Fabricating false evidence

The Indian penal code (IPC) which was enacted in the year 1860 covers a major aspect of criminal laws. The code was drafted on the recommendation of the first law commission of India established in the year 1834 under the chairmanship of Lord Thomas Babington Macaulay. The drafting of this code was completed by the year 1850 and was presented to the legislative council in the year 1856, but could not come into force, following the revolt of 1857; the draft went through a careful revision by Barnes peacock who later became the chief justice Calcutta high court. The Indian penal code is quite influenced by the British law; however, elements from the Napoleonic Code (1804) and Louisiana Civil Code (1825) have also been derived. The Code is all around recognized as a pertinently drafted code, relatively revolutionary. The law was passed in the year 1860, and came into force by the year 1862. In Jammu & Kashmir this came into force on 31st October 2019 by virtue of the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019 and replaced the state’s Ranbir Penal Code (the Ranbir Penal Code which is similar to the IPC).

The Indian penal code has survived for more than 150 years going several amendments from time to time. It has been amended according to the present scenario of criminal laws.

Structure, Extent and Operation of code:
The Indian Penal Code of 1860, sub-divided into 23 chapters, comprises 511 sections. The Code starts with an introduction, provides explanations and exceptions used in it, and covering a wide range of offences.

The Indian penal code, 1860(IPC); The Criminal procedure code, 1973(CrPC) [this code replaced the code of 1898]; The Indian Evidence act, 1872 forms the basic structure of the Indian criminal laws. The Indian penal code,1860 lays down the definition of offences and also provides for their punishment, it extends to the whole of India including the State of Jammu & Kashmir as because of the enactment of the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019. The Criminal procedure code, 1973 (CrPC) details the procedure for the investigation of the crime, presenting criminals before the court of law, collection of evidence, determination of guilt or innocence of the accused, imposition of penalties or punishments etc. The Indian Evidence act, 1872 discusses the evidentiary value in the criminal trial.

Section 191 & 192 of the Indian Penal Code:-
Section 191 of IPC:
This section is related to giving of false evidences either knowingly or unknowingly.
According to this section” Whoever, being legally bound by an oath or by an express provision of law to state the truth, or being bound by law to make a declaration upon any subject, makes any statement which is false, and which he either knows or believes to be false or does not believe to be true, is said to give false evidence”.
As we can infer from this section, whoever, being legally bound by an oath or by law to state the truth on the subject matter he is asked for and he makes any statement that he knows to be false or is not aware about the authenticity of that statement is said to be giving false evidence.

Section 192 of IPC:
This section is related to creation of false evidences in order to deceive someone.
According to this section” Whoever causes any circumstance to exist or 1[makes any false entry in any book or record, or electronic record or makes any document or electronic record containing a false statement], intending that such circumstance, false entry or false statement may appear in evi-dence in a judicial proceeding, or in a proceeding taken by law before a public servant as such, or before an arbitrator, and that such circumstance, false entry or false statement, so ap¬pearing in evidence, may cause any person who in such proceeding is to form an opinion upon the evidence, to entertain an errone¬ous opinion touching any point material to the result of such proceeding, is said “to fabricate false evidence”.

As we can infer from the section 192 of IPC anyone under any circumstances making false entry to books of record or electronic records with the intention that such record may appear as an evidence before a judicial proceeding and may cause the deciding person to create a wrong opinion upon the evidence as a result causing the judicial proceeding creating a wrong opinion on the point material, is said to fabricate false evidence.

Essential elements for giving false evidences (IPC 191):-
There are three essential elements for giving false evidences:
(1) – The person must be legally bound.
(a) –By oath or by an express provision of law,
(b) – And make a declaration upon the subject.
(2) –He must make a false statement.
(3) –He must believe it to be false, or not believe it to be true.

Legally bound by oath or by an express provision of law (IPC 191):
The Oaths Act 1969 empowers all courts and all persons having, by law or consent of parties, authority to receive evidence and commanding officers of Military Stations to administer oaths and affirmations.
Here the person is taking the oath to state the truth. Unless a person has taken an oath, whatever he states or is stating is only considered to be giving information. The same information may be considered to be evidence in the court of law when the same statement is received by an oath.
There are three categories of giving false statement-
(1) – A statement which is false itself.
(2) – A statement which the person is known or believes to be false.
(3) – A statement which the person is absolutely unaware to be true.
Any statement falling in these categories is said to be false statement.
In some cases we often see the person giving the evidence is giving false statements, but the facts represented by him is said to be true.

Example – B a person is asked in judicial proceeding to state the truth about X that where he was on a particular date on a particular time, B states that X was at a coffee shop in Kolkata, unknowingly the authenticity of the statement. Even though it is later proved that the evidences given by was true by showing other evidences like CCTV footage etc. B could be held for giving false statements because the facts presented by him was only proved to be true but not the person stating was proved to be sating the truth (the statement given by him can be considered to be true if the person stating it has any certain grounds or reason to believe the statement to be true)
As per illustration (d) of section 191 of IPC which states a somehow a similar example-
A, being bound by an oath to state the truth, states that he knows that Z was at a particular place on a particular day, not knowing anything upon the subject. A gives false evidence whether Z was at that place on the day named or not.

The words ‘legally bound by an oath’ contemplate a witness. No advocate is legally bound by an oath or by an express provision of law to state the truth. A lawyer cannot be held guilty for either giving false evidence under Section 193 or using evidence known to be false under Section 196.

Case reference:
GOBIND Chandra Seal vs. QUEEN-EMPEESS (1893).
It was held by the court that when in a court a person binds himself on oath to state the truth he cannot say that as he was not bound under law to go into the witness box or make an affidavit, a false statement which he had made after the oath is not covered by this section. The offence may be committed although the person giving evidence has neither been sworn nor affirmed.
He must make a false statement:

After taking the oath it is necessary the he give a false upon the subject that he is asked for
The burden of proving falsity of the statement is on the prosecution. The accused must be established to make a statement which was false or which he knew to be false or not to have believed it to be true. The question whether a statement was known to be false to the maker is one of fact, which must be decided on the proved circumstances of each case.

The falsity must be known to the maker at the time of the making of the statement, for otherwise, it is possible that he believed in his statement at the time he made it and its falsehood was revealed to him later on.

He must believe it to be false, or not believe it to be true:
This can be divided into two parts
(1) – The statement presented by him is known to be false by him.
(2) – Or, the statement given by him is known to him that it is not true.
Any statement falling under these categories is also said to be false evidence.
The statement given him should not be of his mere believe, if the statement is given by his mere believe it cannot be called false evidence. The statement given by him should be known to him about the falsity of such statement.

As per illustration (B) of section 191 of IPC,
A, being bound by an oath to state the truth, states that he believes a certain signature to be the handwriting of Z, when he does not believe it to be the handwriting of Z. Here A states that which he knows to be false and therefore gives false evidence.

As per illustration (E) of section 191 of IPC,
A, an interpreter or translator, gives or certifies as a true interpretation or translation of a statement or document which he is bound by oath to interpret or translate truly, that which is not and which he does not believe to be a true interpretation or translation. A has given false evidence.

Aishwarya Says:

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