Criminal Proceedings Can Be Quashed At Post-Conviction Stage by Invoking Power U/S 482 CrPC Upon Settlement Between Victim & Convict: Kerala HC


Criminal Proceedings Can Be Quashed At Post-Conviction Stage by Invoking Power U/S 482 CrPC Upon Settlement Between Victim & Convict: Kerala HC

What is the case

  • In this case, the defendants were found guilty of violating Indian Penal Code Sections 143, 147, 149, 326, 307 read with section 149. The accused filed an application under Sections 482 and 320 of the Cr.P.C. to quash the entire proceedings and set aside the conviction and punishment on the grounds that the entire conflict between him and the victim had been resolved.
  • According to the claimant, the power under Section 482 CrPC may be used to quash criminal proceedings of any sort, whether compoundable or non-compoundable, at any time, except after the defendant and the victim have reached an agreement.
  • The Kerala High Court held that criminal proceedings involving non-compoundable offences may be quashed at the post-conviction level by using the power under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure in the event of a settlement between the defendant and the victim.
  • According to Section 482 of the Criminal Procedure Code, "The High Court's inherent powers are preserved. Nothing in this Code shall be construed to restrict or affect the High Court's inherent powers to make such orders as may be required to carry out any order made under this Code, to avoid violation of any Court's procedure, or to otherwise protect the ends of justice."
  • The court went on to say that such powers cannot be limited to being used only until an accused is found guilty.


Details of the Judgement

  • If the requirements of S.482 of the Cr.P.C. were satisfied in the sense that it was necessary to prevent abuse of any Court's processor to secure the ends of justice, criminal proceedings involving non-compoundable offences, maybe quashed notwithstanding the fact that the order of conviction has already been passed against the accused, provided the offence in question does not fall into the category of the offence.
  • Agreeing with the argument, the court stated that since the inherent power of quashing criminal proceedings under Section 482 is broad and can be used to secure the ends of justice, such powers cannot be limited to being used only prior to an accused's conviction.
  • The mere fact that the order of conviction was awaiting appeal or revision could not be used as a reason to refuse to exercise powers under Section 482 of the Cr.P.C. to quash the criminal proceedings, particularly when the parties to the dispute had reached an agreement.
  • As a result, it is believed that if the requirements of S.482 of the Cr.P.C. were met in the sense that it was necessary to prevent abuse of the Court's system to secure the ends of justice, criminal proceedings involving non-compoundable offences may be quashed notwithstanding the fact that an order of conviction had already been issued against the accused, such that the offence in question did not fall under the category ofcompounding.

Conclusion

  • The court acknowledged that the offence for which the accused was convicted in this case does not require mental depravity or crimes of a heinous nature such as kidnapping, dacoity, or murder. "It does not come under the category of offences identified as prohibited in the Apex Court's pronouncements to be compounded under Section 482 of the Cr.P.C. The conflict seems to be personal in nature, and the victim has lost interest in continuing the criminal case ". The criminal proceedings against the accused were quashed by the court.

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