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Overview

  • On the 28th of April, in the case of, X vs. State of Kerala, the Kerala High Court decided to reconsider its previous orders under the POSCO Act in which the accused were acquitted by the Court on the ground that the matter was already settled between the two parties.

Background

  • Earlier in three cases from which two were alleged of an offence under the POSCO Act as the victims were minors at that time of the commission of the crime, the Honorable Justice K. Haripal of the Kerala High Court has acquitted the accused in these cases by giving orders for quashing the Final Reports by invoking Section 482of the Criminal Procedure Code.

What Did The Court Say

  • The Court in the present case has decided on a suo moto basis to reconsider its order.
  • The Court said that earlier while passing the order, the Court has not taken into account the Supreme Court judgment in the case of Gian Singh V. State of Punjab, where the Apex Court held that while invoking the jurisdiction under Section 482 of the Cr.P.C., the prime consideration should be to secure ends of justice, to prevent abuse of the process of the Court. The court has also stated that serious and heinous offence of mental depravity or offences like murder, rape, dacoity, etc., cannot be fittingly quashed even though the victim or victim's family and the offender have settled the dispute.
  • The Court also noted the Supreme Court’s order in the cases of, Parbatbhai Aahir @ Parbatbhai Bhimsinhbhai Karmur and Others v. State of Gujarat and Another and also in State of Madhya Pradesh v. Laxmi Narayan and Others, where the Apex Court said that whenever there is a case alleging of rape, murder, etc. the Courts should not invoke its jurisdiction under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure on the ground that the matter was settled between the parties.
  • In the present case the learned counsel for the petitioner pointed out that once an order is passed and signed by the High Court, it cannot review the orders subsequently, to which the Court refused the argument and replied that, "these cases are called today not to review the orders but to point out the omission to note the law laid down by the Apex Court which is binding on this Court. The Supreme Court has made it clear that a recall order is distinct from a review of an order that a recall cannot be refused by strictly applying provisions of Section 362 of the Cr.P.C.”
  • The Court also said that earlier when it passed, it had in mind the case of, Manoj Sharma V. State and Madan Mohan Abott V. State of Punjab, where it was held that when the parties reach a settlement on their own, then ordinarily the Court should not refuse to exercise its Jurisdiction under Section 482 of Cr. P.C or Article 226 of the Constitution of India.

What do you think about this decision of the Court?

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