With over 50% of children bullied online, India stands third in the world of cyberbullying after China and Singapore. In one year alone, cyberbullying in India rose by 36%. Unfortunately, it is not always the truthful accusation and facts put before the judicial system or police. On one hand, only 1 in 10 cases is reported for legal actions, an equal amount of registered cases later gets verified as false or an act to defame the accused for some rivalry.
A similar case has come into notice when the co-founder of a well-reputed news portal, AltNews was charged with two FIRs in the name of online harassment of a minor when he called back on an abusive comment made upon him for merely doing his work. Interestingly, upon investigation, came out a rather contrasting picture where the accuser’s twitter handle was frequently involved in misogynistic posts and lots of inappropriate content.
In almost every scenario, be it societal, political, or personal, there has been a drastic increase in false accusations. This increase in crime rate, enormity, and mayhem suffered by the innocent demands Indian Judiciary takes a very strict mode of action. In this article, we will try to dig into how to handle False FIR and how one can get a remedy from the Indian Judiciary in a case falsely implicated.
What is False F.I.R/ Complaint?
A piece of false information deliberately used with the intention to deceive. An entity purposely lodging F.I.R against someone in order to falsely implicate him in a false case, generally because of enmity.
Remedies Against False F.I.R/Complaint:
- Anticipatory Bail: If a False F.I.R gets lodged against a person for a non-bailable offense, then that person, to circumvent police custody can apply for bail. If the arresting has made, the accused must seek his remedy under Section 437 or Section 439 of the Code, if he wants to be released on bail.
- Remedies after arrest or filling of Charge-sheet before the court: Once Anticipatory Bail has been made, the next step is to approach the High Court for-
QUASHING OF F.I.R: The High Court’s constitutional power, both in civil and criminal matters, is outlined to attain a salutary public purpose which is that a court’s proceeding shall not be used as a weapon of harassment or persecution. Thus if the High Court is of the opinion that there is no prima facia ground made against the accused and the complaint lodged is vexatious, then the Hon’ble High Court ay quash the F.I.R.
Writ Jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution of India: If the person accused faces legal action by a police officer or government official or Subordinate Court, even after knowing the absence of credibility in the F.I.R made against him, the aggrieved person may approach to the High Court to file a writ petition. After getting satisfied that there is a grave injustice taking place, the Hon’ble High Court can pass a writ of Prohibition or Mandamus.
3. Remedies after getting acquitted from the falsely implicated case: Once the mentioned legal procedures are made, the person against whom the false case was made can claim for the following remedies-
- Compensation for accusation without reasonable cause: Section 250(1) of the Cr.P.C says that if the magistrate comes to the conclusion that the accusation made for no reasonable ground, he may order the accuser to pay compensation to the accused.
- Filing a Civil Suit for Defamation: The motive behind the false case made is generally the enmity, done to defame or torture the person with whom they are having the grudges. Even after getting acquitted from that case, the person aggrieved of humiliation and an attempt made on him of character assassination, he can file a Civil Suit under section 19 of the Code of Civil Procedure, for compensation of his defamation.
This article aims to give you a cautious understanding of how to fight back in erroneous cases. Mohammed Zubair of AltNews has very intelligently handled his case of false accusation carrying out legal action as a reply. An F.I.R has been launched against the accuser by NWC India supported by Zubair’s team.
Sorry but I need to ask – which cyber crime cell, @NCWIndia? Is it Maharashtra Cyber?
Asking so that I can follow up with them so pls inform.
This case clearly merits an FIR under multiple sections of the IPC & Sec 67 IT Act. Not merely “removing” his tweets & account. https://t.co/ntbKEZnpdh
— Saket Gokhale (@SaketGokhale) September 7, 2020
Moreover, we are giving you a glance at penal provisions against the person who gets involved in making up false cases.
PENAL PROVISIONS FOR THE PERSON LODGING FALSE F.I.R
- False Information under Section 182 of IPC (Indian Penal Code): If a person is involved in giving false information to police or magistrate or any other governmental body, with the intention to harm a person legally, he shall be punished with imprisonment of Six Months, or Fine up to One Thousand Rupees, or Both.
- False Charge of offence made with the intent to injure under section 211 of IPC: If the person with the intent to cause injury to any person, institutes a criminal proceeding or falsely charges a person knowing that there are no sufficient grounds of such criminal proceedings, shall be punished with imprisonment unto 2 years, or with fine, or both.
- Framing of the incorrect document by Public Servant to cause injury under Section 167 of IPC: In such case, the Public Servant shall be punished with imprisonment up to 3 Years, or with fine, or both.
- Criminal Defamation under Sections 499 r/w 500 of IPC: Apart from the above remedies, the aggrieved person after getting acquitted from that false case, can file a criminal defamation case against the accuser and he shall be liable for imprisonment up to 2 Years, or with fine, or with both.
It is quite clear from the above discussion that there are many strong legal provisions to punish the offender who institutes in a false case but we cannot deny that even in the presence of such procedures the rising accounts of such cases demand a special law. There is also a need for awareness in people regarding their rights and remedies available in case of false F.I.R.