Friday, 3 June 2022

False statement made in affidavit: Contempt of court

 False statement made in affidavit: Contempt of court

By Shagun Mahendroo

In 1981, the society assigned A to a flat. B (A's wife) swore an affidavit in 1983

claiming that neither she nor her husband had been assigned a flat in Noida.

According to the rules, the society assigned her a flat.

According to the rules, no member of the society can be assigned more than one

flat. B filed a deceleration suit against society, which was granted by the trial

court, and confirmed by the High Court. The Supreme Court overturned the

same ruling that there was a breach of contract because B swore a false affidavit

by hiding her husband's allotment of a Noida flat.

This Court was evaluating an affidavit sworn by an Advocate under Section

3(2) of the Oaths Act, 1969 in M. Veerabhadra Rao Vs. Tek Chand 1984(Supp)

SCC 571: The term "affidavit" has long been used to refer to a sworn statement

in writing given under oath or on affirmation before an authorised Magistrate or

authority. Affidavit is defined as "affirmation and declaration in the instance of

a person by law entitled to affirm or declare instead of swearing" under sub-

clause (3) of Section 3 of the General Clauses Act, 1897.

The main parts of an affidavit are that the deponent makes important assertions

or declarations, and to add sanctity to it, he swears or affirms the truth of the

statements made in the presence of a person who is legally authorised to

administer oath or accept the affirmation.

As a result, the cancellation of a plot allotment obtained after filing a fraudulent

affidavit is a valid reason for terminating a lease. All decisions taken by this

Court are void because of fraud.

As a result, affidavits submitted were more than just a piece of paper; they were

a serious declaration made in front of a person authorised to administer oaths or

receive affirmations. The plaintiff had broken an oath-based solemn statement.

The definition of “criminal contempt” within the meaning of Section 2 of the

Contempt of Courts Act, 1971, includes the doing of any act which “interferes

or tends to interfere with, or obstructs or tends to obstruct, the administration of

justice” in any manner. Making of a false statement on oath may interfere with

the administration of justice and may thus amount to contempt.

In the case of Murray & Co. v. Ashok Kr. Newatia, (2000) 2 SCC 367 : AIR

2000 SC 833, the Supreme Court held that a false statement deliberately made

in an affidavit before the court amounted to contempt of court.

Likewise, in the case of M.C. Mehta v. Union of India, (2003) 5 SCC 376: 2003

Cri LJ 2045: AIR 2003 SC 3469, the Supreme Court held that filing a false

statement or false affidavit is contempt of court [relying upon the aforesaid

Murray case, and also on Bank of India v. Vijay Transport, (2000) 8 SCC 512;

Dhananjay Sharma v. State of Haryana, (1995) 3 SCC 757].

Thus, it should be clear that making of a false statement in an affidavit filed

before the court may also amount to contempt of court, in addition to the

offence of perjury.

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