Section 482 CrPc – Quashing Of FIR: Guidelines set out by the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India
Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (CrPC) gives the High Court the inherent power to prevent an abuse of the process of any court or to secure the ends of justice. This power can be exercised to quash a First Information Report (FIR) or any other criminal proceeding.
The Hon’ble Supreme Court of India has set out a number of guidelines to be followed by the High Court in exercising its power under Section 482 CrPC. These guidelines are as follows:
- The High Court must be satisfied that the FIR or the criminal proceeding is frivolous, vexatious or oppressive.
- The High Court must be satisfied that the FIR or the criminal proceeding is an abuse of the process of court.
- The High Court must be satisfied that the quashing of the FIR or the criminal proceeding is necessary to secure the ends of justice.
In addition to these guidelines, the High Court may also consider the following factors when deciding whether to quash an FIR or a criminal proceeding:
- The nature and gravity of the offence alleged.
- The stage of the investigation or trial.
- The possibility of prejudice to the accused.
- The interest of the public.
The decision of the High Court to quash an FIR or a criminal proceeding is final and cannot be challenged in any other court.
Here are some examples of cases where the High Court has quashed FIRs or criminal proceedings under Section 482 CrPC:
- Where the FIR was filed with mala fide intention.
- Where the FIR was filed to harass or intimidate the accused.
- Where the FIR was filed for political or personal vendetta.
- Where the FIR did not disclose any offence.
- Where the criminal proceeding was at a preliminary stage and there was no prima facie case against the accused.
- Where the quashing of the FIR or the criminal proceeding was necessary to secure the ends of justice.
If you are facing a criminal case, it is important to consult with a lawyer to discuss your options. The lawyer can advise you on whether you can challenge the FIR or the criminal proceeding under Section 482 CrPC.
Section 482 CrPc – Quashing of FIR: Guidelines Set Out by the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India
Quashing of an FIR (First Information Report) is a legal remedy that allows the High Courts, as per Section 482 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), to exercise their inherent powers to prevent the abuse of the criminal justice system. The Hon’ble Supreme Court of India has laid down specific guidelines for the exercise of this power to ensure that it is used judiciously and sparingly. Here, we will discuss the guidelines set out by the Supreme Court in matters related to the quashing of FIRs under Section 482 CrPC.
1. Lack of Prima Facie Offense: The primary consideration for quashing an FIR is whether there is a prima facie case against the accused. If the FIR does not disclose the commission of a cognizable offense, the court may quash it. The Supreme Court has emphasized that the court should not embark on a detailed inquiry into the merits of the case at this stage.
2. Settlement Between Parties: When the parties involved in a criminal case have amicably resolved their disputes, and it appears that continuing with the proceedings would be an exercise in futility, the court may quash the FIR. This is often seen in cases of matrimonial disputes or non-serious offenses.
3. Abuse of Process of Law: If it is evident that the filing of the FIR is an abuse of the legal process and is intended to settle personal scores or harass the accused, the court may quash it to prevent such abuse.
4. Compounding of Offenses: In cases where the offense is compoundable (i.e., the parties can reach a compromise), the court may quash the FIR if the parties have amicably settled their differences and have no objection to the quashing.
5. Cases of No Evidence: If it is clear that there is no material or evidence to support the allegations made in the FIR, and the accusation appears to be false or motivated, the court may quash the FIR to prevent harassment of the accused.
6. Protection of Fundamental Rights: The Supreme Court has held that the inherent power under Section 482 CrPC can be exercised to protect the fundamental rights of citizens. If a case involves a violation of a person’s fundamental rights, the court may quash the FIR to protect those rights.
7. Matters Involving Commercial Disputes: In cases where the dispute is purely of a civil or commercial nature and does not involve a criminal offense, the court may quash the FIR to prevent the misuse of criminal proceedings for settling civil disputes.
8. Juvenile or Aged Accused: Special consideration is given to cases where the accused is a juvenile or an elderly person. In such cases, the court may be more inclined to quash the FIR, especially if there is scope for reconciliation.
9. Public Interest: The court may consider the larger public interest and societal harmony while deciding whether to quash an FIR, particularly in cases where communal harmony or public order is at stake.
In summary, the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India has provided these guidelines to ensure that the power to quash an FIR under Section 482 CrPC is exercised judiciously and in the interest of justice. Quashing an FIR is not a routine exercise, and the court carefully evaluates each case on its merits to determine whether the FIR should be quashed to prevent abuse of the legal process or uphold the rights of the accused.
Adcocate J.S. Rohilla (Civil & Criminal Lawyer in Indore)
Contact: 88271 22304