Section 120A

This article is written by Preethikha AR, a student pursuing B.B.A. LL.B. (Hons.) from the School of Excellence in Law, Chennai and edited by Nishka Kamath, Team LawSikho. 

it has been published by Rachit Garg.


Any statement made under oath that the court requires or permits and any document that is produced in accordance with its instructions constitute evidence. The term ‘evidence’ includes all information and facts that contribute to proving the truth.  Further, “false evidence” is evidence that is not true in nature. Creating evidence out of the blue, showing something that has never happened, or just altering an incident that has really happened amounts to false evidence.

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False evidence under the IPC

Chapter XI of the Indian Penal Code, 1860, deals with false evidence and offences against public justice. Every form of legal proof that is admissible during a trial and designed to persuade the judge or jury of the purported material facts of the case is referred to as evidence. False evidence or fake evidence refers to information that has been fabricated or obtained illegally in an effort to influence the outcome of a court case. False evidence is a statement or piece of documentation used in court that is known to be false or is suspected to be untrue. Criminal evidence includes any tangible or intangible proof offered to establish a crime.

Section 191 : Giving false evidence

Under Section 191 of the IPC, an individual who is legally bound by an oath or by any express provision of the law to speak the truth or is obliged to make a declaration on any matter and makes any statement that is untrue and which he either knows or believes to be untrue or thinks it is untrue, is claimed to have provided false evidence.  

Section 192 : Fabricating false evidence

Under Section 192 of the IPC, a person is guilty of fabricating false evidence if he intentionally creates a situation or creates a document or electronic record containing a false statement with the intent that the situation or false statement may be used as evidence in a legal proceeding and that the situation or false statement will be used as evidence.

Section 193 : Punishment for false evidence

Under Section 193, any individual who deliberately gives false evidence in any court proceeding or furnishes false evidence with the motive of using it in court proceedings, will be penalised with imprisonment of either description for a term that may extend to seven years and be liable to a fine. Further, anyone who deliberately furnishess false evidence in any other case, will be liable to imprisonment for a term extendable up to three years and be liable to a fine, as well.

Section 194 : Giving or fabricating false evidence with intent to procure conviction of capital offence

Further, under Section 194, any individual who furnishes false evidence with the intention to cause or after being aware that it will cause any innocent person to be convicted of an offence that is punishable by the death penalty shall be given a penalty of life imprisonment or rigorous imprisonment for a period extendable up to 10 years and shall also be liable to pay a fine. 

Section 195 : Giving or fabricating false evidence with intent to procure conviction of offence punishable with imprisonment for life or imprisonment

Moreover, under Section 195, any individual who furnishes false evidence with the intention to cause or after being aware that it will cause any innocent person to be convicted of an offence that is not punishable by the death penalty but punishable with imprisonment for life in prison or a term of seven years or exceeding it shall be held guilty of that offence and would be liable for punishment. 

Section 196 : Using evidence known to be false

Furthermore, under Section 196, anyone who fraudulently presents evidence that they know to be false or fabricated as true or genuine evidence is punished in the same way as if he gave or fabricated false evidence. 

Section 197 : Issuing or signing false certificate

Additionally, Section 197 states that any person who issues or signs any certificate that is required by law to be signed, or relates to any fact for which such a certificate is legally admissible in evidence, knowing or believing that such a certificate is false in any material point, will face the same punishment as if he provided false evidence. 

Section 198: Using as true a certificate known to be false

According to Section 198,  any individual who uses or attempts to use any evidence which he is aware is false or fabricated as true or genuine evidence, shall be given a punishment in the same manner as if he gave or fabricated false evidence. 

Section 199 : False statement made in declaration which is by law receivable as evidence

According to Section 199, any individual who, in any declaration made or subscribed to by him, in any court of law, or as a public servant or other individual, is obliged by the legal norms to get evidence of any fact, makes a false statement of which he has knowledge or believes it to be false or fabricated, will be punished in the same way as if he had furnished false evidence. 

Important case laws on false evidence 

Santokh Singh v. Izhar Hussain (1973)

In Santokh Singh v. Izhar Hussain (1973), the Supreme Court ruled that test parade identification is typically used in rape cases to identify the accused by the victim, and that if the victim lied and said he was the accused, that is an offence that is covered by Sections 192 and 195 of the IPC. The Court noted that, rather than Section 211 of the IPC, providing false testimony in support of a prosecution case is a crime punishable under Sections 193 and 195 of the Code.

Baban Singh v. Jagdish Singh & Ors. (1996)

In Baban Singh v. Jagdish Singh & Ors. (1996), the Supreme Court held that the offence would come under Sections 191 and 192 if a witness swore a false affidavit during a court procedure. Giving false testimony or creating fake evidence with the intent to use it in a legal action is against the law.

