One of the prime purpose of the law is to safeguard the rights of the citizens and ensure that everything is going according to the norms set under the ambit of the law. But there are some people who misuse the law to harm another person’s reputation, to defame the other, or to blackmail the innocent for the sake of Money. The lawmakers duly considered this issue while making law and give some extraordinary power to every legal person whether it is our Judiciary or Police officer. For example- Under Section 151 of CPC (inherent power of courts is defined), Under section 182 of IPC (police have the special power to quash the FIR), Under Section 482 of CrPC (inherent power of the high court is given), etc. So, the basic meaning of the word ‘Inherent’ is something which is the basic characteristic attribute or something that is vested permanently. The Inherent Power of High Court is incorporated by the Parliament in Criminal Procedure Code via amendment in 1923. This section clearly conveys the fact that it is not providing this power to the court but it is only on the nature of saving clause. The high court is the court of record and because of its constitutional position is envisaged with inherent powers. The content of this section 482 of CrPC talks about three specific provisions which are –
- To give effect to an order under this code.
- To prevent the abuse of the process of the court.
- To otherwise secure the ends of Justice.
The inherent power of the court is not, therefore, to be exercised by the high court frequently as an exercise of inherent power must always be limited to some exceptional cases. Where without applying extraordinary power one can’t seek the Justice at those circumstances court should apply its power. The Supreme court of India has regularly cautioned throughout various judgments against the use of inherent powers by saying that this must not be exercised too frequently. In Madhu Limaye V. State of Maharashtra (1977) 4 SCC 551, the supreme court led down the provisions which would govern the inherent power of a high court given under section 482. It should not be exercised against the express bar of the law engrafted in any other provision of the code.
Quashing of F.I.R –
There is no special provision in this code which deals solely with the quashing of F.I.R. This power lies under the inherent power of the high court. The general meaning of the word ‘Quash’ is to nullify or declare invalid. The term F.I.R has nowhere been defined under CrPC but the first information given to any police officer and reduced to the writing of any cognizable offence is considered as F.I.R. Section 154 of criminal procedure act deals with F.I.R. Sometimes an influential person tries to implicate their rivals in false cases for the purpose of disgracing them or to defame them. When the court feels that accused is falsely involved in the case and purpose is to harm his honour and dignity than with using its extraordinary power high court vested in section 482 of CrPC can quash the F.I.R. The power to Quash under this section is attracted by both compoundable cases and non-compoundable cases too. In the case of Mrs Dhanalakshmi V. R. Prasanna Kumar (1990), High court stated that with using inherent power, Court can quash all those complaint proceedings which are filed without any purpose and all the allegations framed in that complaint are also void. In the similar case of State of Haryana V. Bhanjlal (1992), Supreme court laid down various grounds in which High court can quash any false complaint as well as F.I.R. The Indian Penal Code gives power to Police also to punish the wrongdoer who files a false complaint with malafide intention with both punishment of 6 months and fine under section 182 of I.P.C. In the case of Rakhi Mishra v. State of Bihar (Criminal Appeal No. 1499 of 2017), the supreme court recapitulate the premise of extraordinary power will be used by the high court in exceptional circumstances only. In Parbatbhai Aahir & Ors. Vs. State of Gujarat & Anr. (Criminal Appeal No. 1723 of 2017), a full bench comprising honourable Chief Justice of India too laid down the broad principles with The help of various earlier precedents in relation to section 482 of CrPC for quashing the F.I.R.
Latest Judgement –
Chilakamarthi Venkateswarlu vs The State of Andhra Pradesh (on 31 July 2019), the supreme court held that power to quash the proceedings is generally exercised when there is no material to proceed against the petitioner even if the allegations in the complaint are prima facie accepted as true. While giving verdict various earlier cases were referred by the apex court. The bench of Hon’ble Justice Dr D.Y Chandrachud and Indira Banerjee made following observations on the scope of the power stated under this section –
- The inherent jurisdiction through wide and expansive should be used carefully.
- Three conditions which are mentioned above should be fulfilled for the interference of this power.
- In exercising jurisdiction under section 482 it is not permissible by the court to act as if it is where a trial court.
- The power should not be used to stifle a legitimate prosecution.
- If someone files false complaint against you than the first thing you have to do is apply for bail (regular or anticipatory) which suits your case.
- Then with the help of your lawyer, you have to file an application in the high court under this section.
- If the F.I.R registered against you is false then it is clearly implied you have some evidence too against it. You have to attach all those evidence in your applications which proves that the complaint filed against you is null and void.
- After examine with judicial mind court can quash the complaint against you only if you are successful to prove the court about false complaint.
- Then court order to quash the complaint and remove all the charges that were framed against you. Now you can file a case under defamation (Section 500 of I.P.C) and punishes the wrongdoer with compensation or imprisonment up to 2 years.