Written by:Adv. Pooja Gupta

Section 482 CrPc – Quashing Of FIR

Guidelines established by the Supreme Court of India

Introduction of the Section 482 CrPC: – Sec. 482 of the CrPC, 1973 (37th Chapter of the code) grants vast and unlimited inherent power. It protects the High Court’s fundamental powers to prevent abuse of any court’s procedure or to achieve justice’s aims, and therefore the High Court must consider both the nature and gravity of the offences.

Black’s Law Dictionary

Quash is defined as “to overthrow, abate, vacate, annul, or declare void.” Simply put, quashing criminal proceedings would signify that the legal machinery that had been set in action would be stopped. This is normally done after an F.I.R (First Information Report ) has been filed but before the charge sheet has been submitted. Even after the charge sheet has been filed, the Supreme Court can revoke the proceedings, but this is normally discouraged.

Narinder Singh v. State of Punjab (2014) 6 SCC 466:

High Court decisions in this regard should be guided by the following twin objectives, as stated: –

  • Prevent abuse of the court process.
  • Ensure the ends of justice are met.

Guidelines established by the Supreme Court of India

Parbatbhai Aahir & Ors. Vs. State of Gujarat & Anr

On October 4, 2017, the Hon’ble Supreme Court issued guidelines in this case for courts to follow when exercising their inherent power under Section 482 of the Crpc. After careful consideration of various precedents on the subject, the Hon’ble Supreme Court summarised the propositions.

The inherent powers of the H.C to prohibit abuse of any court’s procedure or to accomplish the goals of justice are preserved under Sec. 482. The clause does not grant any additional authority. It simply recognises and preserves the High Court’s powers.

Invoking the High Court’s authority to quash a First Information Report or criminal prosecution because the perpetrator and the victim have reached a settlement is not the same as invoking jurisdiction to compound an offence. Section 320 of the CrPC, 1973 governs the court’s ability and jurisdiction to compound an offence. The Power/authority to quash us/482 is used even though the offence is not compoundable.

The decision to dismiss a complaint or First Information Report on the grounds that the perpetrator and victim have settled their dispute is ultimately based on the evidence and circumstances of each case, and no exhaustive additional explanation of guidelines can be proposed.

The H.C shall consider the nature as well as the gravity of the offence while exercising its jurisdiction u/s 482 & dealing with a plea that the dispute has been settled. Even if the victim or the victim’s family has opted to settle the issue, severe and grave crimes involving mental depravity, such as Rape, dacoity and murder cannot be legally quashed.

These are not voluntary acts, yet they have a massive social impact. The decision to continue the trial in such cases is based on the overarching element of interest of the public in punishing individuals for serious offences.

In contrast to serious offences, there may be criminal cases in which a civil dispute is an overwhelming or dominant component. They are on an equal footing when it comes to exercising their inherent power to suppress.

Criminal cases involving offences arising from commercial, financial, commercial and industrial, partnership, or similar financial transactions with an essentially civil flavour may be quashed in appropriate circumstances where the parties have settled/resolved the dispute.

In such a circumstance, the High Court may order the criminal prosecution to be quashed if, given the parties’ agreement, the likelihood of a 17 conviction is remote and the continuance of the case will result in tyranny and prejudice.

The principle outlined in propositions (viii) and (ix) above has an exception. Economic offences that affect the state’s financial and economic well-being have ramifications that go beyond a simple disagreement between private parties.

When the offender is committing an act that resembles economic and financial fraud or a felony, the H.C would be justified in refusing to quash. The financial or economic ramifications of the alleged act will be considered.

Conclusion of the Section 482 CrPc – Quashing Of FIR

The Hon’ble Supreme Court has established the aforementioned broad principles to prevent misuse of the courts’ process or to protect the ends of justice, and thus one should approach the High Courts only with clean hands so that the High Courts can prevent abuse of the courts’ process and gross travesty of justice.

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