A lot much number of cases are coming forward with the forged signatures and the complainants are waiting for end number of years to get justice. The complainants are running pillar to post to get their complaints registered not knowing that the police as well as courts are in not in favor of registering an FIR in such kind of cases especially wherein the complainants are already in possession of the forged documents and the best recourse would be to file a private complaint U/S 200 Cr.P.C before the magistrate and get the accused behind the bars.
Since Indian Evidence Act, 1872 provides the remedies in the cases of signature fraud by way of Identity of handwriting (U/S 45), Opinion of any person acquainted with the handwriting of any person who is alleged to have signed the document is admissible (U/S 47), by proof of signature and handwriting of the person alleged to have signed or written the document (U/S 67) sand by enabling the court to compare the words or figures so written with any words or figures alleged to have been written by such person (U/S 73).
The complainant or the prosecution can move an application for sending the document to the handwriting expert and at the same time request the court to compare the signature acquainted with the handwriting of the person alleged. Hon’ble Supreme Court in the case of Ram Pyarelal V. State of Bihar, AIR 1980 SC 1523 has held that “when the handwriting or documents relied upon by the prosecution was proved to be that of the accused by the expert’s opinion, and the persons acquainted with the writing of the accused, and the court itself found a large measure of similarity between the signature of the accused on the documents in the question and his admitted signatures, it was held that the conviction could be sustained under the Prevention of Corruption Act.”
Though as a matter of prudence expert’s evidence is not safe to convict the person, but Hon’ble Supreme Court in Murlilal V. State of M.P, AIR 1980 SC 531 has held that “In cases where the reasons for the opinion are convincing, and there is no reliable evidence throwing any doubt, the uncorroborated testimony of a handwriting expert may be accepted. There cannot be any inflexible rule on a matter which, in the ultimate analysis, is no more than a question of testimonial weight. An expert’s opinion can be accepted without corroboration if it is well reasoned and acceptable”.
The courts are given the discretion and enabling provision to direct any person present in the court to write any words or figures, for the court to compare them with the words or figures alleged to have been made by such person. There is no legal bar to the judge using his own eyes to compare the disputed handwriting with the admitted writing under section 73. This section enables the court to compare the handwritings with the sole object of ascertaining whether the signature which is disputed is genuine or not.
Therefore the courts can even suo moto or an application moved by the accused or prosecution can seek the expert opinion and ask the person acquainted with the handwriting and signature and also can ask the person present in the court to provide his signature or handwriting before the court.