accordingly reduce the sentence to one of rigorous imprisonment for three years.
2. The defence put forward here on behalf of the 2nd and 3rd prisoners is that they never signed Exhibits C and D and that Kantha Pandaram was actually before the Sub-Registrar and was accordingly identified by them as such. It is absolutely impossible to accept these assertions which are not supported by anything that can be called evidence. It is proved beyond all reasonable doubt that the 1st prisoner was brought before the Sub-Registration to personate Kantha Pandaram and that this could have been done when Kantha Pandaram himself was present, it is impossible ;to believe. The allegation that 2nd and 3rd prisoners never signed Exhibits C and D and that their alleged signatures to those documents have been forged by the Sub-Registrar is supported by no evidence and is utterly incredible. We accordingly find that these two prisoners have been rightly convicted. It is however urged that the sentence on the 2nd prisoner of transportation for an offence under the Registration Act is not legal on the ground that Section 59 of the Indian Penal Code does not apply to sentences passed under a Local or Special Law but only to offenders convicted under the Indian Penal Code. Looking to the wording of Section 40 of the Indian Penal Code, we are of opinion that this contention is well grounded. We accordingly alter the sentence imposed on the 2nd prisoner to one of rigorous imprisonment for seven years.
3. In other respects the appeals are dismissed.