Offences against Public Justice

offence against Public Justice

Chapter XI deals with the offence against Public Justice. Section 201-229A explains in detail the offences that come under the ambit of public justice.

Section 201 deals with the causing the disappearance of Evidence. This can be broadly divided into causing disappearance and false information. The essential ingredients of this section are

  • There must be an offence which is commanded
  • A person should cause the disappearance of any evidence of the crime committed
  • It should be done with the intention of screening or saving the culprit from punishment
  • A person  must give false information about the offence
  • He must be aware of having knowledge that the information given by him is false
  • It must be done with the intention of screening the offender or culprit

Punishment has been prescribed depending on the gravity of the crime, in respect of which evidence has been caused to disappear or in respect of which false information has been given. The graver the offence, the more severe the punishment. In the case of, Palvinder Kaur v. The state of Punjab, a wife committed the murder of the husband with her boyfriend due to her extramarital affair. So the wife and her boyfriend stashed the husband’s body in the trolley and threw it into the well. After one month when his body was found in post mortem only Potassium cyanide was found.There was no evidence which can prove the prosecution that the murder is done by wife with the help of his boyfriend. So the outcome was that as the principal offence under Section 302 was not established due to which consequently under Section 201 was not established.

Giving False Information

In the case of Kodali Puran, there was a river in a village where the floating dead body of a woman was found. The officer of duty made a story that two prostitutes came in the village and they both were raped due to which they committed suicide and without post mortem, he had made the report of the case and made criminate both of them. When he has to report to higher authorities he had made false information and when the matter is referred to the Supreme Court, it was held that although there is no definite evidence on investigating authorities it can be said that they have given false information and a prima facie is established based on the facts and therefore the police officer is held guilty under Section 201 for giving false information. 

Omission to Give Information 

Let us understand Section 202 from an example, a police officer is going for his duty from his home to the police station. On his way, he saw that there was a crowd and they all were beating a person. When he inquired he comes to know that the person has stolen something from a shop so that’s why they all were beating but he did not take any action and went away so he would be charged under section 202 because it was his responsibility, legal duty, statutory obligation under Criminal Procedural code, to report any cognizable offence when it comes under his knowledge and he should take any action. The essential ingredients of omissionare :

  • There should be knowledge or reasons to believe that an offence has been committed.
  • The person should intentionally omit to give any information regarding that offence. 
  • The person is legally bound to give still he omits to give information.
  • He shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to six months or with fine or with both.

Section 203 states giving false information respecting an offence committed, the essential Ingredients of this section are:

  • The offence has been committed.
  • Accused know or he had reason to believe that such an offence has been committed.
  • He gave the information of that offence.
  • The information so given was false and 
  • When he gave such information he knew or believed it to be false.

An offence under Section 203 is non-cognizable, but a warrant may issue in the first instance. Sections 201, 202 and 203 are related but different. All these three sections deal with various aspects of offences dealing with the conduct of a person after the commission of the offence.

It is related to the procedural aspect of a criminal proceeding. Section 206 to 210 deals with limited things only. For example, you have a  home in Mumbai and the court had given orders to seize the property, so to save your home you have agreed with a third party X and sell it to X with the intention that court cannot seize your home and you can say that it is not your property and it belongs to X, then the person will be liable under Section 206 If in the same example X had taken A’s property so that he can save his property from fortified seizure and he can return his property after some time then X will be charged under Section 207 and Dhruv will be charged under Section 206.

Section 208 states fraudulently suffering decree for sum not due. Section 210 states fraudulently obtaining a decree for a sum not due. Section 209 says that Dishonesty while making a false claim in court. Whoever makes a fraudulent or dishonest claim in court to injure or annoy a person. The punishment is imprisonment of two years and shall also be liable to fine. Sections 211-216A deals with Screening and harbouring offenders, 217-225A deals with offences against justice served by public servants, this sections makes certain duties by public servants, which are done with the intent to save or screen persons from punishment or enable the offender to get a lesser punishment than that to which he is liable. The fourteenth law commission declined to endorse the proposals of issuing and using of false medical certificate on the ground that these acts can be brought within the ambit of false information. There were various reforms which were put forth but have not yet come to pass.

“The views of the authors are personal

Frequently Asked Questions

What is considered tampering with evidence?

Tampering with evidence, or evidence tampering, is an act in which a person alters, conceals, falsifies, or destroys evidence with the intent to interfere with an investigation (usually) by a law-enforcement, governmental, or regulatory authority.

What is section 182 of IPC?

False information, with intent to cause public servant to use his lawful power to the injury of another person.—Whoever gives to any public servant any information which he knows or believes to be false, intending thereby to cause, or knowing it to be likely that he will thereby cause.

Is perjury a crime in India?

The offence of perjury has been defined in Section 191 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 as a false declaration made during a judicial proceeding or under any other legal obligation. Section 193 punishes the former for a maximum period of 7 years and the latter for 3 years


  • The Indian Penal Code, K.D. Gaur, fourth Edition, Universal Law Publishing Co. p,195-210
  • Cecil Turner.J. (2013), Kenny’s Outlines of Criminal Law, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
  • Textbook of Criminal Law, Glanville Williams, fourth Edition, Sweet & Maxwell South Asian Edition
  • Criminal Law, PSA Pillai’s, 11th Edition KI Vibhute, Lexis Nexis
  • KodaliPuran Chandra Rao vs Public Prosecutor, Andhra Pradesh
  • Palvinder Kaur v. The state of Punjab
Srishti John
Srishti is a law student at CMR School of Legal Studies, Bangalore. In her time at law school, she has found herself lost in subjects like Jurisprudence and Criminology. She loves a good debate and people who challenge her to become better. She is a Political Science graduate from St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai. Her resolutions involve reading 30 books in 2020 and spreading a message of joy, kindness and love. She wants to pursue her LLM and aid the violated and vulnerable in their quest for equality & justice.