Section 482 CrPC Empowers The HC To Entertain Applications Not Contemplated In The CrPC, To Meet The Ends Of Justice: Punjab And Haryana HC
- In Amit vs State of Haryana and Ors. the Punjab and Haryana HC has held that the inherent powers vested in the HCs under section 482 CrPC can be exercised to entertain applications not contemplated for in the CrPC, if the same is needed to be done to meet the ends of justice.
- These extraordinary powers, acc. to the Court, must be exercised with restraint and not lightly.
- This observation was made by the Hon’ble HC while dealing with an application for quashing an FIR registered under sections 354A and 506 of IPC and section 8 of the POCSO Act.
- The Court considered the fact that the victim was 17 years and 10 months old at the time of the incident, and was now married to the petitioner, and the couple was leading a happy married life, and in light of the same, the Court observed that continuing criminal proceedings would only cause grave injustice to the parties concerned.
- It was also observed that in such situations, the chances of conviction also become remote and bleak.
- Thus, the Court observed that it was a fit case to invoke its inherent powers under section 482 of the Constitution, so as to secure the ends of justice, in light of the settlement that had been reached between the parties and continuation of the proceedings would result in a sheer abuse of the process of law.
- Thus, the application was allowed and the FIR was quashed.
Extra-Judicial Confession Of Co-accused Can Only Be Used For Corroboration: SC
- In Chandrapal vs State of Chhattisgarh the Hon’ble SC has observed that extra-judicial confession made by a co-accused can be used in evidence only for the purposes of corroboration. In absence of any substantive evidence against the accused, the extra-judicial confession loses its significance, and there can be no conviction based solely on such confession.
- In the instant case, 4 accused were convicted by the trial Court under sections 302 and 201 read with section 34 IPC. Allowing the appeal filed by three of the convicts, the Hon’ble HC of Chhattisgarh set aside their conviction and sentence under 302 IPC, but upheld their conviction under section 201 read with section 34 of IPC. The Hon’ble HC rejected the appeal filed by Chandrapal, the fourth convict, who as a result, filed an appeal before the Apex Court.
- It was argued by the appellant that there were major contradictions in the testimonies of the prosecution witnesses as regards the extra judicial confession made by one of the accused, Videshi, and that his conviction cannot solely be based on the extra judicial confession made by one of the co-accused, as the same was a very weak kind of evidence.
- It is important to note that section 30 of the Evidence Act clearly states that when more than one persons are being jointly tried for the same offence, and a confession is made by one of the persons affecting himself and some other of such persons being jointly tried, then the Court may take into consideration such confession against such other persons as well as the person who is making such confession.
- The Court observed that it has been consistently been held that the extra judicial confession is a very weak kind of evidence and unless it inspires confidence or is fully corroborated by other clinching evidence, then, ordinarily conviction for the offence of murder should not be made only on the evidence of such extra-judicial confession.
- The Court also went on to observe that if the weak evidence given by Videshi could not be relied upon to hold the other co-accused guilty, then the same could not also be used against the appellant for holding him guilty for the alleged offence.
- It was also observed that if the evidence of the prosecution falls short of proof of homicidal death, and if the possibility of suicide cannot be ruled out, them the accused could not be convicted merely based on the theory of ‘last seen together’.
- Hence the appeal was allowed, and the conviction of the accused was set aside.