November 16, 2018
In this recent case, the Supreme Court has primarily ruled that a petition under Section 482 of CrPC for quashing of FIR is maintainable even if a charge sheet has been filed in the case. The Court in the case also reiterated that the High court can exercise jurisdiction under Section 482 of Cr.P.C even when the discharge application is pending with the trial court.
Case name: Anand Kumar Mohatta and Anr. v. State (Govt. of NCT of Delhi) Department of Home and Anr.
The Appellants in the case have assailed High Court’s order, whereby the High Court dismissed the petition filed by the Appellants under Section 482 of Criminal Procedure Code and refused to quash FIR lodged against the Appellants and also for quashing of the charge sheet filed against the appellants during the pendency of the appeal.
The Respondent in the present case disputed the appeal inter alia on the ground that the petition for quashing of FIR was untenable since the proceedings have gone past the stage of FIR and have resulted in a charge sheet.
The Two-Judge Bench of the Supreme Court in the case ruled in favor of the Appellants in view of the following observations made by the Court:
To arrive at its decision, the Apex Court primarily relied on Supreme Court’s verdict in the case of Joseph Salvaraj A. v. State of Gujarat, wherein it was observed by the Court that “even if the charge-sheet had been filed, the learned Single Judge could have still examined whether the offences alleged to have been committed by the appellant were prim facie made out from the complainant’s FIR, charge- sheet, documents, etc. or not.”
That there is nothing in the words of Section 482 of CrPC which restricts the exercise of the power of the Court to prevent the abuse of process of court or miscarriage of justice only to the stage of the FIR. It is settled principle of law that the High court can exercise jurisdiction under Section 482 of Cr.P.C even when the discharge application is pending with the trial court.
It was further observed by the Supreme Court that it would be a travesty to hold that proceedings initiated against a person can be interfered with at the stage of FIR but not if it has advanced, and the allegations have materialized into a charge sheet. On the contrary it could be said that the abuse of process caused by FIR stands aggravated if the FIR has taken the form of a charge sheet after investigation. The power is undoubtedly conferred to prevent abuse of process of power of any court.
In view of the aforesaid observations and facts of the case, the Supreme Court quashed the FIR and the charge sheet filed against the Appellants.
The entire case can be accessed here.