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FORGERY: AN ANCIENT OFFENCE

A Final Draft submitted in fulfilment of the course CRIMINAL LAWS-I,


degree B.B.A LL.B (HONS.) during the Academic Year 2018-2019

SUBMITTED BY:
SUSHRUT SHEKHAR
Roll No. - 1859
B.B.A LL.B

SUBMITTED TO:
Dr. PETER F. LADIS
FACULTY OF CRIMINAL LAWS-I

SEPTEMBER, 2018
CHANAKYA NATIONAL LAW UNIVERSITY, NAYAYA NAGAR,
MITHAPUR, PATNA-800001
DECLARATION BY THE CANDIDATE

I hereby declare that the work reported in the B.B.A., LL.B (Hons.) Project Report entitled

“Forgery: An Ancient Offence ” submitted at Chanakya National Law University is an authentic

record of my work carried out under the supervision of Dr. Peter F. Ladis. I have not submitted

this work elsewhere for any other degree or diploma. I am fully responsible for the contents of

my Project Report.

SIGNATURE OF CANDIDATE
NAME OF CANDIDATE: SUSHRUT SHEKHAR
CHANAKYA NATIONAL LAW UNIVERSITY, PATNA.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

I would like to thank my faculty Dr.Peter F.Ladis. whose guidance helped me a lot with

structuring my project.

I owe the present accomplishment of my project to my friends, who helped me immensely with

materials throughout the project and without whom I couldn’t have completed it in the present

way.

I would also like to extend my gratitude to my parents and all those unseen hands that helped me

out at every stage of my project.

THANK YOU,
NAME: Sushrut Shekhar
COURSE: B.B.A., LL.B. (Hons.)
ROLL NO: 1859
SEMESTER – 3rd
CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION

OBJECTIVE OF STUDY

HYPOTHESIS

RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

SOURCES OF DATA

REVIEW OF LITERATURE

LIMITATION

SCOPE OF STUDY

1. FORGERY: MEANING AND DEFINITION


2. FORGERY: A HISTORICAL OVERVIEW
3. FORGERY UNDER IPC,1860
4. FORGERY: A JUDICIAL OVERVIEW
5. CONCLUSION AND SUGGESTIONS

BIBLIOGRAPHY
INTRODUCTION:-
The art of forgery is as old as the alphabet. The crime of forgery has been practiced since ancient times
in every country where writing existed and paper was used for financial transactions. Laws against
forgery can be traced to 80 bc when the Romans prohibited the falsification of documents that
transferred land to heirs. Forgery was prevalent in Europe in the Middle Ages. Gradually laws were
passed to prohibit forgeries in every developed country, but it was difficult to identify some of the highly
skilled forgeries1.

Forgery is the process of making, adapting, or imitating objects, statistics, or documents with the intent
to deceive for the sake of altering the public perception, or to earn profit by selling the forged item.
Copies, studio replicas, and reproductions are not considered forgeries, though they may later become
forgeries through knowing and willful misrepresentations. Forging money or currency is more often
called counterfeiting. But consumer goods may also be counterfeits if they are not manufactured or
produced by the designated manufacturer or producer given on the label or flagged by
the trademark symbol. When the object forged is a record or document it is often called a false document.

This usage of "forgery" does not derive from metalwork done at a forge, but it has a parallel history. A
sense of "to counterfeit" is already in the Anglo-French verb forger, meaning "falsify".

Forgery was prevalent in Europe in the Middle Ages. Gradually laws were passed to prohibit forgeries
in every developed country, but it was difficult to identify some of the highly skilled forgeries. In early
days it seems that forgery was a crime only in relation to royal seals, charters and writings under seal,and
offences in relation to the sewere closely linked with treason and coinage offences. By a statute of 1562
the forging of "false and untrue charters,evidences,deedsandwritings"was made criminal; but, with the
exception of testaments, the statute affected only writings under Seal. Neither Coke nor Hale refer to
theforgery of ordinary writings as a crime2.

OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY

The researcher intends to find out the how Forgery an as offence developed in India and to know the
current penal provisions of forgery according to IPC.

1
History Of Forgery https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-1-59745-301-1_5
2
HYPOTHESIS:

The crime of falsely and fraudulently making or altering a document is forgery.

RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

The researcher has followed doctrinal method of research in pursuance of the project.

.SOURCES OF DATA

Primary and Secondary sources of data have been used in the pursuance of the project.
*Primary sources: Indian penal code, Constitution of India, Cases, Judgements.
*Secondary sources: Newspaper articles, books, websites, commentaries and reviews.

REVIEW OF LITERATURE

The researcher has examined the primary and secondary sources of data in the project. The primary
sources is the Indian Penal Code, legal provisions and case laws. The secondary sources are books,
journals, magazines, newspaper etc.

LIMITATION

In the pursuit of the project, the researcher faced time, monetary & territorial limitations.

SCOPE OF THE STUDY

This research work on “Forgery -An ancient offence” may be utilised for studying various acts on
forgery ,showing how it developed as an offence before independence
1. FORGERY: MEANING AND DEFINITION

Forgery is a criminal act that takes place when a person falsifies something with the intent to deceive
another person or entity. Forgery has a long history, but it became more common in the 20th century as
technology has made it easier for criminals to commit the act. Some cases throughout history have been
so remarkable that the forged pieces are in display in popular museums around the world. To explore this
concept, consider the following forgery definition.

Elements of Forgery

In order for the judicial system to charge a person with forgery, certain elements or factor must be in
place. If one or more of the elements is missing, it can result in different charges.

Making, Altering, Using or Possessing a Forged Item

In forgery cases, the individual must have made, altered, used, or possessed a false writing at some point
in time. This is not just limited to writing letters or documents as altering existing documents is also
forgery if it is done in an attempt to gain or deceive another person. This includes changing or adding the
signature on a document, but also includes deleting it. Using or possessing the false writing is also
considered forgery, though some states consider it “uttering a false writing.3”

Legal Efficacy

Not every altered document or letter falls within the bounds of forgery. In order an altered document to be
subject to forgery laws, the false writing must has legal significance. This includes, but is not limited to:

 Government issued identification


 Deeds
 Conveyances
 Checks
 Stock certificates
 Patents
 Wills

3
Forgery - Definition, Examples, Cases, and Processes https://legaldictionary.net/forgery/
 Prescriptions
 Other medical documents

Material Alteration

In order for the writing to fall under the definition of false, the material included must have been
fabricated or altered significantly in order to represent something it is actually not. For example, if a
person changes the will of another person to benefit himself, it is considered forgery. If a person inserts a
false statement into a letter, but it does not change the meaning of the letter, it does not fall under the
category of forgery.4

With the Intent to Defraud

Simply falsifying a letter or document does not constitute forgery unless the person does so in attempt to
defraud a person or entity. Under this element, simply possessing a forged document does not constitute
forgery if the person with possession does not know that the document it false. For example, if you were
to receive a check for a car you sold and the check was forged, you would not be held criminally liable
unless you knew that the check had been falsified.

Types of Forgery

There is a wide range of documents that can be forged, but some are more common than others. Some of
the most types of forgery involve signatures and prescriptions.

Signature Forgery

Signature Forgery is the act of replicating another person’s signature. In signature forgery cases, criminals
use many methods, including tracing. When examining a document that is suspected of being falsified,
there are experts that can examine the signature to determine if it is indeed forged. Some common signs
of forged signatures include:

 Shaky handwriting
 Signs of retouching
 Size of signature
 Pens lifts

4
Ibid
Prescription Forgery

Prescription forgery is a serious criminal offense and involves forging a doctor’s signature or the entire
prescription in order to gain prescription medications, namely controlled substances. Since prescription
forgery is becoming more and more common, some pharmacies contact the doctor that allegedly
prescribed the medication before filling it.

