• LAWGIC STRATUM

FALSE ALLEGATIONS – AN OVERVIEW

Author: Sarada Rasagnya




INTRODUCTION


The kali yuga, the yuga in which it is said that there exists only one paada of Dharma, turns out to be true. Nowadays there exists no truth or partial truth in something a person states, and probably telling false things is intentional most of the time, one of such things is false allegations. When any complaint or statement is made by any person knowing it to be untrue or having reason to believe that it is not true it constitutes a false allegation. The recent Zomato delivery boy’s case shook the whole conscience of India. In 2020 an engineering student whose career was ruined due to a false rape accusation was awarded ₹15 lakhs as compensation by the XVIII Additional City Civil Court, Chennai for the mental agony he had undergone in the trial which lasted for 7 years. The fundamental principle of jurisprudence is that “let a hundred guilty be acquitted, but one innocent should not be convicted”. But subjecting an innocent person to mental agony is itself a grave violation of human rights. In West Bengal State electricity board vs Dilip Kumar Ray[1] the term "malicious prosecution" has been defined as "some charge of crime which is willful, wanton, or reckless, or against the prosecutor's sense of duty and right, or for ends he knows or it’s bound to know are wrong and against the dictates of public policy. In Joginder Kumar v State of Uttar Pradesh,[2] the Supreme Court held an arrest can cause incalculable harm to a person’s self-reputation and self-esteem. Thus, the need to address false allegations is alarmingly increasing. This article would be dealing with the legal aspects of the false allegation.


PROVISIONS


Sec 209 of IPC -Dishonestly making false claim in Court. Claim made fraudulently, dishonestly, or with the intent to cause injury or annoy a person in the court of justice which he knows is false, shall be punished with imprisonment for a described period which may extend to two years, and shall also be liable to fine.


Sec 211 of IPC- False charge of offense made with intent to injure with intent to cause injury to any person, institutes or causes to be instituted any criminal proceeding against that person, or falsely charges any person of committing an offense, knowing that there is lawful ground for such proceeding or charge against that person, shall be punished with imprisonment for a described term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both and if such criminal proceeding is instituted on a false charge of an offense punishable with death, imprisonment for life, or imprisonment for seven years or upwards, then he shall be punishable with imprisonment for a described term which may extend to seven years, and shall also be liable to fine.


CASES REVOLVING AROUND FALSE ALLEGATIONS


In Prempal and Ors v The Commissioner of Police and Ors[3]The court held that the false charge had subjected Mr. Prempal to unnecessary mental agony and had reduced him to a living corpse. False allegation takes a toll on one's reputation.


In Vishwanath Agarwal v Sarla Agarwal[4] it was held that "reputation which is not only the salt of life but also the purest treasure and the most precious perfume of life. It is enormously subtleand a dearvalue this side of the grave.


In Adam BhaiSuleman BhaiAjmeri and Ors v State of Gujarat, the court[5] held that " we express our anguish about the incompetence with which the investigating agencies for conducting an investigation in such a grievous nature, includingthe honorand security of the Nation. Instead of chargingthe real culprits responsible for taking so many precious lives, the police grabbedinnocent people and got imposed the grievous charges against them which resulted in their conviction and subsequent sentencing".


In the Mecca Masjid bomb blast case the state government awarded compensation to the victims who were wrongfully arrested by police.


In Thana Singh v. Central Bureau of Narcotics,[6] the court held that "The carelessnesswith which we put citizens into prison reflects our lack of appreciation for the tribulations ofimprisonment; the crueltywith which we leave them there reflects our lack of respectfor humanity. It also manifestsour profligacywhen our prisons are bursting at their seams. For the prisoner himself, imprisonment for the purposes of the trial is as shamefulas imprisonment on conviction for an offense since the pejorativefinger and humiliatingeyes of society draw no difference between the two".


ANALYSIS


In Rural Shah v State of Bihar,[7] the court dealt with compensation aspects of such victims. It observed that "One of the effectiveways in which the violation of that right can reasonably be prevented and due compliance with the mandate of Article 21 secured, is to extractmonetary compensation. Administrative indurationleading to deliberateinfringements of fundamental rights cannot be corrected by any other method open to the judiciary to adopt".


In Babloo Chauhan@ Dabloovs State Govt. Of Nct Of Delhi,[8] it was held that "There is a crucialneed,for a legal most preferably legislative framework for deliveringrelief and rehabilitation to victims of wrongful prosecution and imprisonment".


CONCLUSION


In the humble opinion of the author, there is an indispensable need to strengthen the laws on false allegations. The nation has been witnessing a huge backlog of cases. This unfortunate COVID-19 has caused further hindrance. It is not to be forgotten that justice delayed is justice denied. In Commissioner of Income Tax v Silver Streak Trading Pvt Ltd,[9] it was held that “we have noted on numerousoccasions ahugenumber of persons in the Registry are put to inconvenience because of the filing of frivolous appeals and even Court’s time is wasted in dispensingwith unimportant appeals. On the other hand, serious matters which ought to deserve attention get sidelined because of this attitude of the Revenue which needs to be deprecated.”Entertaining vexatious allegations is a mockery ofthe judiciary. Thus, without further adieu laws on false allegations should be brought into force which fills up the existing void.


References:

[1] West Bengal Electricity Board Vs Dilip Kumar Ray, Appeal Civil 5188 of 2006. [2] Joginder Singh Vs State of Uttar Pradesh, 1994 SCC (4) 260. [3] Prem pal and Ors Vs The Police Commissioner and Ors, Delhi HC, W.P. (c)11079 of 2006. [4] Vishwanath Vs. Sau, Sarla Vishwanath Agrawal, Supreme Court of India, Civil Appeal No. 4905 of 2012. [5]Adam BhaiSuleman BhaiAjmeri and Ors v State of Gujarat, Supreme Court of India, Criminal Appeal Nos. 2295-2296 of 2010. [6]Thana Singh v. Central Bureau of Narcotics, Supreme Court of India, Criminal Appeal No. 1640 of 2010. [7]Rudal Shah Vs. State of Bihar, Supreme Court of India, (1983) 4 SCC 141. [8]Babloo Chauhan @ Dabloo vs State Govt. Of Nct Of Delhi, at Delhi HC, Criminal Appeal No. 157 of 2013. [9]Commissioner of Income Tax v Silver Streak Trading Pvt Ltd, (2008) 216 CTR Del 260.

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