Report No. 277
B. What amounts to Wrongful Prosecution?
5.17 Wrongful prosecution, as noted above, are the cases of miscarriage of justice where procedural misconducts- police or prosecutorial, malicious or negligent - resulted in wrongful prosecution of an innocent person, who was ultimately acquitted, with a court making an observation or recording a finding to that effect. The underlying sentiment being that such person should not have been subjected to these proceedings in the first place.
5.18 This section delves into the forms in which the said police and prosecutorial misconducts manifests. A review of the caselaw discussed earlier and other comparative examples shows that the said misconducts broadly surfaces in the form of disregard of procedural rules such as improper disclosure of information; falsifying or planting or fabricating evidence; withholding, suppressing or destroying exculpatory evidence; coercing confessions/recoveries or other abuse of process of law etc. Within the existing criminal law framework, to determine what could amount to such misconduct, reference can be made to the provisions contained in Chapters IX and XI of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) (discussed in detail in Chapter IV- 'Current Scenario - Overview and Inadequacies').
5.19 Based on the aforesaid, an illustrative list of procedural misconduct would include the following:
(i) Making or framing a false or incorrect record or document for submission in a judicial proceeding or any other proceeding taken by law;
(ii) Making a false declaration or statement authorized by law to receive as evidence when legally bound to state the truth- by an oath or by a provision of law;
(iii) Otherwise giving false evidence when legally bound to state the truth- by an oath or by a provision of law;
(iv) Fabricating false evidence for submission in a judicial proceeding or any other proceeding taken by law (v) Destruction of an evidence to prevent its production in a judicial proceeding or any other proceedings taken by law (vi) Bringing a false charge, or instituting or cause to be instituted false criminal proceedings against a person;
(vii) Committing a person to confinement or trial acting contrary to law; or (viii) Acting in violation of any direction of law in any other manner not covered in (i) to (vii) above, resulting in an injury to a person.