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Valuable security

Section 30 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860.

The words “valuable security” denote a document which is, or purports to be, a document whereby any legal right is created, extended, transferred, restricted, extinguished or released, or where by any person acknowledges that he lies under legal liability, or has not a certain legal right.

Illustration: A writes his name on the back of a bill of exchange. As the effect of this endorsement is to transfer the right to the bill to any person who may become the lawful holder of it, the endorsement is a “valuable security”.

The words “valuable security” denote a particular class of documents, viz., such documents as create or extinguish legal rights.

Which is, or purports to be: The use of the words “which is, or purports to be” indicates that a document which, upon certain evidence being given, may be held to be invalid, but on the face of it creates, or purports to create, a right in immoveable property, although a decree could not be passed upon the document, comes within the purview of this section.

Cancelled Document: A cancelled instrument cannot be a valuable security. The law commissioners said: Sir H Seaton asks, would not a cancelled instrument be a valuable security under this clause? We think not: for an instrument available for the purpose for which it was made is clearly what the clause intended; a cancelled instrument, therefore, though by the cancelling of it a legal right may be extinguished, inasmuch as the instrument upon which such right depended, is thereby voided, does not fall within its scope.1)

Copy of a Document: Under this section it is the original document which creates or purports to create or extinguish legal rights, that is a valuable security. A copy of a document which is a valuable security is not itself a valuable security.2) But the counterpart of a document is not a copy and might be a valuable security.3)

Law Commissioner's First Report on the Indian Penal Code, s 89
Govind Prashad Pauri v. State, AIR 1962 Cal 174
Ismail Panju v. King-Emperor, AIR 1925 Nag 337 .

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