Evidence is information which is used in the court to prove something which exists or true. Giving false evidence and fabricating false evidence is an offence under Indian penal Code, 1860. The provisions of False evidence and fabricating false evidence are specifically mentioned in Section 191 and section 192 respectively of the IPC under Chapter XI.
To fabricate means to make up for the purpose of deception whereas giving false evidence is something the person has given false statement to divert the verdict of the case.
Giving false evidence:
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 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.
Fabricating false evidence:
Whoever cause any circumstances to exist or [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 evidence in a judicial proceeding, or in proceeding taken by law before a public servant as such, or before an arbitrator, and that such circumstance, false entry or false statement, so appearing in evidence, may cause any person who in such proceeding 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.”
Object of Chapter XI of IPC:
- To punish those who have given and fabricated false evidence
- To prevent fraud and falsehood
- To ensure the criminals get punishment
- To give justice to the innocent
Difference between Giving false evidence and fabricating false evidence
Following are the differences of giving false evidence and fabricating false evidence –
1. In case of false evidence, general intention is required whereas in Fabricating false evidence, particular intention is necessary. Intention is the essence of both the offence. In short it must be intentionally given.
2. In false evidence, the statement which are false not necessary that it should be material. On the other hand, in fabricating false evidence statements must be on material point only.
3. The offence of giving false evidence is committed by the person who is legally bound by an oath to the state the truth whereas its opposite in the fabricating false evidence i.e. the offence is committed by a person who is not legally bound to take an oath to state the truth.
4. In Giving false evidence, the question of effect of the evidence on the officer before whom the evidence is given is of no consequences while this effect of the evidence is important in fabricating false evidence.
5. In giving false evidence, it is necessary that there should be a proceeding of judicial or non-judicial being conducted whereas in fabricating false evidence, it is not necessary of judicial or non-judicial proceeding because it is enough that there is reasonable prospect of the proceeding.
Section 191: Giving false evidence
It is an offence if –
- The person is legally bound by the oath to state truth or to make declaration
- He has given false statement- it is not necessary that the false evidence should be concerning a question material to the decision of the case; it is sufficient if the false evidence does not bear directly on material issue in the case being relative to incidental that would be a matter to be taken into consideration in fixing the sentence.
- The false statements which he has been giving he must know that they are false and not true.
Abatement of giving false evidence- the person who instigate or induce other person to make false statement, then he will not be guilty of giving false evidence but he will be guilty of abatement of that offence.
Section 192: Fabricating false evidence
It is an offence if-
- It causes any circumstance to exist, or makes any false entry in book
- Makes any document containing false statement
- Above acts done intentionally by the person
- There is fabrication of a material point
- Forming of erroneous opinion, there could be no fabrication if on the basis of the fabrication no erroneous opinion could be formed touching any point material to the result of proceeding.
Section 193: Punishment for false evidence or fabricates false evidence
- Any person intentionally gives false evidence or fabricates false evidence for being sued in the judicial proceeding then the punishment will be
- Imprisonment which may extend to 7 years and
- Any person either gives false evidence or fabricates false evidence in all other cases, then the punishment will be
- Imprisonment which may extend to 3 years and
This offence in non- cognizable, bailable, non-compoundable and triable by the Magistrate of first class.
Section 194: Giving or fabricating false evidence with intention to procure conviction
- Any person gives or fabricates false evidence with an intention and reason to believe that it may cause person to be convicted for capital punishment, the he shall be punished-
- Rigorous imprisonment which may extend to ten years and
This section provides for more severe punishment if an innocent person is convicted and executed in consequences of such false evidence.
Section 195-A: Threatening any person to give false evidence
- If any person threatens or threat to cause injury to the person, his property, reputation with an intention to induce that person to give false evidence the such person shall be punished-
- Imprisonment for a term which may extend to seven years or
- Fine or
- Abdul Majid v. Krishna Lal Nag
In this case, it was held by the court that the false evidence must be given in a proceeding in which the accused was bound by law to speak the truth. If the court has no authority to administer an oath the proceeding will be coram non-judice and prosecution for false evidence cannot stand. Similar will be the case where a court is acting beyond the jurisdiction.
- Gobind Chandra Seal
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.
- Baban Singh v. Jagdish Singh
It was held by the Supreme Court that where a false affidavit is sworn by a witness in a proceeding before a court, the offence would fall under sections 191 and 192. It is the offence of giving false evidence or of fabricating false evidence for the purpose of being used in a judicial proceeding.
It can be concluded that there is a difference between these two terms. The intention is important in both terms i.e. general intention in giving false evidence and material or particular intention in fabricating intention. The person who will threaten or induce to give or fabricate false evidence will also liable for the punishment. It is to be noted that the person who is giving false evidence must have knowledge that he is giving a false statement or believe it to be false. The person who will commit an offence of giving and fabricating an evidence will be punished according to the punishment period mentioned in the IPC, 1860.
This article has been written by Snehal Tanaji Shirke, 3rd Year LLB student at SNDT University.