ON I.A. II
1. The present application is filed under Section 340, Cr. P.C. and undoubtedly involves a power that the Courts have been seldom exercising. It has unfortunately become the order of the day, for false statements to be made in the course of judicial proceedings even on oath and attempts made to substantiate these false statements through affidavits or fabricated documents. It is very sad when this happens because the real backbone of the working of the judicial system is based on the element of trust and confidence and the purpose of obtaining a statement on oath from the parties or written pleadings in order to arrive at a correct decision after evaluating the respective positions. In all matters of fact therefore, it is not only a question of ethics, but an inflexible requirement of law that every statement made must be true to the extent thatit must be verified and correct to the knowledge of the person making it. When a client instructs his learned Advocate to draft the pleadings, the basic responsibility lies on the clients because the Advocate being an Officer of the Court acts entirely on the instructions given to him, though the lawyer will not be immune from even a prosecution. If the situation is uncertain it is for his client to inform his learned Advocate and consequently if false statements are made in the pleadings the responsibility will devolve wholly and completely on the party on whose behalf those statements are made.
2. It has unfortunately become common place for the pleadings to be taken very lightly and for nothing but false and incorrect statements to be made in the course of judicial proceedings, for fabricated documents to be produced and even in cases where this comes to the light of the Court the party seems to get away because the Courts do not take necessary counter-action. The disastrous result of such leniency or indulgence is that it sends out wrong signals. It creates almost a licence for litigants and their lawyers to indulge in such serious malpractices because of the confidence that no action will result. To my mind, therefore, the fact that the petitioner has pressed in this application requires to be commended because it is a matter of propriety and it is very necessary at least in a few glaring cases that an example be made of persons who are indulging in such malpractices which undermine the very administration of justice dispensation system and the working of the Courts. This will at least have a deterrent effect on others.
3. Writ Petition Nos. 13928 and 13929 of 1997 concern a dispute with which we are not concerned here. In the course of the hearing, one of the contentions raised was that respondent 3 in that proceeding Sri Ananda Shetty was disqualified on the ground that he did not hold any agricultural lands within the designated area. Respondent 3 filed a reply affidavit by way of a statement of objections in which a specific statement has been made that the agricultural land Sy. No. Ill, belongs to him. Not only this, but Annexure-R1 was a document purporting to support this contention. The petitioner filed a rejoinder specifically pointing out that the aforesaid statements were false and also produced certified copies of the relevant records to establish that the lands stood in the name of the Sugar Factory and that the name of the Government has been mutated and in any event, respondent 3 was not the owner of those lands. Since the petition was disposed of on a different point altogether, this Court was not required to record any specific finding at that stage.
4. The present applicant prays for prosecution of respondent 3 on the ground that false statements have been made in the course of the judicial proceedings with the object of misleading the Court and furthermore that the document Annexure-R1 is a fabricated document and that it constitutes production of false evidence in the course of judicial proceedings. In support of this application, the applicant who is the original petitioner has produced certified copies of the relevant documents in order to establish that the document Exhibit R-1 produced by respondent 3 to the Writ Petitions is a fabricated document. On an appraisal of the record, a prima facie case is made out and I am of the view that it isexpedient in the interest of justice for an enquiry to be made into the charges levelled against respondent 3. For this purpose, the Registrar-General shall file a formal complaint addressed to the 7th Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, Bangalore City, as per the draft complaint that has been submitted and shall also forward the Annexures to the draft complaint along with certified and xerox copies of the original statement of objections and the Annexure-R1 that was produced in the writ petitions. As far as the originals of the last two documents are concerned, the Registrar-General shall, after the certified copies have been prepared, ensure that these are taken out from the record of the writ petitions, that they are placed in a sealed envelope and that they are retained by the High Court in safe custody in such a manner so that the envelope can be produced before the Trial Court when that Court has occasion to record the evidence. Until then, the Trial Court shall proceed on the basis of the certified copies submitted along with the complaint.
5. It is true that the power that is now being exercised is seldom exercised, but I am firmly of the view that in the interest of the purity of the working the Courts that it is absolutely essential to take such corrective action whenever an instance of the present type arises. With these directions, LA. II to stand disposed of.
The Registrar-General to act accordingly.
A copy of this order to be furnished to all the parties forthwith.