Art Forgery

Art forgery consists of taking a piece of art and adding an artist’s name in order to pass it off as a genuine
piece. A person can create the art piece themselves and add a false signature, or they can use an existing
piece and add the signature. Art forgery can result in serious charges if the art is sold for a large amount
of money.

Affidavit of Forgery

An affidavit of forgery is a legal document completed by a victim of fraud. Financial institutions and
police departments often have the victims fill out the form and have it notarized. The affidavit of forgery
acts as a sworn oath that the documents in question has been falsified. The form is used during the civil or
criminal court proceedings. The affidavit of forgery is also used to help victims recover losses that
occurred as a result of the forgery crime. For example, if a person notices that some is using their
checkbook and forging their signature, they can fill out an affidavit in order to regain the money taken
from their account.5

5
Affidavit Of Forgery Noidentitytheft.com Staff - https://www.noidentitytheft.com/affidavit-of-forgery/
2. FORGERY: A HISTORICAL OVERVIEW

The art of forgery is as old as the alphabet. The crime of forgery has been practiced since ancient times
in every country where writing existed and paper was used for financial transactions. Laws against
forgery can be traced to 80 bc when the Romans prohibited the falsification of documents that
transferred land to heirs. Forgery was prevalent in Europe in the Middle Ages. Gradually laws were
passed to prohibit forgeries in every developed country, but it was difficult to identify some of the highly
skilled forgeries.

The law of forgery may have originated with an early Roman law (c. 80 B.C.) that prohibited falsification
of documents describing the passing on of land to heirs. The precise scope of what was considered
forgery at common law is not universally agreed upon, but a statute passed in the time of Queen Elizabeth
I (An Act against forgers of false deeds and writings, 5 Eliz. 1, c. 14 (1562) (England)) prohibited forgery
of publicly recorded, officially sealed documents with the intent to affect the title to land, as well as the
knowing use of such documents as evidence in court. In the first major expansion of the law's coverage, a
1726 decision declared that a false endorsement on an unsealed private document was indictable both
under the Elizabethan statute and at common law (Rex v. Ward, 92 Eng. Rep. 451 (K.B. 1726)). Writing
only half a century later, William Blackstone was able to declare, after referring to several contemporary
statutes, that "there is now hardly a case possible to be conceived wherein forgery, that tends to defraud,
whether in the name of a real or fictitious person, is not made a capital crime" ( *250). Blackstone defined
common law forgery, which he also called crimen falsi, as "the fraudulent making or altering of a writing
to the prejudice of another man's right." Pillory, fines, and imprisonment were the penalties in those rare
cases that were not subject to capital punishment.

Even after the development of the printing press in the West (c. 1440) forgeries were relatively easy to
pull off as the ability to cross check information was difficult.

In ancient times it was even easier, as even at the best of times overall literacy was well below 50% [1][2][3]

The best way to make something "important" is to say some famous (or infamous) figure said
it...preferably after anyone who could contradict you was dead and gone. We see this with George
Washington's vision and and a "quote" by Abraham Lincoln. In ancient Egypt they took the practice to the
next level, totally eliminating leaders they felt were an "embarrassment" from official public records (for
example, Akhenaten, Hatshepsut, Smenkhkare, Tutankhamen, and Ay are not listed in the Abydos King
List) and crediting more suitable rulers with their contributions.
Since records of that time were hand-written they were limited both in the number of copies and in
circulation, making forgery even easier as the means to determine a forgery was extremely limited. For
instance, it wasn't until the time of Desiderius Erasmus (1466-1536), a Renaissance scholar, that the
material that showed the Donation of Constantine was a crude forgery was able to be consolidated and
checked (based on the mangled Latin in the document that nobody even remotely close to Constantine's
court would have written, but that a semi-literate medieval forger would have)6.

Of course this lends itself to its own woo, with ad hoc claims such that none of the Pauline epistles were
composed before 180 C.E.7 We can't say that the whole Pauline corpus is a forgery, only parts of it.

