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Augmentation of False FIRs: What are the different Remedies available in Indian Laws against False Cases

With increasing crime rate, atrocities and mayhem suffered by poor, women and senior citizens in India, the Indian Judiciary have espoused a very strict mode to deal with such type of complaints of offences and deterrence has been also used by the Indian Judiciary to punish the convicts and to control such crime. But, it's not always veracious facts put before the police or court; as proliferation of false and vexatious cases before the judiciary has been taken place for past few decades. In this article we will talk about the false FIR and how one can get remedy from the Indian Judiciary in a case falsely implicated against him or her. And also, what the legislature have done till now to tackle this menace and what can be done to bring deterrent to it.

Increasing number of false cases
The False cases are getting registered in almost everywhere in Indian scenario whether it is Politics, society or Matrimonial matters;

Society
In 2014, several newspapers of India have covered the data of Delhi Commission of Women (DCW) which states that53.2% of the rape cases in Delhi, filed between April 2013 and July 2014 were found to be 'false'.[1]
The Hon'ble Supreme Court while deciding some criminal cases have observed the reports of National Crime Record Bureau (N.C.R.B) to evaluate the matters of false implications and F.I.Rs;

In the recent controversial case of Subhash Kashinath Mahajan v The State of Maharashtra and Ors.[2](the SC/ST Act Case ) Hon'ble Supreme Court of India observed that:
"26.As per data (Crime in India 2016-Statistics) compiled by the National Crime Records Bureau, Ministry of Home Affairs; ...it is mentioned that in the year 2016,5347 cases were found to be false cases out of the investigated out of SC cases and 912 were found to be false cases out of ST cases. It was pointed out that in the year 2015, out of 15638 cases decided by the courts, 11024 cases resulted in acquittal or discharge, 495 cases were withdrawn and 4119 cases resulted in conviction. (Reference: Annual Report 2016-2017 published by the Department of Social Justice & Empowerment, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of India)."

Matrimonial:
In a case of Rajesh Sharma and Ors. v. State of U.P. and Ors.[3]atSupreme Court MR. Goel A.K. .J observed that; ...according to Reports of National Crime Record Bureau in 2005, for a total 58,319 cases reported Under Section 498A Indian Penal Code, a total of1,27,560 people were arrested, and 6,141 cases were declared false on account of mistake of fact or law. While in 2009 for a total 89,546 cases reported, a total of 1, 74,395 people were arrested and 8,352 cases were declared false on account of mistake of fact or law.

Politics
Mr.Justicej.B. Pardiwala in Dhiren Prafulbhai Shah v. State of Gujarat[4],stated that, "I find that various complaints are filed immediately after elections, be it Panchayat, Municipal or Corporation, alleging offence under the Atrocities Act. I have no hesitation in saying that in most of the cases, it was found that the F.I.R.s/Complaints were filed only to settle the score with their opponents after defeat in the elections.
Under the previous Code of Criminal Procedure there was no provision relating to anticipatory bail. In the41stLaw Commission of India Reportit was observed that: "The necessity for granting anticipatory bail arises mainly because sometimes influential persons try to implicate their rivals in false cases for the purpose of disgracing them or for other purposes by getting them detained in jail for some days. In recent times, with accentuation of political rivalry, this tendency is showing signs of steady increase."

What is a First Information Report (F.I.R)?
The first step to initiate a criminal legal proceeding against someone is to lodge a F.I.R. An information of a cognizable offence committed can be registered by a person to Police under section 154 (1) of The Code of Criminal Procedure 1973, Which in general terms known as F.I.R. short for First Information Report.

·If the police do not register the F.I.R or refuse to register the F.I.R under section 154 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (Cr.P.C.), then, the victim can file an F.I.R to a Senior Police Officer or to a SSP under section 154 (3) of Cr.P.C.

·If the F.I.R doesn't get registered by the Senior Police Officer or SSP under section 154 (3) of the Cr.P.C., then the person can approach the magistrate, and give the information about the cognizable offence committed, under section 156 (3) of the Cr.P.C., after which the magistrate would direct the Police to start the investigation and register the F.I.R.

False F.I.R
A person deliberately lodges false F.I.R against someone in order to falsely implicate him in a false case, generally to because of enmity. False information is information which has been given deliberately with an intention to deceive[5].

REMEDIES AGAINST FALSE F.I.R/COMPLAINT:
There are several remedies provided in our legal system for person against whom a falsely implicated case is lodged those remedies are discussed as under:
A. Remedy before the Arrest is made:
Anticipatory Bail

The object of Sec. 438 is that a person should not be harassed or humiliated in order to satisfy the grudge or personal vendetta of the complainant [HDFC Bank ltd. v J.J. Mannan alias J.M. John Paul][6].
If a False F.I.R gets lodged against a person for a non-bailable offence, then that person, to circumvent the police custody can apply for Bail under section 438 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 before the Session Court or the High Court, before the arrest is made.

