Section 473 of Indian Penal Code, 1860 – Explained!

The offender must make or counterfeit any seal, plate or other instrument for making an impression. He must have the intention that the same shall be used for the purpose of committing any forgery which would be punishable under any other section than section 467 of this chapter. Or, with such intention, he must have in his possession any such seal, plate or other instrument with the knowledge that the same is counterfeit. This section is similar to sections 235, 255 and 256 of the Code, and makes preparation to commit a crime an offence under the latter part of this section.

The language of sections 472 and 473 are identical except that in place of words ‘section 467’ used in section 472 the words ‘any section of this chapter other than section 467? have been used in section 473, and that section 472 uses the words ‘imprisonment for life’ which do not find a place in section 473. The reason for the differences is that section 467 is a very serious offence for which the maximum penalty provided is imprisonment for life and, therefore, section 472 which punishes making or possessing counterfeit seal etc. with the intent to commit forgery punishable under section 467, provides for the stern penalty of imprisonment for life as the maximum penalty.

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The offence under section 473 is cognizable, bailable and non-compoundable, and is triable by magistrate of the first class.