On Friday, the High Court of Kerala noted that the act of forcing another person to sign a blank document does not amount to making a false document punishable under Section 468 of the Indian Criminal Code. In this case, one of the charges against the accused appellant was that he coerced a individual to place his signature on a 50 rupee stamp paper and three blank papers with stamps of revenue. Therefore, the question that the Court considered was whether merely placing signatures on blank papers under coercion would lead to making a false document?
Taking note of the Indian Penal Code provisions relating to Sections 463,464 of Forgery, Justice V G Arun stated that; The Section's first and second limbs are applicable when the accused commits the acts listed therein, whereas the accused commits the acts listed therein It causes someone else to do certain acts, either dishonestly or fraudulently. But alsoThe act of forcing another person to sign on blank papers, under the third limb Doesn't just make a false document.
Another issue was whether a document could be called a paper or a blank paper containing only one signature. Section 29 of the IPC describes the word document as any matter conveyed or represented on any material by letters, figures or marks or by more than one of those means intended to be used or used as proof of that matter. It is also equivalent to defnition under the Indian Evidence Act. The Court ruled
If we go by the definitions, To qualify a substance as a document some Matter on that substance should have been expressed or described by means of Letter figures or marks and these subject matter should be used as. That is evidence. It is questionable whether the signing act on Blank paper may be referred to as the term or definition of any matter intended to be used as proof of that matter and therefore within the scope of the document referred to in Section 29 of the IPC.The court held that the appeal was admissible Appellant 's sentence pursuant to Parts 365, 395 And IPC 468 can not be legally upheld.