The provisions of Section 438 cannot be invoked after the arrest of the accused. After arrest, the accused must seek his remedy under Section 437 or Section 439 of the Code, if he wants to be released on bail in respect of the offence or offences for which he is arrested. [Rashmi Rekha Thatoi and Ors. vs. State of Orissa and Ors.][7]

However, the order made by court for ‘anticipatory bail' can only become operative on arrest being made, as while granting ‘anticipatory bail' the respective court makes the order ‘to release the person on bail in the case of arrest.

The Proviso of section 438 of Cr.P.C. states that:"where the High Court or, as the case may be, the Court of Session, ...hasrejected the application for grant of anticipatory bail,it shall be open to an officer in-chargeof a police station to arrest, without warrant the applicant on the basis of the accusation apprehended in such application.

B. Remedies after arrest or filling of Charge-sheet before the Court:
After getting the Anticipatory Bail or getting arrested and charge-sheet been filed by police the next step is to approach the High Court for:
Quashing of F.I.R
1.Inherent Power of High Court under section 482 of the Cr.P.C
Under Section 482 of Code of Criminal Procedure vested the inherent power of the High Court, to make such orders as may be necessary to give effect to any order under this Code, or to prevent abuse of the process of any Court or otherwise to secure the ends of justice.[8]The High Court's inherent powers, both in civil and criminal matters, is designed to achieve a salutary public purpose which is that a court proceeding ought not to be permitted to degenerate into a weapon of harassment or persecution.[9]Hence, if the High Court is of the opinion that there is no prima facie ground made against the accused and the complaint lodged against the accused is vexatious, then the Hon'ble High court by using its inherent power vested under section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, may quash the F.I.R.

Guidelines to Quash the F.I.R under section 482 were laid down by SC;

In State of Haryana and Ors. v. Bhajan Lal and Ors.[10],the Supreme Court observed, that though it may not be possible to lay down any precise, clearly defined and sufficiently channelised and inflexible guidelines or rigid formulae and to give an exhaustive list of myriad kinds of cases wherein such power should be exercised;

(1) No Prima Facie Case: Where the allegations made in the first information report or the complaint, even if they are taken at their face value and accepted in their entirety do not prima facie constitute any offence or make out a case against the accused.

(2) Absence of Cognizable Offence: Where the allegations in the first information report and other materials, if any, accompanying the FIR do not disclose a cognizable offence, justifying an investigation by police officers Under Section 156(1) of the Code except under an order of a Magistrate within the purview of Section 155(2) of the Code.

(3) Commission of Crime not disclosed: Where the uncontroverted allegations made in the FIR or complaint and the evidence collected in support of the same do not disclose the commission of any offence and make out a case against the accused.

(4) Investigation begun without the order of Magistrate in Non-cognizable offence: Where, the allegations in the FIR do not constitute a cognizable offence but constitute only a non-cognizable offence, no investigation is permitted by a police officer without an order of a Magistrate as contemplated Under Section 155(2) of the Code.

(5) Lack of Evidence: Where the allegations made in the FIR or complaint are so absurd and inherently improbable on the basis of which no prudent person can ever reach a just conclusion that there is sufficient ground for proceeding against the accused.

(6) Legally Barred: Where there is an express legal bar engrafted in any of the provisions of the Code or the concerned Act (under which a criminal proceeding is instituted) to the institution and continuance of the proceedings and/or where there is a specific provision in the Code or the concerned Act, providing efficacious redress for the grievance of the aggrieved party.

(7) Vexatious Proceeding: Where a criminal proceeding is manifestly attended with mala fide and/or where the proceeding is maliciously instituted with an ulterior motive for wreaking vengeance on the Accused and with a view to spite him due to private and personal grudge.

On proving of above points the High Court on its discretion may use its ‘inherent power' vested under section 482 to quash the F.I.R.Apart from Section 482, one can get the remedy against false cases against him through writ petition before High Court's;

2. Writ Jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution of India
When a false F.I.R is lodged against the accused and a police officer or government servant knowingly registers such F.I.R and when the Subordinate Court passes any Order against the accused, in mistake of facts or ignoring the above fact, then the person aggrieved can approach the High Court under Article 226 of the Constitution of India to file a writ petition and High Court after getting satisfied that there is grave injustice taking place, the Hon'ble High Court can pass a writ of;

I. Prohibition: The Writ of Prohibition can be passed by the Hon'ble High Court to the Subordinate Court under which such vexatious is going onto stop such criminal proceedings.

