Does High Court have the power to quash FIR under Section 482 of CrPC?

What is FIR?

The word FIR (First Information Report) is an information given in written, relates to commission of a cognizable offence which is given to the officer who is in-charge of the police station. Its main objective is to begin the investigation on the crime and to collect evidence as soon as possible. It is a report of the crime it throws much light on the crime. It is basically not defined under code of criminal procedure, 1973 but it is defined under section 154 of CrPC in indirect way. The word “Information” in this section defines the nature of accusation or at least information of a crime given with the purpose of putting the police officer in-order to inspect.

Quashing of F.I.R.

An FIR is quashed by High Court only when the court is convinced that the person is innocent and has been falsely charged. A High Court may quash the FIR on the ground that the case is false . Section 482 in The Code Of Criminal Procedure, 1973 it talks about Saving the inherent powers of High Court in this section it is said that “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 other wise to secure the ends of justice”.

When can a FIR be quashed by High Court?

Under IPC there are two types of offences compoundable and Non-Compoundable offences.

  1. Compoundable offence – The offence which can be settled within the parties outside the court are Compoundable offence . this can be compounded only when both the parties agree with their free consent to the decision and there is no coercion made on the person to compound a particular offence
  2. Non-Compoundable offence – The offence which cannot be settled between the parties outside the court are Non- Compoundable offence.

Any person been charged of committing Non-Compoundable offence can approach High Court and file writ petition under Article 226 of the Indian Constitution and the FIR has been registered against him can approach the court by making a plea to quash the FIR if it is falsely and illegally registered. Section 482 specifically tells that it gives power to HC to act in any manner to make justice meet under this section HC can quash FIR if it is lodged for flawed purposes to defame and trouble the aggrieved.

Ways in which FIR can be quashed by High Court

  • FIR quashed after filling charge sheet – An FIR quashed after filling the charge sheet where parties reaches to a modus vivendi in which the accused appraises that there is no material evidence against him even after the investigation, through Section 482 is the power given to the High Court to quash an FIR even after filing of Charge Sheet by the prosecution.
  • FIR quashed on compromise basis An FIR quashed on the basis of compromise when The complainant and accused enter into a compromising relation where Both the parties can file a petition under Section 482 CrPC for quashing of F.I.R. Then Court analyzes the facts and situation of the matter before passing an order for quashing of FIR. If the Court is not satisfied with the facts of the compromise, then it can refuse the quashing on the basis of compromise. The parties can approach the Trial Court if the offence is compoundable and High Court rejects the quashing of  FIR.
  • FIR quashed in matrimonial cases – An FIR quashed in matrimonial case for example., a women files false complaint of cruelty by her husband and relatives under Section 498 A and Section 406 of IPC. the parties within matrimonial dispute can enter into settlement where it generally reduces in writing and prepare a Mutual Compromise Deed containing all the terms and conditions of the settlement and hence the FIR can be quashed.
  • FIR quashed in Financial cases – Quashing of FIR in Financial Disputes when there is settlement of dispute within the parties after parties agree to terms. Parties often resort to a Compromise Deed and go for quashing of FIR but if there is certain serious offence other than financial offences then The High Court can, by the virtue of its powers under Section 482 CrPC pass an order for quashing on the grounds of settlement on the basis of facts and circumstances of the case.

Important Provisions

F.I.R.

  • Section 154 of CrPC: The meaning of the “cognizable offence” is defined. According to Section 2(c) of the code of criminal procedure cognizable offence means an offence in which, a police officer may, in accordance with the first schedule or under any other law for the time being enforce, arrest without warrant. (GausaOraon case) The word Information was defined in this case. The word information mentioned under Section154(1) of the Code of Criminal Procedure. It is the information given to the officer-in-charge of the police station in the form of compliant or accusation regarding the commission or suspected commission of a cognizable offence.
  • Section 156 :The FIR does not discloses the cognizable offence, justifying and investigation by the police officer.
  • Section 155(2) :The allegation in the FIR does not constitute a cognizable offence but constitute only non-cognizable offence, no investigation is permitted by police officer without an order of magistrate.

Quashing of F.I.R.

  • Article 226 of Constitution : Article 226, gives powers to the high courts to issue, to any person or authority, including the government, writs(habeas corpus, mandamus, prohibition, quo warranto, certiorari). The quashing in the criminal proceedings takes place in the rarest of the rare cases and the court cannot be justified upon an inquiry as to the liability , inherent power of court do not confer an arbitrary jurisdiction on the court to act according to its will.
  • Section 482 of CrPC : “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”.

