Perjury in Indian Law: Understanding the Offense and Its Implications



Perjury, a grave offense in Indian law, fundamentally undermines the truth-seeking process in legal proceedings. This comprehensive article aims to elucidate the concept of perjury within Indian jurisprudence, detailing its legal framework, the repercussions of committing this offense, and the procedural nuances involved in prosecuting perjury cases.


Understanding Perjury in Indian Law

Definition and Elements:


Perjury, as stipulated in the Indian Penal Code (IPC), involves knowingly providing false evidence or making false statements under oath during a judicial proceeding.

The two critical components constituting perjury are the deliberate action of disseminating false information and the setting of a judicial proceeding.




The law aims to uphold the integrity of the legal system by deterring dishonesty in court proceedings.


Legal Framework Governing Perjury

Key Statutory Provisions:


Sections 191 to 195 of the IPC and Section 340 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) are the primary legislative tools addressing perjury.


Specific Sections:


Section 191 IPC: Focuses on the act of giving false evidence. It delineates that anyone legally obligated to state the truth but willfully states falsehoods can be penalized.

Section 193 IPC: Prescribes the punishment for providing false evidence, allowing for imprisonment of up to seven years and a fine.

Section 195 CrPC: Outlines the process for initiating perjury proceedings, necessitating a written complaint from a court.


Initiating Perjury Proceedings


Step-by-Step Process:


Identification of Perjury: The court or authority must recognize instances of false testimony or statements made under oath.

Preliminary Inquiry: Conducted if necessary, to determine if a prima facie case of perjury exists.

Recording Finding: On ascertaining a prima facie case, the court records its findings.

Filing a Written Complaint: As per Section 195 CrPC, the court files a written complaint.

Submission to Magistrate: The complaint is then forwarded to a first-class Magistrate with jurisdiction.

Legal Actions: The Magistrate may undertake various actions like summoning the accused or issuing warrants.


Penalties for Perjury

Consequences of Conviction:


Under Section 193 IPC, a perjury conviction can lead to imprisonment for up to seven years, along with a potential fine.



The Gravity of Perjury in Indian Law

Perjury stands as a significant offense, integral to maintaining the veracity of judicial proceedings in India.

The process for prosecuting perjury is meticulous, involving a detailed examination of facts, a preliminary inquiry, and strict adherence to the legal statutes in the IPC and CrPC.

The primary goal is to preserve the sanctity of the judicial process and to discourage dishonesty, thereby imposing substantial penalties on those found guilty of perjury.

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