Section 482, under the 37th Chapter of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, titled ‘Miscellaneous’ deals with Inherent powers of the Court. It states
“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 so as to ensure justice. It also gives the court power to quash the proceedings of lower court or to quash FIRs.
Section 482 of the Cr.P.C. is an exact reproduction of Section 561- A of 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 in accordance with 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.
The powers of the High Court under Section 482 Cr.P.C are partly administrative and partly judicial. The section was added by the Code of Criminal Procedure (Amendment) Act of 1923, as the High Courts were unable to render complete justice even if in a given case the illegality was palpable and apparent.
The Hon’ble Supreme Court in State of Karnataka v. Muniswamy AIR 1977 SC 1489, held that the section envisages 3 circumstances in which the inherent jurisdiction may be exercised, namely, “to give effect to an order under CrPC, to prevent abuse of the process of the court, and to secure the ends of justice“.
The Hon’ble Allahabad High Court went on to state that, “The section is a sort of reminder to the High Courts that they are not merely courts in law, but also courts of justice and possess inherent powers to remove injustice“.
The inherent power of the High Court is an inalienable attribute of the position it holds with respect to the courts subordinate to it. They are necessarily judicial when they are exercisable with respect to a judicial order and for securing the ends of justice. The jurisdiction under Section 482 is discretionary; therefore, the high court may refuse to exercise the discretion if a party has not approached it with clean hands.
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