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S.340 CrPC Can't Be Invoked If False Statement In Application Did Not Impact Its Outcome: Madhya Pradesh High Court

Zeeshan Thomas
20 April 2022 9:45 AM GMT
S.340 CrPC Cant Be Invoked If False Statement In Application Did Not Impact Its Outcome: Madhya Pradesh High Court
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The Madhya Pradesh High Court, Gwalior Bench recently held that false statements made in an application under section 45 of the Indian Evidence Act, which did not have any impact on the outcome of the said application, cannot be a ground to initiate proceedings under section 340 CrPC.Justice G.S. Ahluwalia was essentially dealing with an application under section 482 CrPC moved by...

The Madhya Pradesh High Court, Gwalior Bench recently held that false statements made in an application under section 45 of the Indian Evidence Act, which did not have any impact on the outcome of the said application, cannot be a ground to initiate proceedings under section 340 CrPC.

Justice G.S. Ahluwalia was essentially dealing with an application under section 482 CrPC moved by the Applicants, aggrieved by the order of the lower court, whereby their application under section 340 CrPC was rejected.

The Applicants and the Respondents were embroiled in a property dispute. The Respondents had challenged the authenticity of a Will, stating that the thumb impression on the said document was forged. Accordingly, they had moved an application under section 45 of Evidence Act before the civil judge.

The Respondents had pleaded in their application that the thumb impression of the Testator be matched with her thumb impression on her family pension card. The lower court had allowed the application. However, the Respondents later filed another affidavit to the effect that they had mistakenly mentioned family pension scheme card of the Testator rather than her widow pension scheme card.

The Applicants in response filed an application under section 340 CrPC against the Respondents for making false statements on their affidavit. However, the civil judge dismissed the application. They then preferred an appeal against the dismissal but the appeal was also dismissed by the court below. Aggrieved by the said dismissal, the Applicants moved the High Court.

The Applicants argued that the lower court committed material illegality by rejecting the application on the ground that the affidavit was forged outside the court, and therefore, the bar as contained under section 195 CrPC would not apply. They further submitted that it was not a case of forging a document, but a case of filing a false affidavit. The Applicants asserted that filing of false affidavit before the Court is a serious offence and the Courts should not tolerate the same.

Per contra, the Respondents submitted that it was true that the contents of the initial affidavit were incorrect, but the same was not filed with deliberate intention to mislead the Court. The Respondents conceded that the mistake which had crept in the first affidavit, should not have been committed by them and that they should have filed the affidavit only after considering and verifying the facts mentioned in it.

Examining the decisions of the Apex Court on the subject of making false statements on affidavit, the Court observed that it was clear that a false affidavit executed deliberately, knowing that the declaration given on oath was false, had to be viewed with all seriousness and this practice of filing of such affidavit ought to be deprecated.

The Court then scrutinized the provision under section 340 CrPC and observed that in order to initiate proceeding under the said provision, the Court has to first determine whether the false statements affected the nature of the order passed by the court-

One of the criteria for proceeding under Section 340 of CrPC may be that only due to false statement one party has succeeded in getting favourable order which otherwise he would not have got, therefore, if the false statement affects the very nature of the order passed by the Court, then that can be one of the circumstance where the proceedings under Section 340 of CrPC can be initiated.

Applying the above mentioned rationale to the facts of the case, the Court noted that it was not a fit case for initiating proceeding under section 340 CrPC as the false statement made by Respondents in their application under section 45 Evidence Act did not affect its outcome-

Thus, there were certain documents which were containing admitted signatures/thumb impressions of Late Smt. Raksha Devi. Even if the respondents had mentioned in their application under Section 45 of the Evidence Act that the admitted signatures / thumb impressions of Late Smt. Raksha Devi are available on the ID as well as passbook account of Old Age Pension, then still it would not have made any impact on the outcome of the application, therefore, this Court is of the considered opinion that although the application was filed in a most casual manner without realizing the sanctity attached to an affidavit, but since the false statement made in the application filed under Section 45 of the Evidence Act did not have any impact on the outcome of the said application, therefore, it is not a fit case to proceed against the respondents under Section 340 of Cr.P.C.

With the aforesaid observations, the Court refused to interfere with the impugned order and accordingly, the application was dismissed.

Case Title : Smt. Kamla Sharma and others Vs. Sukhdevlal and others

Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (MP) 117

Click Here To Read/Download Order

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