Using as a True Certificate One Known to be False in a Material Point - Section 198

Using as a True Certificate One Known to be False in a Material Point - Section 198

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:

  1. the oral and 

  2. the documentary evidence    

In the course of the trial, both parties are required to present certain certified documents 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 documents shall be a punishable offence under the penal code of India.

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 What is the offence under Section 198 of IPC? 

Section 198 states 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”. Section 198 must be read with respect to section 197 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 the 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.

The Term of punishment and nature of offence under section 198 of IPC:

  1. The person who uses or attempts to use a corrupt certified document knowing to be false in the judicial proceeding for the purpose of admission of evidence shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend up to seven-year and shall be liable for a fine also.

  2. The offence committed by a person for producing a false certificate under section 198 of IPC came under the category of a bailable offence. in this offence the arrested person can be released upon the payment of bail fee even from the police station. In bailable offences police have the power to grant bail to the accused. As the accused has the right under law to get bail. However, in the case of a non-bailable offence the accused has no right to get released on bail which can be granted by the police. The decision to grant such bail is taken by a Judicial magistrate only.

  3. In the case of offence committed by an individual under Section 198 of the IPC, the police cannot arrest the accused without a warrant of arrest, even the investigation of the offence cannot be started by the police without permission from the court. As this Section 198 comes under non-cognizable offence.

  4. Section 198 is a non-compoundable offence due to the gravity of the offence to produce a false certificate as a piece of evidence in court affects the process of law and rule of law.

  5. The accused under this section is triable in the same court in which offence of giving corrupt certified evidence is triable.

How to file a case under 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 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 evidence is found the matter of proceeding will be dismissed.

  4. The police officer filed a charge sheet based on substantial evidence in the court followed by a trial. After completion of the trial, if the accused is found guilty of a 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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How can you defend your cases for an offence under Section 198 IPC?

  1. The person charged under section 198 of IPC can apply for bail through a lawyer to the police officer of the police station in which the accused was arrested. The accused had not filed bail an application to the court since it is a bailable offence the bail will be granted on the payment of bail fee or surety to the police officer.

  2. In addition to the above right of bail the accused through a lawyer prepare an argument to defend the allegation and prove that there was no false or corrupt certificated used during the course of a judicial proceeding. However, such an argument of defense depends upon the facts and circumstance of the case.   

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Further, the Lawtendo lawyer can help in drafting a bail application or even prepare the defence strategy for the accused charged under section 198 of IPC in the trial. So, the assistance and guidance provided by the Lawtendo to its client help in winning its case.

Offence Punishment Cognizance Bail Triable By
Using as a true certificate one known to be false in a material point. The same as for giving or fabricating false evidence non-cognizable Bailable Court by which offence of giving false evidence is triable
Offence Using as a true certificate one known to be false in a material point.
Punishment The same as for giving or fabricating false evidence
Cognizance non-cognizable
Bail Bailable
Triable By Court by which offence of giving false evidence is triable


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