Home > Perjury > Applicability of section 340 of CrPC, and 194 of IPC etc

Applicability of section 340 of CrPC, and 194 of IPC etc

A case of perjury where even though some witnesses had given contradictory statements in civil and criminal cases between same parties, a perjury case under CrPC 340 was not allowed by high court, due mainly to technicalities about applicability of CrPC 340 to facts of the case.

CRM No.23818-M of 2009 1    IN THE HIGH COURT OF PUNJAB AND HARYANA AT

CHANDIGARH

CRM No.23818-M of 2009

Date of Decision: 4.09.2009

Smt.Sanjay Lata & Anr. …Petitioners  Vs.

The State of Haryana & Anr. ..Respondents     Coram: Hon’ble Mr. Justice Vinod
K.Sharma

Present: Mr.V.P.Singh, Advocate,

for the petitioner.

Mr.Rajeev Kawatra, Sr.DAG, Haryana.

for respondent No.1.          Mr.H.N.Mehtani & Mr.V.P.Kashyap, Advocates,

for respondent No.2.

1. Whether Reporters of Local Newspapers may be allowed to see the  judgment?

2. To be referred to the Reporters or not?

3. Whether the judgment should be reported in Digest?

CRM No.23818-M of 2009 2    Vinod K.Sharma,J. (Oral)

This petition under section 482 Cr.PC has been moved for  quashing  of complaint dated 14.10.2006 filed under section 194 IPC by  Shri R.S.Virk,  Additional Sessions Judge-I, Bhiwani, pending in the court  of learned Chief  Judicial Magistrate Bhiwani.  Smt.Sanjay lata filed a complaint under sections  302/498-  A/406 and 120-B IPC against Amrit Gautam and others on the pleadings  that ever since her marriage on 27.4.1996 she was not given due recognition  and  instead of her having studied up to M.A,. B.Ed. level and her parents  having  spent 3 lacs on her marriage accused/husband and his relatives were  not  satisfied with the dowry brought by her and she was taunted time and  again with  the demand of fridge, scooter and Rs.5000/- (Rupees fifteen  hundred only),
besides gold neckless, Saris etc to which she expressed her  inability. It was  also pleaded that she was assaulted and even starved,  wrongly confined in the room during summer and was even bolted inside a  bath room in December, 1996.  She was even denied use of quilt with a view  to ensure her death by exposure to  the cold.  It was further case set up that she had given birth to a male  child  on 5.9.1997. In spite of the fact that he was only 2.6 kilograms in  weight and  she was also very weak, the accused forcibly got her discharge  from the said  hospital on 7.9.1997 and did not allow her parents and  relatives to see the new  born child in the hospital or at her matrimonial  home. It was pleaded that  accused No.5 uncle of the accused brought some  liquid in a spoon which he had  administered to the new born by picking up CRM No.23818-M of 2009 3    in his  own arms and thereafter the child remained motionless and shortly it  was  discovered that he had expired. Other allegations were also levelled  claiming
prosecution of the accused for the offences referred to above.  The accused was  tried. Learned Additional Sessions Judge-I,  Bhiwani found the complaint to be  false and consequently acquitted the  accused The operative part of the order reads as under:-  “19. In view of the above appraisal of prosecution evidence, I  hold that the complaint in hand was falsely instituted by the  complainant out  of malice and ill-will towards the accused  husband and his co-accused, all of whom are hereby acquitted  of the offences they stand charged with. As discussed  above,  the complainant Sanjay lata and her father Sham Sunder stand  proved to have deposed falsely specially qua their testimony in  the instant complaint  case regarding ill treatment of the  complainant wife in connection with demand of dowry by the  accused husband Amrit, although while appearing as RW 1 and  RW
4 respectively during the hearing of HMA petition No.19  of 11.3.1999 titled  Amrit Lal Gautam Vs. Sanjay Lata decided  on 7.9.2001 in favour of accused  husband, they had admitted  that the accused/husband had never ill treated the  complainant  wife nor ever demanded any dowry. Such two contradictory  versions  in two courts of law by these two witnesses indicate  that these two witnesses  have scant concern for the law of the  land. Such conduct cannot be viewed  lightly, specially when CRM No.23818-M of 2009 4    through the false complaint
in hand these two witnesses have  sought conviction of the accused for a capital  offence.  Accordingly in the light of the provisions contained in Section  185  (1)(b)(i) Cr.PC read with section 340 Cr.PC, I am of the  considered view that  the complainant Sanjay Lata and her  father Sham Sunder should be tried, not  summarily under  Section 344 Cr.PC, but in the light of provisions contained in  Section 344 (3) Cr.P.C., they should be sent up to the court of  competent  jurisdiction to stand regular trial qua commission by  them of an offence  punishable under section 194 IPC. File be  consigned to the record room,after  due compliance.”  Copy of the order was sent to the court of CJM, Bhiwani to  prosecute the petitioner under section 194 IPC.  The parties have settled their  dispute.

