Who Has Onus To Explain If The Accused Caught For Possessing Large Number Of Counterfeit Currency Notes In Public Place Then The Onus Is on Accused:
The Madhya Pradesh High Court has held that recovery of a large number of counterfeit currency notes from an accused in public place is sufficient to establish the mens rea and knowledge or reasons to believe the same to be forged or counterfeit and intending to use the same as genuine.
The main contention put forth on behalf of appellants was that the prosecution could prove only possession of the counterfeit currency but could not prove that they had any intention to use the said money having knowledge of it being forged.
Chief Justice Hemant Gupta and Justice Vijay Kumar Shukla observed in the division bench that during the trial, the accused had preferred to plead total denial, they do not explain as to why such currency notes were in their possession though according to provisions contained in Section 106 of the Evidence Act the burden was on them to explain it.
Further the court said “As per the provision of Section 106 of the Evidence Act, the burden of proof of facts especially within the knowledge of any person is upon that person. In the present case, no explanation has been offered by the accused persons under Section 313 of CrPC as to how they were in possession of counterfeit currency or in respect of phone calls in spite of categorical questions put to them under Section 313. No defence has been put forth by the accused persons that notes were received in usual course of business.”
The bench said that the accused persons has been offered no explanation u/s 313 of CrPC to how they were in possession of counterfeit currency or in respect of phone calls in spite of categorical questions put to them under Section 313.
Thus, the court said while dismissing the appeals that the case is not of mere dormant possession, but it is a case of active transportation of currency notes which would fall with the expression traffics in currency notes under Section 489-B of IPC.
The court also referred to a Gujarat High Court judgment in Rayab Jusab Sama v State of Gujarat wherein it was held the possession of large number of fake currency notes to be a case of active transportation of such notes.