Inherent power under Section 482 CrPC must be exercised judiciously and not capriciously or arbitrarily to avoid undesirable results

Supreme Court: In the matter where the brother of the deceased, who had committed suicide at her matrimonial place at Ambala, had instituted a malicious prosecution after 5 years that too on the basis of anonymous letter and the Chhattisgarh High Court refused to quash the proceedings under Section 482 CrPC, the Court said that to invoke inherent jurisdiction under Section 482 CrPC, the High Court must be fully satisfied that the material produced on record is based on sound, justifiable and reasonable facts.

Considering the fact that the deceased committed suicide at Ambala and the FIR was lodged in Durg, the Court said that the territorial jurisdiction of a court with regard to a criminal offence is decided on the basis of the place of occurrence of the incident. Hence, the court at Durg has no territorial jurisdiction because cause of action, if any, has arisen in Ambala. The Court also took note of the fact that there was no accusation against the appellants before filing of the FIR and hence, the allegations are vague and do not warrant continuation of criminal proceedings against the appellants.

Considering the above-mentioned facts, the bench of Madan B. Lokur and R.K. Agrawal, JJ held that the criminal proceeding is grossly delayed and a result of belated afterthought and the High Court failed to apply the test whether the uncontroverted allegations as made prima facie, establish the offence. It was further held that It is also for the court to take into consideration any special features which appear in a particular case to consider whether it is expedient and in the interest of justice to permit the prosecution to continue. The High Court did not apply its mind judiciously and on an incorrect appreciation of record, ordered for continuance of the investigation on a petition under Section 482 of the Code. This power must be exercised judiciously and not capriciously or arbitrarily, as any improper or capricious exercise of such power may lead to undesirable results. [Manoj Kumar Sharma v. State of Chhattisgarh, 2016 SCC OnLine SC 852, decided on 23.08.2016]

One comment

  • Does the fact that there was no prior accusation dilute the seriousness of allegations contained in the FIR ?

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