Under CrPC which is Criminal Procedure Code of India, Criminal Proceedings or you may call it FIR registered against you can be quashed under section 482 respectively. But not all cases can be quashed. There is a specific criteria which needs to be fulfilled and only High Court of respective states have got power to quash FIR proceedings and fraudulent Criminal Complaints.
High Court can exercise powers under their extraordinary jurisdiction under Article 226 of Constitution of India to quash unwarranted criminal proceedings. This can be done to prevent abuse of the process of court otherwise to secure the ends of justice, though it may not be possible to lay down any precise, clearly defined set criteria for quashing of cases as it has to be seen for each case on its own unique and distinct facts.
The magna carta judgment on this topic is of State Of Haryana And Ors vs Ch. Bhajan Lal And Ors on 21 November, 1990, 1992 AIR 604, 1990 SCR Supl. (3) 259.
The laid down principles forquashing of criminal cases are herein follow:
(a) where the allegations made in the First Information Report or the complaint, even if they are taken at their face value and accepted in their entirety do not prima facie constitute any offence or make out a case against the accused;
(b) where the allegations in the First Information Report and other materials, if any, accompanying the F.I.R. do not disclose a cognizable offence, justifying an investi- gation by police officers under Section 156(1) of the Code except under an order of a Magistrate within the purview of Section 155(2) of the Code;
(c) where the uncontroverted allegations made in the FIR or 'complaint and the evidence collected in support of the same do not disclose the commission of any offence and make out a case against the accused;
(d) where the allegations in the FIR do not constitute a cognizable offence but constitute only a non-cognizable offence, no investigation is permitted by a police officer without an order of a Magistrate as contemplated under Section 155(2) of the Code;
(e) where the allegations made in the FIR or complaint are so absurd and inherently improbable on the basis of which no prudent person can ever reach a just conclusion that there is sufficient ground for proceeding against the accused;
(f) where there is an express legal bar engrafted in any of the provisions of the Code or the concerned Act (under which a criminal proceeding is instituted) to the institu- tion and continuance of the proceedings and/or where there is a specific provision in the Code or the concerned Act, providing efficacious redress for the grievance of the aggrieved party;
(g) where a criminal proceeding is manifestly attended with mala fide and/or where the proceeding is maliciously instituted with an ulterior motive for wreaking vengeance on the accused and with a view to spite him due to private and personal grudge.
If your case fulfills any of the above criteria, you can easily get criminal proceedings quashed against you. However these conditions are not exhaustive and merely suggestive in nature. So far this is the most cited and relied upon judgment on the topic of ‘How to Quash FIR or Criminal Complaint’.
Proceedings can also be quashed on the basis of compromise or settlement reached between the parties permissible under law. Courts every now and then with new judgment build guidelines along with the framework of quashing proceedings where no useful purpose would be served and it is against the interest of justice.
In a noted judgment of Supreme Court on the subject, Narinder Singh & Ors. Vs. Punjab State and Anr. , it was shared
‘If in a particular case the Court is of the opinion that the settlement between the parties would lead to more good; better relations between them; would prevent further occurrence of such encounters between the parties, it may hold settlement to be on a better pedestal. It is a delicate balance between the two inflicting interests which is to be achieved by the Court after examining all these parameters and then deciding as to which course of action it should take in a particular case.’
Supreme Court recently issued fresh guidelines on 4th October on Quashing of FIR/Criminal Proceedings On The Ground of Settlement Between Parties. Here is the relevant para for your reference:
The Court after discussing various precedents on the subject summarised the following propositions in relation to Section 482 for quashing FIRs.
(i) Section 482 preserves the inherent powers of the High Court to prevent an abuse of the process of any court or to secure the ends of justice. The provision does not confer new powers. It only recognises and preserves powers which inhere in the High Court;
(ii) The invocation of the jurisdiction of the High Court to quash a First Information Report or a criminal proceeding on the ground that a settlement has been arrived at between the offender and the victim is not the same as the invocation of jurisdiction for the purpose of compounding an offence. While compounding an offence, the power of the court is governed by the provisions of Section 320 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973. The power to quash under Section 482 is attracted even if the offence is non-compoundable.
(iii) In forming an opinion whether a criminal proceeding or complaint should be quashed in exercise of its jurisdiction under Section 482, the High Court must evaluate whether the ends of justice would justify the exercise of the inherent power;
(iv) While the inherent power of the High Court has a wide ambit and plenitude it has to be exercised; (i) to secure the ends of justice or (ii) to prevent an abuse of the process of any court;
(v) The decision as to whether a complaint or First Information Report should be quashed on the ground that the offender and victim have settled the dispute, revolves ultimately on the facts and circumstances of each case and no exhaustive elaboration of principles can be formulated;
(vi) In the exercise of the power under Section 482 and while dealing with a plea that the dispute has been settled, the High Court must have due regard to the nature and gravity of the offence. Heinous and serious offences involving mental depravity or offences such as murder, rape and dacoity cannot appropriately be quashed though the victim or the family of the victim have settled the dispute. Such offences are, truly speaking, not private in nature but have a serious impact upon society. The decision to continue with the trial in such cases is founded on the overriding element of public interest in punishing persons for serious offences;
(vii) As distinguished from serious offences, there may be criminal cases which have an overwhelming or predominant element of a civil dispute. They stand on a distinct footing in so far as the exercise of the inherent power to quash is concerned;
(viii) Criminal cases involving offences which arise from commercial, financial, mercantile, partnership or similar transactions with an essentially civil flavour may in appropriate situations fall for quashing where parties have settled the dispute;
(ix) In such a case, the High Court may quash the criminal proceeding if in view of the compromise between the disputants, the possibility of a 17 conviction is remote and the continuation of a criminal proceeding would cause oppression and prejudice; and
(x) There is yet an exception to the principle set out in propositions (viii) and (ix) above. Economic offences involving the financial and economic well-being of the state have implications which lie beyond the domain of a mere dispute between private disputants. The High Court would be justified in declining to quash where the offender is involved in an activity akin to a financial or economic fraud or misdemeanour. The consequences of the act complained of upon the financial or economic system will weigh in the balance.
The Court then proceeded to dismiss the appeal holding that the High Court was justified in declining to entertain the application for quashing FIR in the exercise of its inherent jurisdiction.
High Courts under Section 482 can exercise inherent power in three circumstances:
- To secure ends of justice
- To prevent abuse of process of Court
- To give effect to an order under the Code.
This all sums up the topic of Quashing of cases at High Chandigarh.
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