Rights of acquitted person after FIR is quashed

Can FIR quash after getting discharged from the Court? Yes, when the acquitted person pled Court for instituting criminal proceedings against the complainant. There are some remedies available to the acquitted:

  • Section 50(2) CrPC: if the Magistrate is satisfied that there was no reasonable ground for making the accusation, may, for reasons to be recorded, make an order that compensation of a certain amount to be paid by such complainant.
  • Section 182 of IPC: In which the person who provides false information, with intention or knowledge of it to be false, just to defame the other person, shall be punished with Imprisonment of term which may extend to six months, or with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees, or both.
  • Section 200 CrPC: This section tells that a private complaint for false charges under which offence that intents to cause injury of any criminal proceeding against him, or unjustly charging him with an offence .
  • Section 211 IPC: Tells the complainant who made false allegations and fabricated FIR shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both. If such criminal proceeding be instituted on a false charge of an offence punishable with death, imprisonment for life, or imprisonment for seven years or more.
  • Section 250 CrPC: Accusation made without any reasonable cause, section 250(3) the Magistrate may, by the order directing payment of the compensation under sub-section (2), further order that, in default of payment, the person ordered to pay such compensation shall undergo simple imprisonment for a period not exceeding thirty days.

Rights against the public servant

  • Section 167 IPC : In this any Public servant who is charged with the preparation of any document in a manner which he knows or believes to be unlawful and still intends to cause trouble to any person, shall be punished with imprisonment or a term which may extend to three years, or with fine, or both.
  • Section 219 IPC: if any public servant who corruptly or maliciously makes or pronounces any report, order, verdict, decision in any stage of a judicial proceeding, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to seven years, fine, or with both.
  • Section 220 IPC: If any officer which gives legal authority to commit persons for trial or to confinement, or to keep persons in confinement and if he maliciously commits any person for trial or to confinement, or keeps any person in confinement, shall be punished with imprisonment of term which may extend to seven years, or with fine, or with both.

Important Case Laws

[1]Pepsi food limited v. Special judicial magistrate and others

In this case the provision(Articles 226,227) of the constitution of India and Section 482of the code of criminal procedure used as a device to advance. The power of judicial review is exercised to protect the miscarriage of justice. The apex court held that nomenclature under which petition is filled is irrelevant because it does not prevent the courts from exerting its jurisdiction which otherwise is a special procedure prescribed which is mandatory.

[2]State of Haryana and others v. Bhajan Lal

Supreme Court laid down the Inherent power as under in which the allegations made under first information report . Fir does not disclose the cognizable offence, under Sec.156 clause (1) of the court. The FIR or complaint and the evidence collected in support of the same do not disclose the commission of any offence and make out as case against the accused, investigation is not permitted by any police officer without order of magistrate said under Sec. 155(2) of the code of criminal procedure.

[3]Mrs. Dhan Lakshmi v. R. Prasanna Kumar & Ors.

In this case the apex court cited approval for the proposition and held that the High Court should interfere to abuse of process of court otherwise call for quashing of the F.I.R.

[4]D.K.Basu v. State of West Bengal, (1997)

In this case victim of crime or his kith and kin become frustrated and contempt for law develops. The Apex Court held that when the crime goes unpunished, the criminals are encouraged and the society suffers.

[5]Arnab Goswami v. State of Maharashtra

The Apex court held that while deciding a quashing petition, the HC is duty-bound to undertake a prima facie evaluation of whether the ingredients of the alleged offence have been established in the FIR.

Conclusion

Law is made for welfare of people yet some try to misuse law by filing false FIR to cause trouble to innocent people and implicate them with false charges, hence sec.482 under CrPC protects them. Neither information nor complaint taken cognizance by the Magistrate nor charge-sheet which is nothing but the result of the investigation can be quashed by this court in exercise of the jurisdiction under section 482 CrPC. The court in appropriate cases, may interfere and quash up the proceedings in a criminal to prevent abuse of process of any court or to protect the end of justice.


[1]Pepsi Foods Limited v. Special Judicial Magistrate SCC 1998(5) 749.

[2]State of Haryana v. Bhajan Lal SCC 1992 (1) 335.

[3]Mrs. Dhanalakshmi vs. R. Prasanna Kumar &Ors. AIR 1990 SC 494.

[4]D.K.Basu v. State of West Bengal SCC 1997(1)  416.

[5]Arnab Manoranjan Goswami v. State of Maharashtra, AIR 2021 SC (1).


References

  1. Supreme Court On Section 482 CrPC :Have The Inherent Powers Of High Courts Been Diluted?
  2. RATANLAL AND DHIRAJLAL’S THE CODE OF CRIMINAL PROCEDURE, (LEXIS NEXIS, 22 ND EDITION.) , Section 482 of  Criminal Procedure code, Article 226 of the Constitution of India.
  3. SCC ONLINE
  4. MANUPATRA

What is FIR?

The word FIR (First Information Report) is an information given in written, relates to commission of a cognizable offence which is given to the officer who is in-charge of the police station.

Can a High Court quash the FIR?

Any person charged with non-compoundable offence can approach the High Court under Article 226 of the Constitution.

Under which Section of CrPC, the High Court gets inherent powers?

Section 482 of CrPC gives the inherent powers to the High Court.

What is the different ways FIR can be quashed by High Court?

FIR can be quashed in four different ways- (i) after filing charge sheet (ii) on compromise basis (iii) in matrimonial cases (iv) in financial cases.

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