Understand the section 198 of IPC and Procedure to file a Complain against such offence, By Kartikeya Hundet, At LexCliq

Introduction to Section 198 OF IPC,1860

The production of evidence in a trial plays a vital role in deciding the proceeding of the case. The term evidence is any statement required or permitted by the court on oath and any certified document which is produced by the court’s instruction. When someone presents evidence knowing to be false in the court that person has committed offences pertinent to false evidence is dealt with in Chapter XI of the Indian Penal Code.

The form of evidence admissible in court has been classified into two types as[1]

  1. The Oral Evidence and 
  2. The Documentary Evidence    

In the course of the trial, both parties are required to present certain certified document to support their claim in the court as evidence. When a statement or documentary evidence presented to the court when known to be false or is believed not to be true is false evidence. Therefore, the use of such fabricated or corrupt document shall be a punishable offence under the penal code of India.

Which offence is define under section 198.

Section 198[2] state that “whoever corruptly uses or attempts to use any such certificate as a true certificate, knowing the same to be false in any material point, shall be punished in the same manner as if he gave false evidence[3]”. Section 198 must be read with respect to section 197[4] for a better understanding, therefore section 197 deal with issuing or signing the false certificate issued or signed that is required by the court of law. The word required by law means any statutory body authorized to issue or sign that certified document in the court. It is believed that the statutory body will issue a genuine certificate for purpose of establishing the statement of argument in the court. However, there are some instances where the parties produce the false or corrupt document in the court which shall be a punishable offence with a similar term for giving false evidence under section 193 of IPC.

 Procedure to register a complain against section 198 of IPC

  1. In this type of offence, the victim should first file a report to the nearest police station and lodge an FIR regarding the offence. Since the crime under section 198 is a non-cognizable offence hence police required the court to order a warrant of arrest.
  2. It is established that on receiving the order of a concerned Magistrate, a police officer can investigate the case with the same powers, which he can exercise in a cognizable offence.
  3. Whereas, if no substantial evidence is presented by the investigating officer to the court then the court has the power to dismiss such a case for further proceeding.    
  4. However if a police officer filed a charge sheet based on substantial evidence establishing that the offence has been committed in that scenario the court commence the proper trial of the case. After completion of the trial, if the accused is found guilty of the crime. Then the court passes an order of the warrant of arrest against the accused.
  5. The accused person on completion of trial if, found guilty under section 198 shall be punished for imprisonment which may extend to seven-year, along with a fine depending upon the discretion of the court.

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