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Report No. 274

A. False Affidavit

5.9 False affidavit is construed as a positive assertion, made with definite intent to pass off a falsity and if possible to gain advantage75. If an affidavit filed before a Court is untrue, it amounts to obstructing and interfering with the due course and administration of justice, because the Judge, going by the affidavit filed, can deliver / pass a wrong judgment / order. The Supreme Court has held in its pronouncements that filing of false affidavit amounts to criminal contempt76.

5.10 In Dhananjay Sharma v. State of Haryana & Ors., AIR 1995 SC 1795, the Supreme Court took a serious view of filing of false affidavit or making false statement in Courts and held that it is an assault on the rule of law and such conduct cannot be left unnoticed as this can shake public confidence in the fair administration of justice.

The Court observed:

The swearing of false affidavits in judicial proceedings not only has the tendency of causing obstruction in the due course of judicial proceedings but has also the tendency to impede, obstruct and interfere with the administration of justice. The filing of false affidavits in judicial proceedings in any court of law exposes the intention of the concerned party in perverting the course of justice.

The due process of law cannot be permitted to be slighted nor the majesty of law be made a mockery by such acts or conduct on the part of the parties to the litigation or even while appearing as witnesses. Anyone who makes an attempt to impede or undermine or obstruct the free flow of the unsoiled stream of justice by resorting to the filing of false evidence, commits criminal contempt of the court and renders himself liable to be dealt with in accordance with the Act.

[Emphasis added]

5.11 In Mohan Singh v. Amar Singh Through The Lrs., AIR 1999 SC 482, taking note of the fact that a false affidavit has been filed, the Court directed initiation of criminal proceedings against the appellant observing that "tampering with the record of judicial proceedings and filing of false affidavit, in a court of law has the tendency of causing obstruction in the due course of justice".

5.12 In The Secretary, Hailkandi Bar Association v. State of Assam & Anr., AIR 1996 SC 1925, the Supreme Court came to a conclusion that filing false affidavit amounts to contempt of court and punished the contemnor, a police officer, for deliberately forwarding an inaccurate report, followed by a false affidavit, with a view to mislead the Court and thereby interfere with the due course of justice, by attempting to obstruct the Court from reaching a correct conclusion. The Supreme Court took a serious view of the issue and observed that such an act cannot be taken lightly and that producing false documents and placing them as part of record of the Court are matters of serious concern77.

5.13 In Advocate-general, State of Bihar v. Madhya Pradesh Khair Industries & Anr., AIR 1980 SC 946, the Supreme Court opined:

"While we are conscious that every abuse of the process of the Court may not necessarily amount to Contempt of Court, abuse of the process of the Court calculated to hamper the due course of a judicial proceeding or the orderly administration of justice, we must say, is a contempt of Court. it may be necessary to punish as a contempt, a course of conduct which abuses and makes a mockery of the judicial process.

The Court has the duty of protecting the interest of the public in the due administration of justice and, so, it is entrusted with the power to commit for Contempt of Court, not in order to protect the dignity of the Court against insult or injury as the expression "Contempt of Court" may seem to suggest, but, to protect and to vindicate the right of the public that the administration of justice shall not be prevented, prejudiced, obstructed or interfered with."

[Emphasis added]

Review of the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971 Back

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