13 December 2021

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Supreme Court cracks the whip on false affidavits

Sciemed Overseas Inc. v. BOC India Limited and Ors.



The Supreme Court upheld Rs. 10 lakhs of costs imposed by the High Court in deploring the filing of a false and misleading affidavit. Petitioner had disputed before the High Court rejection of its bid to install a centralised liquid medical oxygen system; while the suit was in pendency it was granted tender, though such was considered improper by court. However, upon Petitioner’s submission that the work was nearing completion, dismantling the same was considered infeasible. On appeal against the order, the Division Bench ordered an investigation into the work completed and found that major aspects of the installation were not complete, in fact, the main oxygen gas tank itself was at the only in transit. Before the Supreme Court, Petitioner justified the affidavit extensively, before tendering an unconditional and unqualified apology. However, sympathetic the Court was not, holding, “There was no need for the proprietor to have tendered an unconditional and unqualified apology unless there was an admission that the statement made before this Court was false or misleading”.

Bewilderingly the Supreme Court considered the ‘unhealthy trend’ of false affidavits was “slowly but surely creeping in”. Some might say that the trend crept in decades ago, probably not too long after the judicial system first stepped into the country. What may be slowly creeping is the new trend of courts baring their teeth when confronted with the “routine and normal affair” of filing false or falsified documents and claims. A Delhi District Court recently ordered the initiation of proceedings against a prosecutrix who falsely alleged rape and caused the accused to spend time in jail.

Falsifying affidavits. Since 1919.


Dhananjay Sharma v. State of Haryana and Ors. MANU/SC/0707/1995
Re: Suo Moto Proceedings against Mr. R. Karuppan, Advocate MANU/SC/0338/2001
Muthu Karuppan v. Parithi Ilamvazhuthi MANU/SC/0418/2011

Tags : false affidavit unconditional apology

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