Ram Dhan v. State of U.P. & Anr. (2012)

In Ram Dhan v. State of U.P. & Anr. (2012), the Court noted that Section 195 of the IPC makes it illegal to fabricate false evidence. It’s not required for fake evidence to be created inside a courtroom because it can also be created outside a courtroom and still be used there.

Jotish Chandra Chaudhary v. State of Bihar (1968)

In Jotish Chandra Chaudhary v. State of Bihar (1968), the Supreme Court held that the accused could not be charged with acting corruptly because the minor son’s age in the trademark lawsuit was only declared after proper verification from the school administration.

Witness making untruthful confession in a court of law

False confession

False confession can refer to the accused pleading guilty to a crime when, in fact, he did not commit that crime. False confession can refer to the accused pleading guilty to a crime when, in fact, he did not commit that crime. It has occurred that people make false confessions either when threatened, forced, or when they have any mental disability and either fail to understand the questions asked while cross-questioning them during interrogation or do not have the mental capacity to answer them. 

Moreover, such confessions are not admissible in a court of law, and the police are obliged to interrogate the accused properly to reveal the truth. Such confessions impede the country’s justice delivery system and cause the trial process to be delayed. Further, it may even cause the imprisonment of an innocent person and the freeing of real culprits, causing the purpose of justice- punishment to remain unaccomplished.  

In Palvinder Kaur v. State of Punjab (1952), the Hon’ble Supreme Court ruled that the court must accept the confession made in its entirety, that the incriminating portion cannot be accepted, and that the defensible portion be rejected. Further, the Court stated that any court of law does not have the authority to do so. 

Forced confession leading to false evidence

A forced confession is one in which a suspect or prisoner is coerced into confessing through the use of torture. Such a confession cannot be relied on to get out the truth, as there was coercion and torture involved. In order to appease the interrogator and end the torture, the individual (or individuals) being questioned may tell the story told to them or even fabricate lies on their own. 

For decades, the practice of coerced confessions in the European court system was justified by the Latin proverb “confessio est regina probationum,” meaning “confession is the queen of evidence.”

Giving false evidence or misleading information

Police perjury

Police perjury is defined as any dishonest testimony given by a police officer in a court of law while under oath to give an honest testimony. Perjury is committed if an officer intentionally on the stand gives a dishonest testimony. It is pertinent to note that perjury can also be a misdemeanour; however, this depends on multiple factors, like the background of the officer or what he lied about while he was on the stand. In either case, it is a serious offence that involves lying about a defendant, causing a stumbling block in the justice system, and unfair treatment of the defendant. The phrase “lying on oath, especially by a police officer, to help gain a conviction” has been used to describe police perjury more broadly.

Mistaken identity

Mistaken identification is a legal defence that asserts the criminal defendant’s real innocence and strives to discredit proof of guilt by claiming that any eyewitness to the crime mistakenly believed they saw the defendant when, in fact, the person they saw was someone else. The defendant must persuade the jury that there is a reasonable doubt over whether the witness truly saw what they claim to have seen, or recalls having seen, because the prosecution in a criminal case must show the guilt of the accused beyond a reasonable doubt.

Tampering with evidence

On numerous occasions, we have witnessed a common scene on police drama shows wherein a suspect, fearing arrest, destroys or damages evidence. The suspect may be witnessed throwing away incriminating documents or damaging evidence, perhaps tossing the documents or evidence in the fire or flushing it down the toilet. These are classic examples of tampering with evidence. 

Simply put, tampering with evidence is an offence involving any action that destroys, alters, conceals, or falsifies any evidence. Furthermore, tampering with evidence is strongly linked to impeding the administration of justice. Usually, evidence is tampered with to conceal a crime or to cause harm to the accused.  


A frameup can be described as a setup where someone pretends that an innocent person has committed a crime by deliberately lying or inventing evidence to create a circumstance to prove his guilt. Framing is primarily used as a distraction, and yet it may be done with pure  malice to incriminate the innocent. Usually, the person who frames another is the one who committed the crime. 


A person who fabricates evidence or provides false testimony will be penalised in accordance with the terms set forth in the IPC, 1860. We can infer that Section 191 and Section 192 are distinct from one another. The offender who coerces, threatens, or promises to provide false testimony will be punished. It should be highlighted that the individual providing testimony must be aware of or firmly believe that what they are saying is true. 

In conclusion, false evidence is the information that is provided to influence the outcome of the truth in a legal proceeding. False evidence can be produced, forgeried, or tainted; it is up to the party using it to establish where it is being used. The goal of providing false testimony is to secure a conviction and convict the innocent. As a result of the widespread use of fabricated evidence and witnesses, the penalties outlined in these clauses need to be strengthened.


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