Section 468 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 provides punishment for committing forgery with intention of using the forged document for the purpose of cheating. Thus, the first requirement of this provision is to commit forgery.
Section 463 IPC defines forgery in the terms that
“whoever makes any false document……, 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.”
Thus, from the definition of forgery it is apparent that making a false document is the first requirement to commit forgery.
A full bench of Supreme Court in Ram Narayan Popli v. CBI, (2003) 3 SCC 641, had occasion to deal with the ingredients of forgery and while dealing with this question, the court observed as follows :-
“The first essential is that the accused should have made a false document. The false document must be made with an intent to cause damage or injury to the public or to any class of public or to any communities.”
The court further observed that
“the definition of the offence of forgery declares the offence to be completed with a false document is made with specified intention. The questions are
(I) is the document false,
(ii) is it made by the accused and
(iii) is it made with an intent to defraud.
If at all the questions are answered in the affirmative, the accused is guilty.”
The aforesaid observations of the Supreme Court make it amply clear that in order to constitute forgery, the first ingredient, which requires to be established is making of a false document.
While dealing with question of making of false document, Supreme Court in Mohd. Ibrahim & Ors. v. State of Bihar, (2009) 8 SCC 751, held as under :-
“In short, a person is said to have made a false document, if
(i) he made or executed a document claiming to be someone else or authorized by someone else; or
(ii) he altered or tempered a document; or
(iii) he obtained a document by practicing deception, or from a person not in control of his senses.”