Examples:-

1. Sibylline Oracles

The so-called Sibylline Oracles are a collection of Greek verses attributed to the Sibyl of Cumæ.
According to tradition, the last king of Rome, Tarquinius Superbus, was offered a set of nine books
containing prophecies of the future of Rome by the Sibyl at Cumæ. The Sibyl first offered to Tarquinius
nine books of these prophecies. The king declined to purchase them, owing to the exorbitant price she
demanded. So she burned three and offered the remaining six to Tarquinius at the same stiff price, which
he again refused, whereupon she burned three more and repeated her offer. Tarquinius then relented and
purchased the last three at the full original price.8

The extant Sibylline Books or Oracles are not these costly oracular texts. They are, instead, a hodgepodge
of Jewish and Hellenistic apocalypses, with thinly veiled references to historical figures such as
Alexander the Great and Cleopatra. They are generally accepted to be a Christian imposture of the sixth
century CE. They were, however, occasionally referenced by Christian writers of the early middle ages,
and were acknowledged by Thomas of Celano in his poem Dies irae.9

2. Shroud of Turin

The first undoubted attestation of the existence of the Shroud of Turin was in 1390 CE when Bishop
Pierre d'Arcis wrote to Antipope Clement VII, stating that the shroud was a forgery and that the artist had
confessed.10

6
Historical Forgery https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Historical_forgery
7
The Entire Pauline Corpus is a forgery: The Pauline Corpus was composed AFTER c 180 CE , RationalSkepticism.org
8
Lactantius, Institutiones Divinae
9
The Sibylline Oracles, sacred-texts.com
10
See the Wikipedia article on Dies Irae.
3. Pauline letters

Paul one of the inventors of Christianity, who people used to say wrote half of the New Testament,
actually wrote about a fourth of it. The rest? Forgeries — aka pseudepigrapha (nice word, don't you
think?). 11

Paul himself warned the reader that there was a veritable cottage industry of people who wrote stuff in his
name. Ironically these warnings appear both in the letters believed to be written by him and by forgers.

4. Prester John's letter

A missive from mythical Christian monarch Prester John appeared in the 12th century to give legitimacy
and support to the Crusades. Full of fantastical tales and promises of victory against the Infidel, it was
enormously popular as literature, such that most people believed it until around the 17 th century when it
became very clear that Prester John had never existed. It is now believed to be a forgery by a mid-
12th century west European (possibly an Italian) with some experience of the Crusader lands. 12

11
See the Wikipedia article on Authorship of the Pauline epistles.
12
Review: PRESTER JOHN: THE LETTER AND THE LEGEND by V. Slessarev, Frend, W. H. C. History 46, no. 157
(1961): 132.
3. FORGERY UNDER IPC, 1860

Section 463 to Section 477A of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 deal with the offences relating forgery,
forged documents and making or possessing counterfeit seal, etc with intend to commit forgery. Section
463 and Section 464 of the Indian Penal Code defines forgery as the making of a false document in order
that it may be used as genuine. Section 465 of the Code prescribes the Punishment for forgery.

1. Forgery :

According to Section 463 of the Indian Penal Code, "whoever makes any false document or electronic
record or part of a document or electronic record with intent to cause damage or injury, to the public or to
any person, or to support any claim or title, or to cause any person to part with property, or to enter into
any express or implied contract, or with intent to commit fraud or that fraud may be committed, commits
forgery.

Ingredients :

To invoke Section 463 of the Indian Penal Code, the following ingredients must be established -

(1) A person makes any document or part of a document.

