In the case of Sarvjeet Singh v State (NCT of Delhi) and Anr, [W.P.(CRL.) NO. 1598/2022 & CRL. M.A. 13903/2022], Sarvjeet Singh (Petitioner) had filed a petition in Delhi High Court under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (hereinafter referred to as the “Cr.P.C.”) read with Article 226 of Constitution of India for setting aside the impugned order of the trial court.
Sarvjeet Singh was demanding a criminal inquiry against X, a former St. Stephen’s College Student, for allegedly giving false evidence against him during a trial.
Facts of the Case: An FIR was registered against Sarvjeet Singh in 2015 under Sections 354A (sexual harassment) and 509 (word, gesture, or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman) under the Indian Penal Code, 1860. The trial court, while acquitting him in 2019, noted that the non-examination of eyewitnesses (who could have supported the case of the prosecution) cast serious doubt on the prosecution’s case.
Contentions of Petitioner: Before the Delhi High Court, he had challenged the two orders passed by the trial court dismissing his application under Section 340 of the Code of Criminal Procedure for criminal inquiry against X for allegedly giving false information, and false evidence, and making false charges against him during the trial.
Section 340 and Section 195 of the CrPC aims to ensure whether or not any sort of offense has been committed that affects the administration of justice. The offense is related to the proceedings before the court, documents produced in the court of law, and evidence submitted in the court’s interest. It with regarding punishing and penalizing those who commit the offense of perjury.
The petitioner filed the present petition and challenged the order passed by the trial Court because the Courts below have erred in passing the impugned orders/judgments without considering the material facts and circumstances of the case and have proceeded with an incorrect application of the law.
Observations: While dismissing his application under Section 340 CrPC read with Section 195 CrPC, the trial Court observed that merely because Sarvjeet was acquitted after getting the benefit of the doubt, it does not mean that X had made a false statement to implicate him.
The Appellate Court also observed that the order was reasoned and was not suffering from any material irregularity and illegality. The Appellate Court also observed that if the provisions of section 340 Cr.P.C. were construed liberally then every acquittal would attract section 340 Cr.P.C. It was further observed that the Courts are under obligation to use the provisions of section 340 Cr.P.C. with utmost care and caution. However, the mere loss of reputation is not sufficient to attract the provisions under section 340 Cr.P.C.
The present petition was devoid of merit, hence, was dismissed. However, the court granted Singh the liberty to initiate appropriate legal proceedings for defamation, allegedly caused by X, by lodging an FIR or by invoking any other legal remedy.
– Deeksha Rai, Litigation – Associate, Equilibrio Advisory LLP