Bombay High Court ruled ‘mere Possessing counterfeit or forged currency, without knowledge, cannot constitute offence’

Mumbai: Honourable High Court of Bombay observed that the fact of considering that one is merely possessing fake notes or counterfeit notes can not constitute or treated as an offence, however, in such cases the prosecution needs to prove the fact that the persons possessing the same was having knowledge that the said notes were fake or counterfeit.

The decision was made by honourable High Court of Bombay’s Bench comprising of Justice, A. Prabhudessai, by setting aside the order of conviction under section 489 (b) and 489 (c) of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 and sentence of imprisonment of 5 years terms, against the accused, which was passed by Sessions Court in the month of October, 2013. Accused- Appellant, Mr. Munshil Mohammad Sheikh was charged for possessing the Counterfeit or fake notes.

For the facts of the case, the accused, Mr. M. M. Sheikh was found depositing counterfeit or fake currency of Rs. 500 (17 in number)  and Rs. 1000 (one in number) in the Punjab National Bank at suburban Kurla branch. And the said fact of counterfeit or fake currency was discovered by the Cashier upon examination and, as per prosecution, on asking the Accused- Mr. Sheikh to wait at the counter and the Cashier went to the branch Manager of the bank and the confirmation to the fact of having fake currency was given by the said Branch Manager.

And also, as per prosecution, when the Cashier and Branch Manager came back to the Counter where accused was waiting, they found accused not present there and as such they filed a Complaint against him. And soon Police arrived at the spot, Accused came back and thus he was arrested, as per prosecution’s story.

Honourable High Court of Bombay observed it crystal clear that for proving the ingredients of the offences described under section 489 (b) and 489 (c) of the Penal Code, 1860, it is not only require that the use or possession of Counterfeit or Fake currency or notes as guanine, to be proved by the Prosecution, but the accused was having knowledge or having reasons to believe that the currency held by him was forged or counterfeit one, should also be required to prove by Prosecution.

And in the concerned case, as per HC, the without any evidence the presumption to the fact that the Accused was having knowledge to fact of fake or counterfeit notes could not be drawn.

by Faim Khalilkhan Pathan.