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Quashing of FIR under Section 482 of the Criminal Procedure Code

Today we live in an age where the legal system is highly developed. The governance of rights and liabilities depend upon the law and its principles, rather than equality, and we still find the basis of such laws in the concept of justice. Justice has been the central theme of all the civilizations of the world. In our legal system, every court is composed to serve justice to the people. The court must be deemed to possess all such powers that may be necessary to do the right thing and to undo the wrong in the process of providing justice. The court has an inherent duty to stop the abuse of the existing processes of the court. The Supreme Court has always risen to the occasion to ensure that the supremacy of law prevails, yet its strict adherence does harm to no one.

Section 482, under the 37th Chapter of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, titled ‘Miscellaneous’ deals with Inherent powers of the Court. The code under this section lays out the provisions for quashing of criminal proceedings.

Section 482 of the Criminal Procedure Code

“Saving of inherent powers of High Court- 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.”

This Section deals with such a power of the high court which is essential to it or which is its characteristic attribute. The section allows the court to pass any order to ensure justice. It also gives the court power to quash the proceedings of the lower court or to quash FIR. According to Black’s law dictionary, quash means ‘to overthrow or abate or vacate or make void’. In other words, quashing of criminal proceedings means putting an end to the legal machinery which was set into motion by the filing of an FIR or Complaint.

Section 482 is an Exact Reproduction of Section 561 of the Criminal Procedure Code

The Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898. It was added by the Code of Criminal Procedure (Amendment) Act of 1923 as the High Courts were unable to render complete justice even in the cases where illegality was apparent. The inherent powers of the High Court as provided under Section 561 – A   of the 1898 Code was vested in the High Court under Article 21 of the Constitution of India.

The procedure for invoking the inherent powers is regulated by rules framed by the High Court and the power to make such rules is conferred on the High Court by the Constitution.

A law is made for the benefit of the people. A law is made to protect people and especially the ones who have been suppressed by the dominating ones. The law tries to fill the gap between the dominating and the dominated. The laws are made keeping in mind the interest of all the people but there is a special consideration for the weak and suppressed people. There are several laws that very clearly indicate that they have been made for the benefit of one or two specified classes of people. The examples of these are a long list which includes the Harijans, women, minorities, etc.

First Information Report under Criminal Procedure Code

According to Section 154 of CRPC[1], states that: –

  • Every information relating to the commission of a cognizable offense orally, if given to the police officer who is in charge of the police station should be written by him and read to the informant and the written statement should be signed by the informant and kept in the books of record by such officer as prescribed in the form by State Government.
  1. Provided that if such information is provided by a woman against whom the offenses are under Section 326 A, Section 326 B, Section 354, Section 354A, Section 354B, Section376D, Section 376E, or Section 509 of IPC[2], is alleged or have been attempted, such information should be recorded by a woman police officer or any other woman officer:
  2. Provided that the person against whom the offenses have been framed under Section 326A, Section 326B, Section 354, Section 354A, Section 354B, Section 376D, Section 376E or Section 509 of IPC[3], are alleged or attempted, is temporarily or permanently mentally or physically disabled then such information must be recorded by a police officer as per the convenience of the person at his house or at a place where he/she is comfortable or as the case may be.
  3. The recording of such information must be video graphed.
  4. The police officer must get such information recorded of that person by the Judicial Magistrate under clause (a) of subsection (5A) of Section 164 as soon as possible.
  • A copy of the information recorded must be provided to the informant for free.
  • If any aggrieved person is refused by a police officer in charge of recording the FIR the information must be sent in writing by post to the Superintendent of Police concerned, if he is satisfied with the information he can start an investigation of committed cognizable offense or he may direct his subordinate or any other police officer to investigate the case and in a manner prescribed by the Code and such officer will have powers of an officer in charge of the police station concerning that offense.

First Information Report plays a primary role whose object is to set the criminal law in motion and it is not possible to give every minute details. FIR in itself is not proof rather it is evidence that helps and is used for corroborating the case. FIR is all the facts and circumstances on which the prosecution relies. It only states the basics of the case.

When High court can quash an FIR?

Quash[4] means to officially say that a decision made by a court is no longer legally acceptable or correct, or to take any action to stop something from continuing.

According to Section 482 of CRPC[5], to prevent abuse of a process High Court can use its inherent power to quash the proceedings but their need to be a justification of disclose of evidence which proofs that the complaint was frivolous or the Court is convinced that the person is innocent and has been falsely implicated and will ask the Police to set the aggrieved person free if he is arrested. Following are the examples: –

  • The most common case in which the High court can use its power is in the cases of Dowry, Harassment, and Domestic Violence.
  • An aggrieved person can request the High Court for quashing the FIR which has been lodged only to defame or trouble him.

There have been several cases where the High Court is questioned that in various offenses of FIR the high court has no right to quash the same but the Supreme Court clearly states that the High Court has inherent power under Section 482 of CRPC[6] and it cannot be questioned once they are satisfied.

Inherent powers of the High Court to quash the FIR

According to Section 482[7] of The Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 states that: –

  • That the code specifies that High Court has got the power to act in any manner to make the two ends of justice meet preventing the abuse of the process.
  • The high court can quash an FIR if it thinks which has been lodged is a false one and was done with the sole motive to defame and trouble the aggrieved person.
  • If any person is frivolously been accused of an offense, they can approach High Court and file a writ petition under Article 226[8] of the Indian Constitution read with Section 482 of The Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973.
  • The burden of proof is on the petitioner to prove that the FIR has been lodged only for malicious reasons and to trouble the petitioner.

Conclusion

Section 482 CrPC has a very wide scope and is an essential part of the functioning of the High courts to meet the end of justice but at the same time, it must be noted that the power so assigned is so vast and can be easily misinterpreted. So, it becomes important for the courts to use it wisely and according to the guidelines laid down by High Courts and Supreme Court.

Section 482 of CrPC has made its space in CrPC to not only enable the High Courts to provide proper justice but also to curb the filing of fictitious complaints.

[1] The Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973.

[2] Indian Penal Code 1860.

[3] Indian Penal Code 1860.

[4] Oxford Dictionary.

[5] The Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973.

[6] The Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973.

[7] The Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973.

[8] The Constitution of India.

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Written by Kritikaa Bhatt

Kritikaa Bhatt is a Law student. She has worked at Delhi offices and District Courts and High Court. She is passionate about her work. Because she loves what she does, she has a steady source of motivation that drives her to give her best.

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