The Circumstances under Which a Man’s Signa­ture of His Own Name May Amount To Forgery in India (I.PC, 1860)

January 9, 2019 0 Comment

The ingredients of the offence of forgery are: (1) the making of a false document or part of it; (2) such making should be with intent (a) to cause damage or injury to the public, or to any person; or (b) to support any claim or title; or (c) to cause any person to part with property; or (d) to enter into any express or implied contract; or (e) to commit fraud or that fraud may be committed.


(a) A, without Z’s authority, affixes Z’s seal to a document purporting to be conveyance of an estate from Z to A, with the intention of selling the estate to B and thereby of obtaining from B the purchase money. A has committed forgery, (b) A picks up a cheque on a banker signed by B, payable to bearer, but without any sum having been inserted in the cheque.

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A fraudulently fills up the cheque by inserting the sum of ten thousand rupees. A commits for­gery (c) Z dictates his will to A. A intentionally writes down a differ­ent legatee from the legatee named by Z, and by representing Z that he has prepared the will according to his instructions, induces Z to sign the will. A has committed forgery.

(ii) Forged document:

A false document made wholly or in part by forgery is designed a ‘forged document’. [Section 470].

Making a false document:

A person is said to make a false document: first who dishonesty or fraudulently makes, signs, seals or executes a document or part of a document, or makes any mark denoting the execution of a document, with the intention of causing it to be believed that such document or part of a document was made, signed, sealed or executed by or by the authority of a person by whom or by whose authority he knows that it was not made, signed, sealed or executed, or at a time at which he knows that it was not made, signed, sealed or executed; or secondly who without law­ful authority, dishonestly or fraudulently, by cancellation or other­wise, alters a document in any material part thereof, after it has been made or executed 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, knowing that such person by reason of unsoundness of mind or intoxication cannot, or that by reason of deception practiced upon him, he does not know the contents of the document or the nature of the alteration. [Section 464].


(a) A has a letter of credit upon B for Rs. 10,000, written by Z. A, in order to defraud B, adds a cipher to the 10,000 and makes the sum 1, 00,000, intending that it may be believed by B that Z so wrote the letter. A has committed forgery, (b) A leaves with B, his agent, a cheque on a banker; signed by A, without inserting the sum payable and authorizes B to fill up the cheque by inserting a sum not exceeding ten thousand rupees for the purpose of making certain pay­ments.

B fraudulently fills up the cheque by inserting certain pay­ments. B fraudulently fills up the cheque by inserting the sum of twenty thousand rupees. B commits forgery, (c) A draws a bill of exchange on himself in the name of B without B’s authority, intend­ing to discount it as a genuine bill with a banker and intending to take up the bill on its maturity.

Here as A draws the bill with intent to receive the banker by leading him to suppose that he had the security of B, and thereby to discount the bill, A is guilty of forgery, (d) Z’s will contains these words “I direct that all my remaining property be equally divided between A, B and C.” A dishonestly scratches out B’s name, intending that it may be believed that the whole was left to himself and C.

A has committed forgery, (e) A writes a letter and signs it with B’s name without B’s authority, certifying that A is a man of good character and in distressed circumstances from unfore­seen misfortune, intending by means of such letter to obtain alms from Z and other persons. Here, as A made a false document in order to induce Z to part with property, A has committed forgery.

(ii) Explanation 1 to S. 464 provides that a man’s signature of his own name may amount to forgery. A few illustrations will make the point clear, (a) A signs his own name to a bill of exchange, intending that it may be believed that the bill was drawn by another person of the same name. A has committed forgery, (b) A purchases an estate sold under execution of a decree against B.

B, after the seizure of the estate, in collusion with Z, executes a lease of the estate to Z at a nominal rent and for a long period, and dates the lease six months prior to the seizure, with intent to defraud A, and to cause it to be believed that the lease was granted before the seizure. B, though he executes the lease in his own name, commits forgery by antedating it.

(c) A, a trader in anticipation of insolvency, lodges effects with B for A’s benefit, and with intent to defraud his creditors; and, in order to give colour to the transaction, writes a promissory note binding him­self to pay to B a sum for value received and antedates the note, intending that it may be believed to have been made before A was on the point of insolvency. A has committed forgery under the first head of the definition.

(iii) Explanation 2 says that the making of a false document in the name of a fictitious person, intending to be believed that the docu­ment was made by a 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 life-time, may amount to forgery.


A draws a bill of exchange upon a fictitious person, and fraudulently accepts the bill in the name of such fictitious person with intent to negotiate it. A commits forgery.


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