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Know your Law: Giving false evidence

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Section 191 of Indian Penal Code provides
"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".

Explanation:
1. A statement is within the meaning of this section whether it is made verbally or otherwise.
2. A false statement as to the belief of the person attesting is within the meaning of this section, and a person may be guilty of giving false evidence by stating that he believes a thing, which he does not believe, as well as by stating that he knows a thing which he does not know.

For example,
1. 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.
2. The petitioner who has made false statement on oath is also liable for the prosecution.
3. The making of a false affidavit is giving false evidence within this section. The making of a false affidavit would be an offence irrespective of the fact that it was not necessary for the deponent who had made the affidavit to make it.

Ingredients of this section:
The accused was bound legally by an oath or by an express provision of law to state the truth or make a declaration upon any subject.
He made such a statement or declaration.
He made it intentionally.
He knew or believed it to be false or did not believe it to be true.
It must be made in a judicial proceeding at any stage.

This section defines what amounts to giving of false evidence. In order to attract this section, it is sufficient if the person making the statement makes it advisedly, knowing it to be false, and with the intention of deceiving the Court, and of letting it be supposed that what he states, is true. The above-mentioned ingredients must be satisfied.

If a person is not bound by an express provision of law to state the truth he cannot be charged with making a false statement.
The offence is a bailable offence and is triable by a Magistrate of First Class.

Punishment:
Imprisonment for 7 years and fine.

In next column lets know about fabricating false evidence.


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