Section 482 of CrPC- SC on Factors to be Considered by HC while Quashing Criminal Complaint

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February 19, 2019

Case name: Prof R K Vijayasarathy & Anr v. Sudha Seetharam & Anr

The Two-Bench of the Supreme Court in the instant case analyzed the essential ingredients of Section 482 of Code of Criminal Procedure. Here it would be relevant to mention that Section 482 of CrPC saves the inherent power of the High Court to make orders necessary to secure the ends of justice and states that nothing in the CrPC shall limit the High Court’s inherent power to give effect to any order made under the CrPC or to prevent abuse of process of any Court or to secure the ends of justice.

In view of the facts and dispute in the case the issue that fell for consideration before the Apex Court was whether the averments in the complaint disclose the ingredients necessary to constitute an offence under the Indian Penal Code?

While disposing off the case the Apex Court the following essential observations on the law envisaged under Section 482 of CrPC:

  • That the High Court, in exercise of its jurisdiction under Section 482 of CrPC is required to examine whether the averments in the complaint constitute the ingredients necessary for an offence alleged under the Penal Code. If the averments taken on their face do not constitute the ingredients necessary for the offence, the criminal proceedings may be quashed under Section 482.
  • That a criminal proceeding can be quashed where the allegations made in the complaint do not disclose the commission of an offence under the Penal Code. The complaint must be examined as a whole, without evaluating the merits of the allegations.
  • That though the law does not require that the complaint reproduce the legal ingredients of the offence verbatim, the complaint must contain the basic facts necessary for making out an offence under the Penal Code.
  • That the jurisdiction under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure has to be exercised with care. In the exercise of its jurisdiction, a High Court can examine whether a matter which is essentially of a civil nature has been given a cloak of a criminal offence. Where the ingredients required to constitute a criminal offence are not made out from a bare reading of the complaint, the continuation of the criminal proceeding will constitute an abuse of the process of the court.

The entire case can be accessed here.

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