Perjury – How to deal with false and frivolous cases
As many of us would have experienced or learned from others that it is very easy to initiate a civil litigation in Indian courts irrespective of the substantial stand and harass the defendants and their children by abusing the judicial system. Here comes a question ‘How to deal with the false and frivolous or perjury cases?’
Dr. Arun Mohan expressed his views on common man’s general impression about litigation in his book “Justice, Courts and Delays” as follows:
“Make any false averment, conceal any fact, raise any plea, produce any false document, deny any genuine document, it will successfully stall the litigation, and in any case, delay the matter endlessly. The other party will be coerced into a settlement which will be profitable for me and the probability of the court ordering prosecution for perjury is less than that of meeting with an accident while crossing the road.”
–Dr. Arun Mohan
Have you come across or faced a false case or the other party provided any false or forged document in a court proceeding to mislead the court? Then the information provided below will be helpful for you.
Filing an application under Section 340 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 – Perjury Cases
In a false and frivolous case it is always good to move an application before the civil court under Section 340 of Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 to file a criminal complaint against the party who is making a false claim in the suit. And, an application under Section 340 of Cr.P.C before civil court will be considered as interlocutory application.
Section 340 of Criminal Procedure Code defines the process of making an application before a civil court and Section 193 of Indian Penal Code defines punishment for false evidence.
Section 340. Procedure in cases mentioned in section 195.—(1) When, upon an application made to it in this behalf or otherwise, any Court is of opinion that it is expedient in the interests of Justice that an inquiry should be made into any offence referred to in clause (b) of sub-section (1) of section 195, which appears to have been committed in or in relation to a proceeding in that Court or, as the case may be, in respect of a document produced or given in evidence in a proceeding in that Court, such Court may, after such preliminary inquiry, if any, as it thinks necessary (a) record a finding to that effect; (b) make a complaint thereof in writing; (c) send it to a Magistrate of the first class having jurisdiction; (d) take sufficient security for the appearance of the accused before such Magistrate, or if the alleged offence is non-bailable and the Court thinks it necessary so to do, send the accused in custody to such Magistrate; and (e) bind over any person to appear and give evidence before such Magistrate.
Indian Penal Code, 1860 – Section 193. Punishment for false evidence.— Whoever intentionally gives false evidence in any of a judicial proceeding, or fabricates false evidence for the purpose of being used in any stage of a judicial proceeding, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to seven years, and shall also be liable to fine; and whoever intentionally gives or fabricates false evidence in any other case, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years, and shall also be liable to fine.
Section 209. Dishonesty making false claim in Court — Whoever fraudulently or dishonestly, or with intent to injure or annoy any person, makes in a Court of Justice any claim which he knows to be false, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years, and shall also be liable to fine.
The Supreme Court of India has pronounced a land mark judgement and guidelines to deal with false and frivolous or perjury cases in trial courts in ‘Rameshwari Devi and Ors. Vs. Nirmala Devi and Ors. (2011) 8 SCC 249’ to curb prevailing delay in civil litigation:
- Pleadings are foundation of the claims of parties. Civil litigation is largely based on documents. It is the bounden duty and obligation of the trial judge to carefully scrutinize, check and verify the pleadings and the documents filed by the parties. This must be done immediately after civil suits are filed.
- The Court should resort to discovery and production of heavy costs would also control unnecessary adjournments by the parties. In appropriate cases the courts may consider ordering prosecution otherwise it may not be possible to maintain purity and sanctity of judicial proceedings.
- The Court must adopt realistic and pragmatic approach in granting mesne profits. The Court must carefully keep in view the ground realities while granting mesne profits.
- The courts should be extremely careful and cautious in granting ex-parte ad interim injunctions or stay orders. Ordinarily short notice should be issued to the defendants or respondents and only after hearing concerned parties appropriate orders should be passed.
- Litigants who obtained ex-parte ad interim injunction on the strength of false pleadings and forged documents should be adequately punished. No one should be allowed to abuse the process of the court.
- The principle of restitution be fully applied in a pragmatic manner in order to do real and substantial justice.
- Every case emanates from a human or a commercial problem and the Court must make serious endeavour to resolve the problem within the framework of law and in accordance with the well settled principles of law and justice.
- If in a given case, ex-parte injunction is granted, then the said application for grant of injunction should be disposed of on merits, after hearing both sides as expeditiously as may be possible on a priority basis and undue adjournments should be avoided.
- At the time of filing of the plaint, the trial court should prepare complete schedule and fix dates for all the stages of the suit, right from filing of the written statement till pronouncement of judgment and the courts should strictly adhere to the said dates and the said time-table as far as possible. If any interlocutory application is filed then the same be disposed of in between the said dates of hearings fixed in the said suit itself so that the date fixed for the main suit may not be disturbed.