The petitioner sought quashing of complaint primarily on the  ground that mere fact that a witness made contradictory statement on 2  different stages in judicial proceedings is not by itself always sufficient to  justify
the prosecution for perjury. In support of this contention reliance is  placed  on the judgment of Hon’ble Rajasthan High Court in the case of  Sanjiv Arora Vs. State of Rajasthan 2008 (2) C.C.J. 310. The contention  of the learned counsel  for the petitioner, therefore, is that even if the  allegations are taken on its  face value no offence under section 194 IPC is  made out.

Learned counsel for the petitioner also contends that initiating CRM No.23818-M of 2009 5    criminal proceedings is illegal and has been passed in  violation of the  provisions contained under section 340 Cr.PC. Section 340 Cr.P.C. Reads as  under:-

Section 340 of the Code of criminal Procedure reads as under:-  “340. Procedure in cases mentioned in Section 195:- (1) When,  upon an application made to it in this behalf or otherwise, any  Court is of opinion
that it is expedient in the interest of Justice  that an inquiry should be made  into any offence referred to in  clause (b) of sub-section (1) of Section 195,  which appears to  have been committed in or in relation to a proceeding in that
Court, or as the case may be, in respect of a document produced  or given in  evidence in a proceeding in that Court, such Court  may, after such preliminary  inquiry, if any, as it thinks  necessary,–

(a) record a finding to that effect;

(b) make a complaint thereof in writing;

(c) send it to a Magistrate of the first class jurisdiction;  (d) take sufficient security for the appearance of the accused  before such Magistrate or if the alleged offence is non-bailable  and the Court thinks it  necessary so to do, send the accused in  custody to such Magistrate, and

(e) bind over any person to appear and give evidence before  such  Magistrate.

(2) The power conferred on a Court by sub-section (1) in CRM  No.23818-M of 2009 6    respect of an offence may, in any case where that Court  has  neither made a complaint under sub-section (1) in respect of  that offence  nor rejected an application for the making of such  complaint, be exercised by  the Court to which such former  Court is subordinate within the meaning of sub- section (4) of  Section 195.

(3) A complaint made under this section shall be signed-  (a) where  the Court making the complaint is a High Court, by  such officer of the Court as  the Court may appoint;  (b) in any other case, by the presiding officer of the  Court.  (4) In this section, “Court” has the same meaning as in Section  195.

Learned counsel for the petitioner placed reliance on the  judgment  of this court in Crl. Misc. No.3220-M of 1986 titled as  H.S.Grover, Accounts  Officer Vs. Rajinder Singh decided on 4.8.1986  wherein this Hon’ble Court has  been pleased to lay down as under:-  ” The object of this section is to record a  finding to that  effect and then make a complaint thereof in writing to a Court  of law. Thus, the motivating factor is that such enquiry should  be conducted if  it is expedient in the interest of justice. The  second one is that an offence  of the kind mentioned therein  must appear to have been committed, for which the  Court a one  under section 195(1)(b), Code of Criminal Procedure, chooses  to  become a complaint.

CRM No.23818-M of 2009 7    In the instant cases, as the facts are patent,  neither of the  two considerations surface. In the first place, neither of the two  suits were decided by the trial Judge and the Court had no  occasion to  determine the falsity or otherwise of the documents  produced by the  petitioners. To repeat here, it is observed that  one suit was dismissed as  withdrawn and the other one went to  the Tribunal to be dismissed. Secondly, the  Court received the  documents allegedly false and forged from the petitioners as  part of the Court files and nowhere were offences committed in  relation to  those documents while the mater was pending in the  court. In other words,  offences were not committed when the  documents stood filed in the Courts. They  had introduced on the  file as pleadings or proof in the pro-fabricated formed;  in other  words, already falsified and forged. A Full Bench of this curt  in  Crl.Misc. No.5095 M of 1985 (Harbans Singh Vs. State of  Punjab) decided on  7.5.1986 held that in such a situation  section 195(1)(b)(ii) of the Code of  Criminal Procedure would  not be attracted and the Court is not obliged under  the section  195(1)(b)(ii) to be the complainant. Similarly, there was no  occasion to hold the documents and pleadings to be false. Thus,  plainly, on  both aspects of the case, the proceedings against the  petitioners on  applications under section 340 of the Code of  Criminal Procedure are nothing  but abuse of the process of the  Court and deserve to be struck off from the  file of he learned CRM No.23818-M of 2009 8    Judge. It is held accordingly.

For the aforesaid reasons, these petitions, are accepted and the proceedings against the petitioners are quashed.  Ordered accordingly.”

to contend that the continuation of proceedings, therefore,  would  be nothing but misuse of the process of court as proceedings are in  violation  of statutory provision as the learned court has not recorded a  finding that it
is expedient in the interest of justice that enquiry be made into  offence.

The contention raised deserves to be accepted in view of law  laid  down by this court in CRM No.3220-M of 1986 (H.S.Grover Vs.  Rajinder Singh  (supra).

This petition is allowed and the complaint and subsequent  proceedings pending in the court of learned Chief Judicial Magistrate  Bhiwani,  pursuant to the complaint made by learned Additional Sessions  Judge-I, Bhiwani  are ordered to be quashed.

(Vinod K.Sharma)

4.09.2009 Judge rp

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