By Ms.KAVIYA NARAYANAN
Fabrication of false evidence and inflicting disappearance of evidence is a serious offence which is done to mislead the court and to procure erroneous verdict favourable for the offenders as well as the victim. In brief Fabrication of evidence can be done by either side of the case and also by the person who are interested in the case. There are certain provisions with regard to fabrication of false evidence and those who fabricate evidence will never go unpunished.
2. WHAT IS FABRICATING FALSE EVIDENCE?
Section 192 of Indian Penal Code (IPC)[i] deals with fabricating false evidence. This section constitutes
Whoever fabricates evidence or causes any circumstances to exist intending that such circumstances, false entry or false statements may appear in evidence in a judicial proceeding, or in a proceedings taken by law before a public servant as such, or before an arbitrator, and that such evidence may cause any person who in such proceeding to is to form an opinion upon the evidence, to entertain an erroneous opinion touching any point material to the result of such proceeding, is said to ‘fabricate false evidence’.
2.1 PUNISHMENT FOR FALSE EVIDENCE:
Section 193 of IPC deals with punishment for false evidence.This section states that, whoever intentionally gives false evidence in any stage of judicial proceeding or fabricates false evidence to be used in any stage of judicial proceeding
shall be punished with imprisonment of either description of 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 of term which may extend to three years, and
shall also be liable to fine
The term ‘at any stage of judicial proceeding’ that investigation directed by law preliminary to proceeding before a court of justice is also included though it may not take place before a court of justice. The offence under this section 193 is non-cognizable, bailable but not compoundable.
2.2 ESSENTIALS TO BE PUNISHED U/S 193 OF IPC:
The prosecution ought to prove this beyond any reasonable grounds to punish the accused under section 193 of IPC.Intention and circumstantial evidence must also be taken in to consideration to prove that the evidence is fabricated.The offenders should have the intention to cause hindrances to the judicial proceedings. Not only the person who has committed the offence but the person who are alleged to help creating false evidence shall also be held liable. There shall be ongoing judicial proceedings or proceeding before a public servant who will create a reasonable doubt that such fabricated evidence is intended to be used in such proceedings. Fabrication of evidence should be material with intent to procure false opinion.
2.3 CASE ANALYSIS
In the recent case Charanjit Singh and Ors v. State of Punjab & Ors[ii] popularly known as Behbal Kelan firing case an advocate Sohail Singh Brar had allegedly helped the police in creating fake bullet marks on the pilot gypsy of former SSP and the prime accuse Charanjit Singh so that it may enable to police to use the theory of self-defence before the court of justice. The magistrate court of first class sent Sohail Singh Brar to police custody for investigating his alleged role in fabricating evidence.
Its evident that even police officers are no exceptions to this provisions.
3. SECTION 201-CAUSING THE DISAPPEARANCE OF FABRICATED EVIDENCE:
This section constitutes two main components-
causing disappearance of evidence of offence.
giving false information to screen offender from legal punishment.
3.1 CAUSING DISAPPEARANCE OF EVIDENCE OF OFFENCE:
Essential ingredients to be punished under this section,
The prosecution must prove the commission of main offence by the accused or any person to convict the accused under section 201 of IPC. For example, conviction under section 201 of IPC can only be made after proving the main offence dacoity (section 391 of IPC) has been occurred. The accused must have caused the disappearance of evidence of offence.
The person should have the intention to screen the offender from legal punishment. The accused should know or had reason to believe the occurrence of main offence. The person who has no knowledge of main offence could not possibly have caused the disappearance of evidence with intention.
3.2 GIVING FALSE INFORMATION:
Giving false information though it is together with causing disappearance of evidence under section 201 of IPC the court considers it as two different issues. Here the essentials are same as earlier offence must have been committed to screen the offender from punishment. Nature of this offence is parallel to that of offences under sec 202 and sec 203 of IPC.
3.3 CASE ANALYSIS
In Dinesh Kumar Kalidas v. State of Gujarat[iii]the Supreme Court elaborated the offence under section 201 of IPC. In this case appellant’s wife died by committing suicide. After the complaint made by the deceased father appellant was convicted of offence under section 438A and 201 of IPC.
The appellant was acquitted for offence under section 498A of IPC. To convict the accused under sec 201 of IPC the prosecution must prove the commission of cruelty. So, the issue rose whether the accusation under section 201 of IPC is maintainable. The court held that conviction under sec 201 of IPC is maintainable independently. But the prosecution failed to establish the essential ingredients to convict the accused under sec 201 of IPC. Hence the court set aside the conviction under sec 201 of IPC.
Thus, the prosecution should prove beyond any reasonable doubt and with necessary ingredients, findings and concrete materials to convict the accused under section 192 and 201 of IPC if they failed to establish court shall set aside the conviction.
[i]The Indian Penal Code, 1860, No.45, Acts of Parliament, 1860. [ii]Charanjit Singh and Ors v. State of Punjab & Ors, (2019) 2 R.C.R. Criminal 165 (India).[iii]Dinesh Kumar Kalidas v State of Gujarat, (2018) A.I.R. (S.C.W.) 951 (India).