II. Mandamus: The Writof Mandamus can be passed by the Hon'ble High Court to order the police department or to the police officer, who has lodged false F.I.R against the accused, to perform their duty legally.

C. Remedies after getting acquitted from the falsely implicated case:
After getting the false F.I.R quashed by the Court through above mentioned legal procedure, the person against whom the false case was made can get the following remedies:
1.Compensation for accusation without reasonable cause:-Section 250(1) of the Cr.P.C lays down the provision that if a magistrate while acquitting the accused, thinks that there was ‘no reasonable ground for making the accusation against the accused person', he may order the person making such false accusation to pay compensation to the accused person. (Section 250 clause 2 also states that the amount of compensation shall not exceed the amount of fine the magistrate is empowered to impose).

2. Filling a Civil Suit for Defamation:- Filing of false case against a person is generally done by people to defame and torture the person with whom they are having grudges and enmity, even after getting acquitted from that case or that case being quashed the person goes through humiliation of character assassination in the society. Hence, such a person can file a civil suit under section 19 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908;for compensation of his defamation from the complainant of the false case.

Penal Provisions for the Persons lodging false F.I.R:
The Persons lodging false F.I.R are liable for the punishment under the following provision:
1.False Information under Section 182 of Indian Penal Code: -According to this section; if a person gives information, to magistrate or police or any other government official, which he knows to be false, with intention to cause that public servant to take such actions which cause injury or annoyance to any person, shall be punished with imprisonment up to Six months, or Fine upto One thousand rupees or both.

2.False Charge of offence made with intent to injure under Section 211 of I.P.C: -According to this section; if a person with intent to cause injury to any person, institutes a criminal proceedings or falsely charges any person if an offence, knowing that there is no sufficient ground for such criminal proceedings or charges, such person shall be punished with imprisonment upto 2 years, or with fine, or both;

If such criminal proceeding be instituted on a false charge of a offence which is punishable with death, imprisonment for life or for seven years or more, than the person making such false chargesshall be punished with imprisonment which may extend to seven years and shall also liable for fine.

3.Framing of incorrect document by Public Servant to cause Injury under Section 167 of I.P.C.: -According to this section; if a public servant knowingly submits a false document with the intent to cause injury to any person with that false document; shall be punished with imprisonment upto 3 years, or with fine, or both.

4.Criminal Defamation under Sections 499 r/w 500 of I.P.C.: -Apart from above remedies, the person against whom the false F.I.R was lodged, after getting acquitted from that false case or after getting the F.I.R quashed, can file a criminal defamation case against the person who has falsely implicated him in the previous case, shall be liable for imprisonment upto 2 years, or with fine, or with both, under section 500 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860.

Steps taken by legislature in India to tackle cases of False F.I.R.:
According to 192nd Report of the Law Commission on ‘Prevention of Vexatious Litigation'have suggest that the central should implement Vexatious Litigants Act, in which it was pointed out that the Vexatious Litigants Act has beenal ready implemented in former state of Madras and State of Maharashtra, under which a person who is repeatedly registering false cases against other person would be barred from making a direct complaint of an offence and could only be allowed to make complaint after getting the approval from the respective High court.

Conclusion
From the above discussion it is clear that there are many prudent legal provisions to punish the offender who institute a false case, but in the presence of these legal provisions, the courts have witnessed an increase offalse cases large number. Hence, there is a need to bring a special law to deal with the false cases as recommended by the Law Commission in its 192ndreport, to bring strong deterrence in society regarding this crime. Apart from this there is a need to spread awareness in people regarding their rights and remedies available in case of a false F.I.R.

End-Notes
[1]https://www.indiatoday.in/india/north/story/false-rape-cases-in-delhi-delhi-commission-of-women-233222-2014-12-29
[2]MANU/SC/0275/2018 : AIR 2018 SC 1498.
[3]MANU/SC/0909/2017 : AIR 2017 SC 3869.
[4]2016 CriL J 2217
[5]Subhash Kashinath Mahajan vs. The State of Maharashtra and Ors. (20.03.2018 - SC) : MANU/SC/0275/2018
[6]AIR 2010 SC 618
[7]MANU/SC/0410/2012
[8]Vineet Kumar and Ors. vs. State of U.P. and Ors. : MANU/SC/0351/2017.
[9]State of Karnataka v. L. Muniswamyand Ors. MANU/SC/0143/1977 : 1977 (2) SCC 699.
[10]MANU/SC/0115/1992 : 1992 Supp (1) SCC 335


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