Section 196 of Indian Penal Code, 1860 – Explained!

The prosecution must prove that the accused used or attempted to use the evidence corruptly as true to genuine. The word ‘corruptly’ has not been defined in the Code even though besides this section this word has also been used in sections 198, 200, 219, and 220 of the Code. Where an act is done with the intention of gaining some unfair advantage, an advantage which inconsistent with the rights of others or own official duty, it is done corruptly. Such an act violates the course of justice.

The Calcutta High Court has held that a person who files false receipts relating to rent allegedly issued by a landlord, who has signed the same supporting a false case, he is guilty under this section. It has been held by the Supreme Court in Dr S. Dutt v. State, that where an expert witness, while giving evidence, claimed that he had obtained certain specialised diploma from an institution of repute in London, which claim was found to be false, and the diploma produced by him was a forged document, to hold him guilty under sections 193 and 196 of the Code, it was necessary that the concerned court or a court to which the concerned court was subordinate must complain in writing against him as required by section 195 (1) (b) (i) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973.

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The offence under this section is non-cognizable and non-compoundable. It is bailable if the offence for which it is used is bailable, and it is non-bailable if the offence for which it is used is non-bailable. It is triable by court of session or metropolitan magistrate or magistrate of the first class.