The Supreme Court ruled that the handwriting expert is not the only way of providing signature and handwriting of a person.
The impugned order has quashed the order taking cognizance passed by the Sub-Divisional Judicial Magistrate, under Sections 467 and 471 of the Indian Penal Code, on the ground that the opinion of the handwriting expert on the disputed signatures was non conclusive.
It is pointed out that the opinion of the handwriting expert was filed for the first time before the High Court and was not available with the Trial Court at the time when cognizance was taken.
The division bench of Justice Sanjiv Khanna and Justice Bela M. Trivedi stated that the signatures and handwriting of the person can also be proved under Sections 45, 47 and 73 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872. Therefore, the opinion of the handwriting expert is not the only way or mode of providing the signature and handwriting of a person.
In view of the aforesaid position, the court set aside the impugned order and said that the Crl. M.C. No.37/2013 would be treated as dismissed. However, the court made it clear that it has not commented on the merits of the matter. It will be open to the accused to raise all questions and contentions before the Trial Court in accordance with law.
The court allowed the appeal in the aforesaid terms without any order as to costs.
Case title: Manorama Naik v/s The State of Odisha & Anr.
Citation: CRIMINAL APPEAL NO.423/2022
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