The objective of criminal law is to punish the Criminal or the person who breaks the law, also to create fear in the minds of the prospective criminals or the persons who can break the law. Therefore to achieve this objective criminal law has substantive law and procedural law. Substantive law describes offences and crimes, and punishments for the same, while procedural law administers the substantive law. If the Court finds that there are situation where there is no specific provision, the Court can mould the procedure to provide justice by inherent powers under section 482.
Section 482 states that 'Nothing in this Code shall be deemed to limit or affect the inherent powers of the High Court to make such orders as may be necessary to give effect to any order under this Code, or to prevent abuse of the process of any Court or otherwise to secure the ends of justice'.
The Court has the power to quash the F.I.R. even before the enactment of the Criminal Procedure Code. Section 482 was introduced by the amendment in 1923, and this section is based on the maxim "QuandoLexAliquidAlicuiConcedit, ConcedereVidetur Et Id Sine Quo Res IpsaEsse Non-Potest", which means when the law gives anything to anyone, it also gives all those things without which the thing itself could not exist.
What are the Powers Under Section 482 of the Criminal Procedure Code
- Power to quash criminal proceedings.
- Power to quash the complaint.
- Power to quash charges framed.
- Power to quash F.I.R.
Exercise of Inherent Jurisdiction
There are circumstances where the Court may exercise the power of inherent jurisdiction under section 482:
- To give effect to an order under the Criminal Procedure Code.
- To prevent any abuse of the process of the Court.
- To otherwise secure the end of justice.
The inherent power of jurisdiction to quash the criminal proceeding
In the case Union of India v. Prakash P. Hinduja, it was held that inherent jurisdiction could be exercised to prevent abuse of process by Court or to secure the end of justice High Court can interfere by using its inherent power to quash the criminal proceedings on the following grounds:
- Where allegation made in F.I.R. or Complaint do not prima facie, constitute any offence or make out a case against the accused.
- Where allegation and the evidence provided do not disclose the commission of the offence and make out a case against the accused.
- Where there is a legal bar in any provision of CrPC or any concerned Acts but it this power can only exercise in the rarest of the rare cases.
In the case of State of Maharashtra v. ArunGulabGawali and others, it was held that the power of inherent jurisdiction has to be exercised sparingly and cautiously and only in the rarest of the rare cases. In this case, certain principles have been laid down concerning the quashing of criminal proceedings which are as follows:
- The Court cannot interfere or soft-pedal the course of justice while exercising the power of inherent jurisdiction.
- Article 226, 227 and section 482 of CrPC are incorporated to give justice and not to prevent justice.
- If a person is charged for heinous crimes which affect the society, F.I.R. cannot be quashed based on assumptions that the offender may not be convicted or the victim himself may not support. If there is a possibility that the victim may turn back, it will not obligate the Ste from performing their social and legal responsibility to prosecute the accused.
Reasons Behind the Incorporation of Section 482 in the Criminal Procedure Code
Section 482 states that nothing can limit or affect the power of inherent jurisdiction, but this power can only exercise by the High Court only on three conditions mentioned. High Court cannot use this power in any matter, or this power cannot be used in the exercise of this power would be inconsistent with any specific provision of the Code. High Court only interferes if the matter is not mentioned in any specific provision by using the power of inherent jurisdiction.
Section 482 only talks about the power of inherent jurisdiction of High Court, also the sections makes it sure that the inherent power of jurisdiction can only be exercised in the cases where the abuse of court process is shown, or justice would be affected by the court proceeding.
Supreme Court's View on Section 482 CrPC
- In the case State of Haryana v. Bhajanlal, the Supreme Court has laid down seven types of cases where the High Court can quash the Criminal by exercising the power of inherent jurisdiction. The seven types of cases are as follows:
- The cases where the accusations made in the F.I.R., even if considering the face value, do not prima facie constitute any offence or made a case against the accused.
- If a cognizable offence is not disclosed by the accusation made in the F.I.R. or any other material, justifying the investigation made by the police officers under section 156(1) of the Code except under an order passed by the Magistrate within the domain of section 155(2) of the Code.
