A 2-judge bench of Apex Court held that, in this particular case, the Police officer can not be saddled with IPC 211 and prosecuted u/s 340 CrPC read with 195 CrPC. But the necessary ingredients are clearly articulated and hence this case law has to be relied upon as landmark judgment to file perjury against the person who made the false complaint (FIR need not be registered).
From Para 8,
8. In this Court, Shri Gupta has very forcefully contended that on the material on the record this direction is wholly unjustified, if not positively illegal, being based on misreading of evidence and on erroneous view of law. According to the submission, the appellant had neither lodged the FIR nor otherwise instituted any criminal proceeding or falsely charged Izhar Hussain within the contemplation of Section 211 IPC. Besides, there is absolutely no material on the record on which the High Court could have formed an opinion that it is expedient in the interest of justice that a complaint under Section 211 IPC should be filed against the appellant.
From Para 10,
… The short question posed, therefore, is, if by giving false evidence as a witness against Izhar Hussain the appellant can be said to have charged him within the contemplation of Section 211 IPC. If this question is answered in the affirmative, then it will have to be determined whether there is in fact a false accusation and finally whether it is expedient in the interest of justice on the facts and circumstances of the present case to direct a complaint to be filed under Section 211 IPC. This section as its marginal note indicates renders punishable false charge of offence with intent to injure. The essential ingredient of an offence under Section 211 IPC is to institute or cause to be instituted any criminal proceeding against a person with intent to cause him injury or with similar intent to falsely charge any person with having committed an offence, knowing that there is no just or lawful ground for such proceeding or charge. Instituting or causing to institute false criminal proceedings assume false charge but false charge may be preferred even when no criminal proceedings result. It is frankly conceded by Shri Kohli that the appellant cannot be said to have instituted any criminal proceeding against any person. So that part of Section 211 IPC is eliminated. Now, the expression “falsely charges” in this section, in our opinion, cannot mean giving false evidence as a prosecution witness against an accused person during the course of a criminal trial. To “falsely charge” must refer to the original or initial accusation putting or seeking to put in motion the machinery of criminal investigation and not when speaking to prove the false charge by making deposition in support of the charge framed in that trial. The words “falsely charges” have to be read along with the expression “institution of criminal proceeding”. Both these expressions, being susceptible of analogous meaning should be understood to have been used in their cognate sense. They get as it were their colour and content from each other. They seem to have been used in a technical sense as commonly understood in our criminal law. The false charge must, therefore, be made initially to a person in authority or to someone who is in a position to get the offender punished by appropriate proceedings. In other words, it must be embodied either in a complaint or in a report of a cognizable offence to the police officer or an officer having authority over the person against whom the allegations are made. The statement in order to constitute the “charge” should be made with the intention and object of setting criminal law in motion. Statement on oath falsely supporting the prosecution case against an accused person more appropriately amounts to an offence under Sections 193 and 195 IPC and not under Section 211 IPC. We do not think that the offences contemplated by Sections 193/195 IPC on the one hand and Section 211 IPC on the other were intended by the legislature in this context, to overlap so as to make it optional whether to proceed under one or the other. ..…
From Para 11,
Every incorrect or false statement does not make it incumbent on the court to order prosecution. The Court has to exercise judicial discretion in the light of all the relevant circumstances when it determines the question of expediency. The court orders prosecution in the larger interest of the administration of justice and not to gratify feelings of personal revenge or vindictiveness or to serve the ends of a private party. Too frequent prosecutions for such offences tend to defeat its very object. It is only in glaring cases of deliberate falsehood where conviction is highly likely that the court should direct prosecution.
Original:Santokh Singh Vs Izhar Hussain and Anr on 25 Apr 1973 (SCI)
Casemine Version.Santokh Singh Vs Izhar Hussain and Anr on 25 Apr 1973
Citations : [1973 AIR SC 2190], [1974 BLJR 22 877], [1973 SCC 2 406], [1974 SCR 1 78], [1973 CAR 316], [1973 CRLR SC 473], [1973 SCC CR 828], [1973 SCC CRI 828], [1973 CRLJ SC 1176]
Other Sources :
Index of Perjury judgments here.