(2) The document or false electronic record or part of the document or electronic record must be false.
(3) His Intention is

(a) to cause damage or injury to the public or any person;

(b) to support any claim or title;

(c) to cause any person to part part with his property;

(d) to enter into any express or implied contract;

(e) to commit any fraud or that fraud may be committed

2. Making a false document.


According to Section 464 A person is said to make a false document or false electronic record -

First—

Who dishonestly or fraudulently —

(a) makes, signs, seals or executes a document or part of a document;


(b) makes or transmits any electronic record or part of any electronic record
(c) affixes any digital signature on any electronic record;
(d) makes any mark denoting the execution of a document or the authenticity of the digital signature,
with the intention of causing it to be believed that such document or part of document, electronic
record or digital signature was made, signed, sealed, executed, transmitted or affixed by or by the
authority of a person by whom or by whose authority he knows that it was not made, signed, sealed,
executed or affixed; or

Secondly —

Who, without lawful authority, dishonestly or fraudulently, by cancellation or otherwise, alters a


document or an electronic record in any material part thereof, after it has been made, executed or affixed
with digital signature either by himself or by any other person, whether such person be living or dead at
the time of such alteration; or

Thirdly—

Who dishonestly or fraudulently causes any person to sign, seal, execute or alter a document or an
electronic record or to affix his digital signature on any electronic record knowing that such person by
reason of unsoundness of mind or intoxication cannot, or that by reason of deception practised upon him,
he does not know the contents of the document or electronic record or the nature of the alteration.

Explanation 1

A man's signature of his own name may amount to forgery.


Explanation 2 –

The making of a false document in the name of a fictious person, intending it to be believed that the
document was made by real person, or in the name of a deceased person, intending it to be believed that
the document was made by the person in his lifetime, may amount to forgery.

Explanation 3 –

For the purposes of this section, the expression "affixing digital signature" shall have the meaning
assigned to it in clause (d) of subsection (1) of section 2 of the Information Technology Act, 2000.
Illustration A draws a bill of exchange upon a fictious person, and fraudulently accepts the bill in the
name of such fictitious person with intent to negotiate it. A commits forgery.

3. Punishment for forgery

Section 465 of the Indian Penal Code prescribes the punishment for forgery - According to this Section
whoever commits forgery shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may
extend to two years, or with fine, or with both. The offence under this section is non-cognizable, bailable,
non-compoundable and triable by Magistrate of the first class.

4. Forgery of record of Court or of public register etc.

Section 466 of the code deals with an aggravated form of the offence of forgery it says that, whoever
forges a document or electronic record, purporting to be a record or proceeding of or in a Court of Justice,
or a register of birth, baptism, marriage or burial, or a register kept by a public servant as such, or a
certificate or document purporting to be made by a public servant in his official capacity, or an authority
to institute or defend a suit, or to take any proceedings therein, or to confess judgment, or a power of
attorney, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to seven
years, and shall also be liable to fine.

Explanation.—

For the purposes of this section, "register" includes any list, data or record of any entries maintained in the
electronic form as defined in clause (r) of sub-section (1) of section 2 of the Information Technology Act,
2000.
Ingredients :

1) A person forges a document,


2) The document purports to be,
A) record of proceedings of a Court of Justice, or
B) register of birth, baptism, marriage or burial or
C) register kept by a public servant as such, or
D) certificate or document made by public servant in his official capacity, or
E) authority to Institute or defend suit etc. or
F) power of attorney.

The offence is non-cognizable, non bailable, non-compoundable and triable by a Magistrate of first
class . Punishment may extend to 7 years of imprisonment and fine.

5. Forgery of valuable security will etc. (Section 467 of the Indian Penal Code

Whoever forges a document which purports to be a valuable security or a will, or an authority to adopt a
son, or which purports to give authority to any person to make or transfer any valuable security, or to
receive the principal, interest or dividends thereon, or to receive or deliver any money, movable property,
or valuable security, or any document purporting to be an acquittance or receipt acknowledging the
payment of money, or an acquittance or receipt for the delivery of any movable property or valuable
security, shall be punished with imprisonment for life, or with imprisonment of either description for a
term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine.

Ingredients :

To invoke Section 467 of the Code following ingredients are to be satisfied –

A person forges a document which purports to be –

1) A valuable security

2) A Will,

3) an authority to adopt a son.

4) authority to any person to make a transfer valuable security.


