Awatif Mohammad Shoqi Advocates & Legal Consultancy | View firm profile
As discussed in our previous article, the offence of filing false complaints is criminalized in the UAE under Articles 324 and 325 of the UAE Penal Code. This has been done to maintain justice in the community.
Authorities Included in False Complaints Cases
A question which may arise is whether the first complaint case includes complaints raised to government authorities?
To answer this point, we would refer to Articles 324 and 325 of the UAE Penal Code which specifically mention false reports being made to administrative and judicial authorities. Therefore, complaints made to government authorities would fall within the scope of the false complaint.
Challenges for Filing False Complaints
One of the biggest challenges in filing false complaint cases is to prove that the complainant who has made the complaint (which has proven to be false), knew for certain that his complaint was false. The court will consider him guilty once the court has concluded that he knew his accusation was false and all of his actions were done with the intention to harm the accused. The court’s conclusion has to be built on reasonable facts. This principle has been well established by the Supreme Court Order No. 628 of 2010 issued by the Abu Dhabi Supreme Court in the hearing dated 20 October 2010. The same concept has been well established by the Dubai Supreme Court, Order No. 334 of 2002 in the case decided on 21 December 2002.
Examples of false complaints could be reporting to the judicial authorities about the risks or accidents that didn’t happen in reality.
What happens if the case gets dismissed?
In some cases, the complainant may still have the right to file a case for false complaint even if the case registered against him was dismissed at the prosecution stage after him being detained under investigation till the case has been decided. As Abu Dhabi Supreme Court indicated in Case No 336 of 2010, in its hearing dated 4 July 2010, while considering a lady guilty for filing a false complaint, the court noted that the complaint had led to detention of an individual for a period under investigation before it was found that he is not guilty although the lady knew he was not guilty from the beginning.
Cancellation of the first complaint by the complainant
What will happen if the complainant in the complaint which is proven to be false cancels his complaint before getting a judgement? Will this give him the right to avoid the consequences for filing such a false complaint?
This point will fall under the court’s discretionary powers whether to consider such withdrawal as a reason to reduce the sentence or not.
How do I report false complaint in a court case?
To report false complaints, a person may need to have a true copy of the judgement declaring that he was
not guilty and certificate from the same court that the judgement is final.
It’s not necessary that all “not guilty judgments” could be used to file criminal case for false complaints and this depends on many factors, such as the reasons of the not guilty judgement, keeping in mind that this is subject to the power of prosecution to accept the criminal complaint or not.
The submission of the criminal complaint case could be initially submitted to the prosecution who may take one of the three below legal positions:
- The prosecution may accept to register the criminal complaint and instruct the police to get more information, including but not limited to, taking statements from the complainant, the accused and witness and collecting documents from the complainant.
- The second legal position is to refuse opening the criminal complaint as the prosecution might not see in the file that there is a potential case which will be accepted in the court.
- The third one is refusing to receive the file at all and request the complainant to open his case directly before the police.
How to prove that the complaint was false?
This is one of the most important questions which needs to be considered before filing the complaint.
- Of course, in the ideal world, the complainant in the first complaint might admit when he faces the charges that he made accusations in bad faith and he knew that the accusations were false.
- Since the admission does not commonly happen and most of the criminals in such type of cases will maintain denial, regardless of what the charges being faced, leading to the second type of evidence which could be used to raise the criminal charge of false complaints. This is the statement of other people or witnesses against the complainant in the first complaint. Even if the witnesses were accused in any other case, their statement might still be considered as approved in criminal charges of false complaints.
What will happen if I could not file my criminal complaint? Is there any other legal action which I can file?
Although filing criminal complaint for false accusation is the best action in order to achieve success and it is the most desirable choice for most of the clients, however, if it is not an option, the complainant may still have the right to file a civil case for compensation if he believes that the other party has misused his right of litigation.
Filing a criminal case for false complaints is one of the legal rights of an individual, whether local or expat based in the UAE, and such rights could be extended to even protect corporates. The explanations above give a broad insight into various aspects of reporting false accusations. Watch out for more of our insights and analysis on this topic and other legal issues.