Inherent power under S. 482 CrPC cannot be exercised to recall a matter which has been finally disposed of by the Court

Allahabad High Court: In a matter where the applicant sought to recall an order whereby the petition was disposed of directing the court below to conclude the trial under Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881,  the  Court refused to exercise it’s inherent power under Section 482 of Criminal Procedure Code, 1973.

The Court said that Section 362 of the Criminal Procedure Code is based on an acknowledged principle of law that once a matter is finally disposed of by a court, the said court in the absence of a specific statutory provision becomes functus officio and is dis-entitled to entertain a fresh prayer for any relief unless the former order of final disposal is set aside by a court of competent jurisdiction in a manner prescribed by law. It was further held that The power to recall a judgment will not be exercised when the ground for reopening the proceedings or vacation the judgement was available to be pleaded in the original action but was not done or where a proper remedy in some other proceeding such as by way of appeal or revision was available but was not availed.

It was further said that the effect that the criminal justice delivery system does not clothe the Court to add or delete any words, except to correct the clerical or arithmetical error as specifically been provided under the Statute itself after the pronouncement of the judgment. The inherent powers under Section 482 of the Criminal Procedure Code is intended to prevent the abuse of the process of the Court and to secure ends of justice. Such power cannot be exercised to do something that has been expressly barred under the Code.

The bench of Suneet Kumar J., also laid down 4 conditions when a Tribunal or a Court can review its earlier order:

  1. if the proceedings culminating into an order suffer from the inherent lack or jurisdiction and such lack of jurisdiction is patent.
  2. there exists a fraud or collusion in obtaining the judgment.
  3. there has been a mistake prejudicing a party, or
  4. a judgment was rendered in ignorance of the fact that a necessary party has not been serving at all or had died and the estate was not represented.

[V.K. Anand . State of U.P, 2016 SCC OnLine All 392, decided on 30.05.2016]

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