- In the cases where the accusation made in the F.I.R. and shreds of evidence that are collected in support of the same do not disclose the commission of any offence or form a case against the accused.
- Cases where the accusations made in the F.I.R. do not form a cognizable offence but a non-cognizable offence, no investigation is allowed by the police officers, unless Magistrate has passed an order under section 155(2) of the Code.
- In the cases where the accusation made in the F.I.R. is absurd to the extent that no wise man can ever reach a just conclusion that there is sufficient ground for the proceeding against the offender.
- In cases where there is an express legal bar made in any provision, under which a case may be instituted, concerning the institution and continuation of a criminal proceeding where there are specific provisions mentioned in the Code.
- In the cases where the criminal proceeding is instituted to take revenge from the accused for some personal or private grudges, with mala fide intentions.
- R.P. Kapur v. State of Punjab, in this Supreme Court, held that the High Court might quash the criminal proceeding if a case falls under any of the three categories of the cases:
- Cases where institution or continuation of a criminal proceeding is legally barred.
- Cases where accusation made in the F.I.R. do not constitute a crime.
- Cases where accusation made, constituted an offence but evidence is not there to support for the same.
- In the case of ParbatbhaiAahir&Ors. v. State of Gujarat &Anr. ( 2017), the Supreme Court has laid down some principles concerning the power of inherent jurisdiction under Section 482 of the Criminal Procedure Code.
In this case, there is an application filed before the High Court for the quashing of F.I.R. on the ground that the dispute between the Appellant and Complainant has been settled peacefully. But the quashing of F.I.R. was opposed based on two grounds:
- The warrant under section 70 of the CrPC was issued against the Appellants who were absconded.
- The Appellants are coming from the family, which has a criminal background.
The Hon'ble Supreme Court has laid down some broad principle regarding section 482 of the Criminal Procedure Code:
- Section 482 of CrPC contains the power of inherent jurisdiction of the High Court to prevent the abuse of Court process or to secure the ends of justice. But the provision does not give new power to the Court.
- The exercise of jurisdiction of High Court for quashing the F.I.R. or Court proceeding in the cases where the dispute has been settled between the victim and accused is not the same as exercise of jurisdiction of Court in cases of compounding of offences. Compounding of offence is given under section 320 of CrPC, and the inherent jurisdiction of the High Court is given under Section 482 of the CrPC.
- The Court has to consider whether ends of justice is prevailing or not by exercising the power of inherent jurisdiction before quashing F.I.R. or Criminal Proceeding.
- The decision of the Court that Complaint or F.I.R. should be quashed or not on the ground of resolving of a dispute between the victim and the accused it only depends on the facts and circumstances of the different cases and no exhaustive elaboration of principle can be made.
- In exercising the power of inherent jurisdiction under Section 482 when the application is filed on the ground, that the dispute has been resolved between the victim and the accused, the High Court has to consider the nature and gravity of the offence. If the offence is a pity and small then High Court may quash the criminal proceeding, but if the crime is heinous and serious which affect the society at large like murder, rape and dacoity, these offences cannot be quashed on the ground to a settlement between the victim and the accused because these offences are not private but public. Accused of these offences needs to be punished.
- As serious offences have been distinguished, there may be criminal cases which have an impact or strong element of a civil dispute, which may require the consideration for quashing of proceeding.
- There are criminal cases regarding commercial, financial, mercantile, partnership or similar transaction which have an essence of civil dispute, may in certain situation require quashing of the proceeding if the dispute has been resolved between the parties.
- In the cases where High Court may quash the criminal proceeding on the ground of settlement between the disputants, if there is a chance that the conviction is low or not confirmed and if the proceeding continued then, it might harm or trouble the person.
- There is an exception to the principles of 7 and 8 mentioned above if the economic crimes involve financial and economic well-being of the state which fall beyond the dispute of private parties. If the High Court dismissed the application filed under Section 482, then the High Court would be justified.