Section 482 Cr.P.C: Recent SC Judgments

Section 482 Cr.P.C: Recent supreme Court Judgments and modifications

Author –  Pallav vats, Geeta Institute of Law

Section 482 in The Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973  

Saving of inherent powers of the 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.

Cases:-

Anand Kumar Mohatta and Anr. v. State[1], 15 November, 2018

The Hon’ble Supreme Court observed that while deciding a petition under Section 482 of Cr.P.C, the High Court can quash an FIR even when it has materialized into a charge sheet. The Hon’ble Supreme Court also observed that: -There is nothing in the words of Section 482 of Cr.P.C which restricts the exercise of the power of the Court to prevent the abuse of the process of court or miscarriage of justice only to the stage of the FIR.

Narayan MalhariThorat vs ViyanakDeoraoBhagat[2]

The Supreme Court of India on November 28, 2018, in the case of Narayan MalhariThorat v. VinayakDeoraoBhagat and Anr. has held that when the investigation was yet to be completed and charge sheet, if any, was yet to be filed, a High Court, in a petition filed by the accused under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973,  cannot go into the aspect whether there was requisite mental element of intention on part of the accused.

In this case, the Bombay High Court had quashed an FIR registered against the accused of abetting suicide. In the suicide note, the deceased had made a definite allegation against the accused.

The Bombay High Court, while quashing the FIR, observed that there is no material whatsoever even of a prima facie nature to establish that the accused had either an intention to aid or instigate or abet Sanjay (victim) to commit suicide.

The appellant, seeking to have the apex court quash the judgment passed by the Bombay High Court contended that the Bombay High Court was not justified in entering into questions whether the record prima facie established that the respondent had requisite intention in order to bring the matter within the confines of Section 306 IPC, 1860, and in quashing the FIR in exercise of jurisdiction under Section 482 CrPC.

The Bench comprising of Justice Uday Umesh Lalit and Justice Dhananjaya Y. Chandrachud allowed the appeal by observing that “there are definite allegations that the first respondent would keep on calling the wife of the victim on her mobile and keep harassing her which allegations are supported by the statements of the mother and the wife of the victim recorded during the investigation. The record shows that 3-4 days prior to the suicide there was an altercation between the victim and the first respondent. In light of these facts, coupled with the fact that the suicide note made a definite allegation against the first respondent, the High Court was not justified in entering into question whether the first respondent had the requisite intention to aid or instigate or abate the commission of suicide. At this juncture when the investigation was yet to be completed and charge-sheet, if any, was yet to be filed, the High Court ought not to have gone into the aspect whether there was a requisite mental element of intention on part of the respondent.”

The Bench directed the authorities to complete the investigation as early as possible.

Md. Allauddin Khan vs The State Of Bihar[3]

The Supreme Court on April 15, 2019, in the case of Md. Allauddin Khan v. The State of Bihar &Ors. has observed that mere pendency of a civil suit between complainant and accused is not a ground to quash the criminal case.

The Bench comprising of Justice Abhay Manohar Sapre and Justice Dinesh Maheshwari was hearing an appeal filed against the judgment passed by the Patna High Court wherein the High Court had quashed the criminal proceedings against two accused

DineshbhaiChandubhai Patel v State of Gujarat[4]

It was held that the position in law is that the Courts should not exceed their powers while giving judgments and should allow the investigating machinery and law to function before concluding on any case and giving its decision. In such situations, the investigation later may turn out to be biased. Thus, the High Court did not follow the inherent jurisdictional powers and so the decision pronounced was erred and flawed.

Prof RK Vijayasarathy vs. SudhaSeetharam[5]

The Two-Bench of the Supreme Court in the instant case analyzed the essential ingredients of Section 482 of the 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 of the case the Apex Court the following essential observations on the law envisaged under Section 482 of CrPC:

  • That the High Court, in the 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 essential 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.

Atul Shukla Vs State of Madhya Pradesh[6]

SC held in Atul Shukla V. The State of Madhya Pradesh &Anr that An application for review or modification could not have been entertained.

State of Madhya Pradesh vs Laxmi Narayan[7]

the Supreme Court of India held that the issue of compounding of non-compoundable offences by a high court in the exercise of its inherent power under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) in a catena of decisions. However, there was a conflict in law due to varying observations made by the Supreme Court. To address this conflict, a three-judge bench of the Supreme Court comprising A K Sikri J, S Abdul Nazeer J, and M R Shah J, in the case of The State of Madhya Pradesh vs Lakshmi Narayan and others [Criminal Appeal No 349 of 2019 along with Criminal Appeal No 350 of 2019], laid down guidelines for the exercise of inherent power of high courts under Section 482 of the CrPC while quashing criminal proceedings in case of non-compoundable offences.


[1]SLP (Crl.) No. 3730 of 2016]

[2](CRL.) No.7933 of 2018]

[3]S.L.P.(Crl.) No.1151 of 2018)

[4]S.L.P.(Crl.)No.5155 of 2017)

[5](CRL) No. 1434 of 2018]

[6]M.Cr.C. No.3811/2009

[7]350 OF 2019

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