5) authority to receive the principal, interest or dividends on a valuable security
6) authority to receive or deliver money, movable property or valuable security
7) acquaintance or receipt acknowledging the payment of money, or

8) acquaintance of receipt for any movable property or valuable security.

The offence under Section 467 of the Indian Penal Code is non-cognizable, non-bailable, non-
compoundable and triable by a Magistrate of first the class .If the forgery is of promissory note of the
Central Govt, is Cognizable.

6. Forgery for purpose of cheating.

Section 468 of the Indian Penal code says that, whoever commits forgery, intending that the document
or electronic record forged shall be used for the purpose of cheating, shall be punished with imprisonment
of either description for a term which may extend to seven years, and shall also be liable to fine.

Ingredients

1) The document or electronic record is forged;

2) The accused forged the document or electronic record;

3) The accused forged the document or electronic record intending that the forged document would be
used for the purpose of cheating.

Offence under this section is cognizable, non-bailable, non-compoundable and triable by a Magistrate of
the first class

7. Forgery for purpose of harming reputation. (Section 469):

Whoever commits forgery, intending that the document or electronic record forged shall harm the
reputation of any party, or knowing that it is likely to be used for that purpose, shall be punished with
imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years, and shall also be liable to
fine.

Ingredients :

1) The document or electronic record in question is forged;

2) The accused forged it


3) The document or electronic record would be to defame or harm the reputation of someone .
Cognizable, bailable, non-compoundable and triable by a Magistrate of the first class

8. Forged document. Section 470 of I.P.C)

A false document or electronic record made wholly or in part by forgery is designated "a forged
document or electronic record".

9. Using as genuine a forged document or electronic record.

According to Section 471 of the Indian Penal Code, whoever fraudulently or dishonestly uses as
genuine any document or electronic record which he knows or has reason to believe to be a forged
document or electronic record, shall be punished in the same manner as if he had forged such document
or electronic record.

Ingredients
1) The document or electronic record is a forged one;

2) The accused used the document or electronic record is genuine ;

3) The accused knew or had reason to believe that it was a forged document or electronic record.
4) The accused used it fraudulently or dishonestly, knowing or having reason to believe that it was a
forged document or electronic record.

The offence under section 471 is cognizable, bailable, non-compoundable and may be tried by a
magistrate of first class. It is punishable in the same manner as if he had forged such document or
electronic record.

10. Making or possessing counterfeit seal, etc., with intent to commit forgery punishable under
section 467.

According to Section 472 whoever makes or counterfeits any seal, plate or other instrument for
making an impression, intending that the same shall be used for the purpose of committing any forgery
which would be punishable under section 467 of this Code, or, with such intent, has in his possession any
such seal, plate or other instrument, knowing the same to be counterfeit, shall be punishable with
imprisonment for life, or with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to seven
years, and shall also be liable to fine.
Ingredients :

1) The accused of made or counterfeit the seal, plate or the instruments for making an impression.
2) The accused had in his possession any such seal, plate knowing the same to counterfeit;
3) Such seal, plate etc was made to produce impression;
4) The accused intended to use such a seal, plate etc. for the purpose of committing forgery.

The offence under section 472 of the Indian Penal Code is cognizable, bailable, non compoundable
and tribal by a magistrate of the first class.

11. Making or possessing counterfeit seal, etc., with intent to commit forgery punishable
otherwise. (Section 473)

Whoever makes or counterfeits any seal, plate or other instrument for making an impression, intending
that the same shall be used for the purpose of committing any forgery which would be punishable under
any section of this Chapter other than section 467, or, with such intent, has in his possession any such
seal, plate or other instrument, knowing the same to be counterfeit, shall be punished with imprisonment
of either description for a term which may extend to seven years, and shall also be liable to fine.

The offence under this section is cognizable, bailable, non compoundable and tribal by a magistrate of the
first class.

