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Even when the materials collected by the prosecution is taken as a proof, the same would not constitute any of the aforesaid offences – Madras High Court

“When a person has entered into an agreement of sale by impersonating the owner or falsely claiming to be authorised or empowered by the owner, to execute the deed on owners behalf, then it can be said that there is a making of false document.” This was stated by the single bench of Honourable Justice N. Sathish Kumar in the case of Perumal & Ors. V. The State represented by The Inspector of Police & Anr. (Crl.M.P.No.14880 of 2017)

The facts are, Ramasamy Gounder owned an extent of one acre property in survey No.207D and he was allotted one acre of land in Survey No.196 by a partition deed dated 29.06.1924. Thereafter, the said Ramasamy Gounder has sold the property to one Chenniappa Gounder. While selling the property, instead of mentioning the survey No.207 [D] he has referred the survey number as 196. However, the boundaries are correct. Thereafter, patta was also issued in favour of Chenniappa Gounder. Subsequent to the same he has also executed a settlement in favour of his legal heirs and the remaining extent has also been settled to his daughter and the settlees also dealt with the properties. When the matter stood thus, A1 and his brother Krishnamurthy have partitioned their property in the year 1983. They dealt with the property knowing well that they do not have any right in the property. They also executed a Power of Attorney in favour of A1, wherein A2 and A7 were attested witnesses. Pursuant to the same A1 to A3 had entered into an agreement for sale in favour of A4 to A6. Thereby, the accused had committed the aforesaid offences.

The learned counsel for the petitioner mainly contended that the civil nature of the case is converted into criminal prosecution. Originally in two survey numbers 207 [D] and 196 to an extent of 35 cents and 58 cents have been allotted to the one Ramasamy Gounder in a partition deed dated 29.06.1924. The said Ramasamy Gounder had sold the property to an extent of one acre land in survey No.196 in favour of Chenniappa Gounder on 17.03.1959. The defacto complainant is the legal heir of the Chenniappa Gounder and the accused are the legal heirs and agreement holders in respect of the property. It is his contention that the Ramasamy Gounder has not sold the property allotted to him under the partition deed dated 29.06.1924, whereas he has sold a different area comprised in survey No.196. Therefore, it is his contention that when the allotment in his favour was in respect of 93 cents, the question of selling one acre in the same survey does not arise at all. Whereas, he has sold the property relating to survey No.196, which is no way connected to the property allotted in partition deed on 29.06.1924. It is his further contention that though the petitioner has filed a suit for declaration, the same was dismissed for default and the application filed to restore the suit was also dismissed against which the petitioner has filed CRP, which is pending. It is his further contention that merely because the parties have sold the properties claiming that the properties are their own properties, creating false documents as per section 464 of IPC cannot be attracted. Therefore, submitted that the entire prosecution is nothing but abuse of process of law.

The single bench of Honourable Justice N. Sathish Kumar stated following in this case. When a person has entered into an agreement of sale by impersonating the owner or falsely claiming to be authorised or empowered by the owner, to execute the deed on owners behalf, then it can be said that there is a making of false document. But when the document itself executed by the person claiming to be owner of the property, execution of such documents do not fall within the definition of execution of false document as defined under section 464 IPC. Considering the above judgment and that the entire charge relate to the title to the property, the defacto complaint claiming title on the basis of the property in respect of survey No.196, when the issue relating to the title is in question, merely the agreement for sale is executed by the legal heirs of the original owner, who is said to have been allotted the property in the year 1924, such an act would not constitute any offence. Even when the materials collected by the prosecution is taken as a proof, the same would not constitute any of the aforesaid offences. In such view of the matter, continuing of prosecution is a futile exercise and is nothing but an abuse of process of law.

Accordingly, this Criminal Original Petition is allowed and the proceedings in C.C.No.84 of 2015 on the file of the learned Chief Judicial Magistrate, Erode is quashed. Consequently, connected miscellaneous petition is closed.

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Judgement reviewed by Himanshu Ranjan

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