|VOLUME 2| ISSUE 2| OCTOBER 2018|ISSN (O): 2581-3595)|

PERJURY: FALSE EVIDENCE AND OFFENCES AGAINST PUBLIC JUSTICE:

AUTHORED BY: MRS. SURESH KUMARI, ASSISTANT PROFESSOR (LAW) AT HIMCAPES’ COLLEGE OF LAW.

INTRODUCTION & DEFINITIONS:

A crime that occurs when an individual wilfully makes a false statement during a judicial proceeding, after he or she has taken an oath to speak the truth.

To perjure “yourself is to knowingly make false or misleading statements under to sign a legal document you know to be false or misleading. This crime is taken very seriously because the foundation of the legal system depends on trust and credibility. After all, just one sworn statement has the power to tip the scales of justice and dramatically after some one’s life.

Perjury is considered a crime against justice since lying under oath compromise the authority of courts, grand juries governing bodies and public official. Other crimes, against justice, include criminal contempt of court, probation violation and temporary with evidence[1].

The offence of giving false evidence is known as perjury under English law. However, perjury differs somewhat from false evidence. According to English law, Perjury at common law consists in giving an oath in, or for the purpose of a judicial proceeding before competent courts[2].

THE ESSENTIAL INGREDIENTS OF THE OFFENCE OF PERJURY:

  • PERJURY ONLY HAPPENS UNDER OATH:

The witness must have vowed to tell the truth to someone who is authorised to administer the oath, such as a judge, notary, public or other official and the proceedings must be competent that is authorised by law. For example, a grand jury has launched an investigation that is beyond its power is not a competent proceeding[3].

  • PERJURY REQUIRES A STATEMENT:

Silence or a reference to give a statement is not perjury (but may lead too other charges) In addition to testimony a statement adopts in the proceedings as when a witness authorities a false writing while under oath is also perjury[4].

  • INSTANT TO MISLEAD:

The witness must know that the testimony is false and must give it with intent to mislead the court[5].

ONLY FALSE STATEMENTS ARE PERJURY: 

False testimony the result from confusion lapse of memory, or mistake is not perjury; conflicts in testimony may be perjury of one of the conflicts statements is necessarily false[6].

INCONSISTENT STATEMENT CAN LEAD TO PERJURY:

A witness testimony is viewed as a whole so a witness who claimed he did not remember an event when questioned at one point in testimony but who is clearly recalled aspects of the event when asked later, may have committed perjury, But where a witness testimony is consistent in a way that is of one consequence is the proceedings, that is not perjury statement made in court or other proceedings. A false statement made outside the official proceedings are not perjury. For example, if a witness lies to a lower who is taking notes in order to draft an affidavit, the witness has not committed perjury (unless she later in it) Sworn, written statements submitted to the Court or Govt agencies are the statement made in proceedings and subject to perjury laws[7].

ONLY A MATERIAL STATEMENT CAN BE PERJURY:

The false statement must be capable of infusing the proceedings that are, it must have a relationship to the subjects of proceedings. This includes a false statement that would tend to misleader hamper an investigation. This means that is material to the even where false testimony does not affect the outcome of a case, the lying witness may be prosecuted his involvement in gambling operations. Several witnesses have testified to his involvement but on the stand, he falsely denies any involvement. This denial would be a material statement, Even though it arguably did not affect the jury’s finding of guilt (The jury had the others witness testimony to rely on[8].

SUBORNING PERJURY:

Attempting to induce someone else to perjure him or herself where through threats or offering a financial incentive, is illegal and called “Suborning Perjury” For the average citizens being guilty of suborning perjury requires that the witness actually lies in the court.

However in an attorney knows that someone plan to lie under oath, calling her to testify may result in the attorney being charged If the potential perjury is the attorney clients who have the right to testify with or without his attorney approval the artery must allow him to make his statement without questioning him or otherwise participates in testimony[9].

In India , Indian penal code 1860, chapter xi comprising 44 sections  Sec.191 to sec. 229 ) relates to giving and fabricating false evidence Sec. 191 to 200) and offences against public justice ( sec 201 to sec 229) one of the main object of the chapter relating to false evidence and offences against public justices. In Indian penal code was to keep interferences against public justice in checks. But how much of this has been achieved is for everyone to see. What is the state of moral values today in society and how much sanctity is enjoyed by an oath or solemn affirmation in today world, are not unknown to everyone? It seems the laudable object with which this chapter was farmed has almost been last[10].

SECTION 191 IN THE INDIAN PENAL CODE:

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 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. 

EXPLANATION 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.[11]

TWO CONTRADICTORY STATEMENTS:

Mere because a person makes two contradictory statements, one of which must be false, it does not make out a case of perjury unless the falsity of one of the two statements as charged in the indictment is positively proved to be so. This is also the view of the Law Revision Committee of England. Though in India, a prosecution for perjury seems to be possible in such case Sec 221, Crpc, it has been held to be inexpedient to do so in the interest of justice. Thus where a person made one statement in court during the enquiry and trial. The Supreme Court too has felt that a witness whose statement has been recorded and 164 Crpc. Feels tied to his previous statement and as such his evidence has to be approached with caution[12].

Giving false evidence is defined by sec 192 and fabricating false evidence by sec. 192 shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years and also liable for fine[13].

The state and federal penalties for perjury include fines/ or prison terms upon conviction. For example, states that anyone found guilty of the crime will be fined or imprisonment for up to five years. Most state laws have a similar provision, but judges typically have the discretion to use tendency (including probation in view of the prison sentence where appropriate)[14].

CONCLUSION:

Juries and judges often base, their verdicts sentences or other important decision or sworn testimony and signed documentary statements given under oath and certain legal documents are presumed to be truthful or at lead made in good with lying under oath compromise the authorities of courts grand juries, governing bodies and public official. Other crimes against justice include criminal contempt of courts, Probation violation and tampering with evidence perjury is considered a very serious crime against the integrity of the justice system.

[1] Deborah C. England, Perjury: Laws and Penalties, NOLO (Sep. 25, 2018, 9:00 PM), https://www.criminaldefenselawyer.com/crime-penalties/federal/perjury.htm.

[2] K.D Gauer, Indian Penal code, third edition universal law Publish, 191.

[3] supra note 1.

[4] Ibid.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Ibid.

[7] Ibid.

[8] Ibid.

[9] What are the consequence of perjury in criminal trial? https// W.W.W noll-law com. /2015/ 05/ 20.

[10] Prof. T. Bhattacharya, The Indian Penal code, 9th edition, P.284 central law agency.

[11] Section 191, The India Penal Code, 1860, No. 45, Acts of Parliament, 1860 (India).

[12] supra note 10, at 247.

[13] Dr. Surendra Sahai Srivastava, “Indian Penal code along with general Principals, “P. 246 central law agency.

[14] Perjury https: criminal find law.com/ criminal charges / perjury .htm/.