12. Having possession of document described in section 466 or 467, knowing it to be forged and
intending to use it genuine. (Section 474)

Whoever has in his possession any document or electronic record, knowing the same to be forged and
intending that the same shall fraudulently or dishonestly be used as a genuine, shall, if the document or
electronic record is one of the description mentioned in section 466 of this Code, shall be punished with
imprisonment for life, or with imprisonment of either description, for a term which may extend to seven
years, and shall also be liable to fine.

Ingredients

1) The document or electronic record is a forged one;


2) The accused was in possession of it;

3) The accused knew it to be forged; and

4) The accused intended to use it as genuine

The offence under Section 474 of code is bailable and tribal by a magistrate of first class. It is
punishable with imprisonment that may be extend to 7 years and fine.
4.FORGERY: A JUDICIAL OVERVIEW

Under the legal purview to established falsification and fraud, the prosecutor and the claimant must be
able to collaborate and associate it with the fraudulent act. Therefore, forgery and falsification of
documents are the mechanisms to commit fraud. Fraud can be defined as these activities such as theft,
corruption, conspiracy, embezzlement, money laundering, bribery and extortion (Mohammed, 2002).
Fraud essentially involves using deception to dishonestly make a personal gain for oneself and/or create a
loss for another (Yusuf Ibrahim Arowosaiye, 2012). Although definitions vary, most are based around
these general themes, as there must be a fraudulent act committed by the accused person.

In the context of forgery, Black Latter Law defines forgery as making a false document to deceive. The
act of making the false document for the purpose of fraud must be read together (Rantanlal & Dhirajlal,
2007). The act of making the false document only does not constitute forgery until and unless the
prosecution and claimant are able to prove the presence of fraudulent act and this was illustrated in Yap
Toon Choy v. Hong Leong Bank Berhad & Anor [2012] MLJU 288, the court held, the act of forgery is
not established if it had been made out of negligence because there is no presence of intention. It is
submitted that forgery can be a vehicle to commit other offences such as fraud, cheating, breach of trust
and misappropriation of property and falsification of documents (Zhang, 2012).

Section 477A Penal Code underlines the ingredients and contents of falsification of documents. The scope
of this section develop two offences i.e. [1] falsifying of accounts and [2] making or abetting the making
of false entry, or omitting, or altering, or abetting the omission or alteration of any entry. These two
sections had been read separately and independently. However, to prove under this section, the
prosecution or claimant for civil action must prove [1] the persons coming within the purview must be a
clerk, officers or servant and [2] he must wilfully and with intent to defraud in term of destroy, alter,
mutilate, or falsify any books, paper, writing, and valuable security. The critical aspects of this section is
it only deals with certain and specific professions. It is because the act of falsification requires the accused
person to have a possession over the documents.

Under section 477A Penal Code, the act of destroy, alter, mutilate, or falsify any original documents are
considered as falsifying. In the accounting context, it is referred as false accounting which is the
falsification, concealment, or destruction of records, (Shah, Butt, & Tariq, 2011) and is commonly used as
the way to trick people into parting with money or any other property, or to cover up what have been done
by falsifying the account (Rantanlal & Dhirajlal, 2007). In R v. Shama 91 Cr App R138, the act of
falsifying the documents includes the act of making a false entry. In the case of Tan Ker Loo v.
Pendakwaraya13, the court ruled the knowledge over and falsifying the documents is important to
determine liabilities. The court emphasis the element of knowledge as an important aspect of determining
the conviction for falsifying the specific documents for the purpose of defrauding others and obtaining
specific financial advantages. However, in forgery cases, the court approach is different. The presumption
of possession has been used in order to prove that there are intention and knowledge over the matters.

In the case of Dato’ Raja Azwane Bin Raja Ariff & Anor, Dato’ Tan Kim Kuan v. Dato Man Bin Mat 14,
the learned counsel for the petitioners had summarized the act of oppression by falsifying the company
resolution and signature of the directors. Therefore this act is one form of white colour crimes and should
be proven beyond reasonable doubt. Thus, possession alone with regard to the false documents does not
constitute the accused person be liable for the falsification until and unless, the prosecution is able to
prove the case beyond reasonable doubt.

