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Ashish Vs. State of Maharashtra and Ors. - (High Court of Bombay) (02 Nov 2018)

Inherent power has to be exercised in accordance with guidelines en-grafted



The Accused of Regular Criminal Case pending on the file of Judicial Magistrate First Class, has approached for quashment of First Information Report registered at Police Station and for termination of concerned criminal proceeding. Moreover the short question which falls for consideration is about competency of present Court to invoke inherent powers in terms of Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 at the stage when charge has been already framed by trial Court.

The plain reading of Section 482 of the CrPC nowhere restricts or puts limitation on the powers of this Court in any manner. The object of Section 482 of the CrPC is dual i.e., to prevent abuse of the process of any Court, or to secure the ends of justice. Further the non-obstante clause conveys that the inherent powers of this Court are unfettered meaning thereby has not been limited or restricted by any criteria. Inherent power is of wide plentitude with no statutory limitation but it has to be exercised in accordance with the guidelines en-grafted i.e. to secure the ends of justice and to prevent abuse of process of any Court. No doubt, it would depend on the facts and circumstances of each case and has no straight jacket formula or criteria. While quashing the proceedings, the Court must consider whether it would be unfair or contrary to the interest of justice to continue with the criminal proceedings in the given facts and circumstances.

In case at hand, the offence is about outraging modesty of a woman which is of personal nature. By no stretch of imagination, it can be said that it has far reaching societal impact. The parties have settled the matter. In the circumstances, present is a fit case where the Court should step in and exercise inherent powers for quashment of F.I.R. and consequential criminal proceedings. F.I.R. lodged at Police Station as well as terminate the criminal case pending in the Court of Judicial Magistrate First Class, Nagpur, quashed having effect of acquittal of Applicant/Accused. Application allowed.


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