Behind The Gavel Of Malicious Prosecution

April 15, 2024
Malicious Prosecution

The gavel that judicial officials wield to administer justice, authority, and fairness is a representation of authority within the intricate system of law. But there is a darker corner when this symbol of justice turns into a tool of injustice: malicious prosecution. Individuals get caught in a web of false charges and legal fights that may destroy lives and permanently harm reputations inside closed doors, away from the public’s view.

Malicious Prosecution

  • Sometimes criminal charges or civil lawsuits are deliberately filed to frighten, harass, libel, or harm the other party. These cases are typically dropped and rarely pursued. 
  • Malicious prosecution is the term used for such acts also known as false prosecution. A hostile prosecution happens when one party files a frivolous lawsuit against the other party knowing that the other party is the target of the lawsuit.
  • This can apply to both civil claims and criminal accusations if the basis for action is essentially the same. Both the Indian Penal Code and the Law of Torts provide descriptions of malicious prosecution
  • The goal of the legal system is to deliver justice to the innocent, but when malicious prosecution occurs, innocent individuals are found guilty, which is an abuse of the system.

Abuse of Process Malicious Prosecution: Essential Ingredients

  • The defendant’s prosecution
  • Lack of a plausible or appropriate reason
  • Defendant behaved malevolently
  • proceedings being concluded in the plaintiff’s favour.
  • The plaintiff experienced the harm due to the prosecution.

Malicious prosecution ipc

  • Malicious prosecution is mentioned under ipc section 211.
  • The accused must: 
  1. start a criminal investigation or file a false allegation; 
  2. be aware that the investigation has no legal basis; and 
  3. intend to inflict harm to the person he is accusing. 

A key component of this offense is knowing that the information provided is false and acting with malice. In contrast to unlawful arrest and imprisonment, malicious prosecution requires the accused party to provide proof of the prosecutor’s dishonesty or unreasonableness.

Malicious Prosecution Lawsuit: Remedies

Many different types of injuries might result from being the target of malicious prosecution. wrongful prosecution lawsuits or unfounded criminal prosecutions can lead to injuries. The plaintiff may seek malicious prosecution compensation in either scenario, as well as occasionally punitive ones. The purpose of punitive damages is to deter outrageous behavior.

The actual damages that came about as a direct result of the malicious prosecution make up compensatory damages. This could involve non-economic damages like pain and suffering. Special (quantifiable) damages may also be demanded, such as:

  • Lost earnings
  • Medical costs
  • Additional household expenses, like daycare

A malicious prosecution claim’s actual damages will depend on how emotionally upsetting the act was. This could involve the disorientation, perplexity, and loneliness that falsely accused people often feel. If the claim is made in reaction to malicious criminal allegations, the emotional distress is typically more intense. This is due to the possibility that the plaintiff was imprisoned, jailed, or handled like a criminal at some point. Furthermore, a criminal trial’s uncertainty and anxiety are frequently sufficient. It can persuade a jury that great emotional suffering was caused by the act in a malicious lawsuit.

Case law on malicious prosecution

  • In the case of Radhika vs Wilson Sundararaj, Section 211 of the IPC prohibits charging the investigating officer with making false accusations if the accused is found not guilty.
  • In the case of Rajkumar Indarchand Agarwal and Ors vs State of Maharashtra and Ors, the statute of limitations would begin to run from the date of the alleged false complaint rather than from the dismissal or withdrawal of the alleged false complaint to trigger the provisions of section 211 of the IPC.

Victims of malicious prosecution need to defend their civil rights. Law enforcement, police, and prosecutors are well known for tainting the legal system. Malevolent plaintiffs also abuse the legal system. False charges may be included in private civil proceedings they file.

For anyone, defending against false criminal or civil claims can be a stressful process. This is especially true if those accusations or charges were made maliciously. An unnecessary legal action also hurts one’s emotional health. Speak with malicious prosecution lawyers if you think you were sued or charged criminally for purposes other than seeking justice.

Malicious Prosecution FAQs

  1. What are the exceptions to malicious prosecution?

The doctrines of prosecutorial immunity as well as judicial immunity shield judges and criminal prosecuting attorneys against malicious prosecution.

  1. What is the remedy against the malicious prosecution?
  • The compensation by writ court rulings is a public law remedy.
  • Civil law remedies under tort law are referred to as private law remedies.
  • The administrative provision that, in accordance with the criminal code, penalizes the accountable officials is the criminal law remedy.
  1. What is the defense of malicious prosecution?

A defendant may successfully defend this offense if he can demonstrate that his conduct did not cause or materially contribute to the start of the legal proceedings, even in cases where other people are involved in the prosecution.

  1. What is the plaint of the suit for malicious prosecution?

The plaintiff must prove that the prosecution was carried out maliciously and without reasonable and probable grounds in order to recover damages for malicious prosecution.

  1. What is malicious prosecution and defamation?

While malicious untruth protects the Plaintiff, defamation protects the Plaintiff’s reputation.

  1. What is the Defence of Malice?

Malice can also be assumed when a remark is made carelessly and without considering the accuracy of the information. If proven adequately in court, these types of carelessness can overcome the qualified privilege defense as well as the fair remark defense.

  1. What is a malicious petition?

Malicious misuse or misapplication of the legal procedure constitutes a malicious abuse of the system. In the following situations, a malicious misuse of process action might be appropriate: a hostile request for a court case to declare someone bankrupt.

  1. What is the difference between false imprisonment and malicious prosecution?

False imprisonment is an unlawful restriction on the plaintiff’s personal freedom, while malicious prosecution is an unlawful application of the law against him.

  1. How is malice proved?

As long as the assertion is appropriately bolstered by admissible evidence, there are numerous approaches to demonstrate the existence of genuine malice. Any credible evidence, whether direct or indirect, can establish malice.

  1.  What is evidence of malice law?

If the acts were performed knowing they were invalid or without authority and knowing they would cause harm or were likely to cause harm, then malice may be demonstrated. Malice would also be present if the actions were carried out with careless disregard or intentional blindness to that inadequacy or lack of authority and that probable harm.

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