In the case of Harun Bin Abdullah v. Public Prosecutor 15, the credibility of prosecution witness had not
been successfully discredited, and therefore, his evidence remained good. The charge against the
appellant was forgery and not cheating prosecution witness and as such thus there was no requirement of
corroboration. Therefore, prosecution witness was not an accomplice, for the charge against the appellant
was one of forging or falsifying the specific document, of which at all relevant times was well within the
custody and knowledge of the appellant and none others. Having sifted the evidence, no evidence was
found to show that the High Court's judge's factual finding on this issue was erroneous.

In term of punishment in Leong Kok Huat v. Public Prosecutor16 the court emphasis the sequence of the
three limbs of the 'penalty part'; first, a fine, followed by 'the imprisonment term' and lastly 'the whipping
sentence'. By that order, the court inferred that it must have been the intention of the legislature to punish
the offender like the accused first, by an appropriate fine if the facts against his wrongful act so justified
before considering the other alternative penalties.

For that reason, the purpose of the law is to ensure the guilty person can be punished in accordance of law
if the case can be proven beyond reasonable doubt. Thus, the standard of prove requires to be tendered as
per charge and not outside the scope of the charge. However, the method of the crime committed would
affect the standard of evidence applicable. If the falsification of evidence involves forgery, the court
applied the balance of probabilities standard of proof to determine the existence of the offence.

13
[2011] 7 MLJ 714
14
[2009] MLJU 1480
15
[2009] 3 MLJ 337
16
[1998] 6 MLJ 406
5. CONCLUSION AND SUGGESTIONS

The standardization of legal framework must be done in order to avoid legal confusion and contradiction.
The purposed standard is to introduce new provision under Penal Code. The form regulation includes
aspects such as to enhance the punishment section, and comprehend the diversity of offences. The
introduction of interpretation section with regards to the fraud, forgery and falsification of document must
be conveyed. This is particularly in respect of evidential standard that must be taken into consideration
and given emphasis by the prosecution and plaintiff to prove beyond reasonable doubt. In term of
‘presumption of guilt’, the fair and reasonable approach must be adapted in court proceeding and
interpretation of presumption provision by the court must be strictly applied.

Furthermore, to ensure the uniformity of the laws, the statute dealing with white color crimes must be
introduced. This includes other offences such as fraud, forgery, falsification of documents and criminal
breach of trust. The uniformity of the statute will encourage specific interpretation that can avoid
confusion pertaining to the legal term and evidential aspect of the offences itself. The court must strictly
adapt beyond reasonable doubt standard of proof when dealing with these types of cases.

For the purpose of investigation, the setting of white color crime unit that specialized in identified
financial crimes must be established. This includes by giving more power through law either to access
and collecting evidence for the purpose of prosecution. Thus, the mutual assistance between various
agencies must be effectively performed to cater the need for investigation.
6. BIBLIOGRAPHY

PRIMARY SOURCES:

Primary sources include statues, acts etc.

STATUTES AND ACTS

1. Indian Penal Code 1860

SECONDARY SOURCES

Secondary sources include books , articles, magazines, journals, websites etc.

BOOKS:

1. Author: Ratanlal & Dhirajlal, Indian Penal Code, Published by LexisNexis, Edition:35th ,
(2017)
2. Author: Dr. K.L. Vibhute, PSA Pillai’s Criminal Law , Published by Lexis Nexis , Edition 11 th ,
2012

WEBSITES

1. https://criminal.findlaw.com/criminal-charges/forgery.html
2. https://www.criminaldefenselawyer.com/penalty-for-forgery.cfm
3. https://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/forgery
4. http://law.jrank.org/pages/1234/Forgery-History.html
5. https://www.umass.edu/wsp/history/outline/forgery.html
6. https://indiankanoon.org/docfragment/358041/?formInput=forgery
7. https://www.srdlawnotes.com/2017/07/forgery