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Quashing of FIR and criminal proceedings of 498A by High Court under Section 482 of CrPC

Quashing of FIR and criminal proceedings of 498A by High Court under Section 482 of CrPC
Quashing of FIR brings lot of succour to the accused when a false case is filed against him. Especially when 498A false cases are field against the husbands they have a ray of hope in approaching the Hon'ble High Court for getting the false case or FIR quashed under Section 482 of CrPC.

Although we live in civilized society and we are supposed to live with our sense of civilization and sensitivity towards each other bearing in mind to have minimum amount of friction and ill will for others but it does not happen so. We often see that people around us unnecessary give rise to situations where one may file a case against the other for no reason whatsoever but just to antagonise and afflict pain in order to seek some kind of revenge or pleasure out of it. This happens not only among the persons who are not related like in cases filed under the SC ST Prevention of Atrocities Act but also among persons who are related like husband in wife when cases are filed under Section 498A of IPC. It is not that all the times the cases are false and frivolous but yes, many a times they are and it is the predicament of our criminal system that we do not have a proper mechanism to filter a false case unless it goes into trial.

Imagine a situation where an innocent, naïve person has been implicated in a false case. What kind of ordeal he has to undergo? Ask a criminal lawyer about it and he would describe that. The overall effect of the trial on the accused is such that by the end of it he does not remain an innocent anymore, especially in the false cases. Moreover, owing the idiosyncratic nature of the proceedings the whole process of acquittal would take years for sure.

What is the way out, if it is going to take such a long time to get acquittal in a false case? The solution is to move the high court for quashing of the FIR if the charge sheet is not filed in the court or of it is filed then to quash the proceedings in the lower court. The High Courts have the extra ordinary jurisdiction under Section 482 of Criminal Procedure Code of 1973 to allow quashing of FIR and proceedings in lower court. Since this is not a mandatory provision but an inherent power of the Court enabling it to do so hence in the year 2017 the Apex Court formulated the 10 broad guidelines for quashing of FIR under Section 482 of CrPC while dealing with case of

Parbatbhai Aahir & Ors. Vs. State of Gujarat & Anr. (Criminal Appeal No. 1723 of 2017)

A full bench comprising of Hon'ble Mr. Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Hon'ble Mr. Justice AM Khanwilkar and Hon'ble Mr. Justice DY Chandrachud has laid down broad principles from various precedents in relation to Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure  for quashing of First Information Reports  which are as follow;

  1. 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;
  2. 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.
  3. 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;
  4. While the inherent power of the High Court has a wide ambit and plenitude it has to be exercised;
  5. to secure the ends of justice or
  6. to prevent an abuse of the process of any court;
  7. 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;
  8. 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;
  9. 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;
  10. 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;
  11. 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 conviction is remote and the continuation of a criminal proceeding would cause oppression and prejudice; and
  12. 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.


As it is seen above from the guidelines, they are quite qualified and say that crimes which are grave and heinous in nature and have serious impact to the society cannot be quashed just like that. But when we talk about 498A cases which are more like private in nature and more so if they are established to some extent to be false in nature by the very fact that the complainant is not taking interest in the case or not appearing on the due date etc. then it becomes easier as seen from the guidelines point of view to get the FIR or the criminal proceedings quashed by the Hon’ble High Court. The accused husband can very well approach the Hon’ble High Court of the respective state and move and application under the Section 482 of the CrPC praying for quashing of the FIR and get the much needed relief for himself and his entire family. 

Posted On : May 27, 2021

Written By :
Abhimanyu  Shandilya

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