Jurisdiction under S.482 Cr.P.C to quash proceedings under S.307/308 IPC: High Court of Delhi

The Inherent power of High Courts under Section 482 Cr.P.C can be exercised with caution keeping in mind the particular facts of the case for quashing the proceedings arising out of offenses punishable under Section 307/308 IPC. This was decided in the case of MAHENDER SINGH ALIAS SUNNY & ANR V. THE STATE & ORS [CRL.M.C.852/2021] in the High Court of Delhi by single bench consisting of Hon’ble Justice Subramonium.

The petitioners had started a fight with the respondents, kicked their bike to the ground, physically attacked  the two respondents with kicks. The fight ended with the petitioner abusing and hitting one of the respondent on the head with a danda causing a minor head injury. Charge-sheet was filed against the accused. On intervention of the parents petition for quashing the criminal proceedings was filed.

The High Court while discussing the inherent power of court referred to conflicting opinions in various judgments by the Supreme Court as to whether an offense under Section 307 IPC could be quashed and addressed the difference between the power of compounding of offenses conferred on a court under Section 320 Cr.P.C and the powers conferred under Section 482 Cr.P.C for quashing of criminal proceedings.

 The Court relied on the on the Supreme Court Judgement of  State of M.P. v. Laxmi Narayan, (2019) 5 SCC 688, wherein it was held that, “While exercising the power under Section 482 of the Code to quash the criminal proceedings in respect of non-compoundable offenses, which are private in nature and do not have a serious impact on society, on the ground that there is a settlement/compromise between the victim and the offender, the High Court is required to consider the antecedents of the accused; the conduct of the accused, namely, whether the accused was absconding and why he was absconding, how he had managed with the complainant to enter into a compromise, etc.”

The Court held that considering the parameters laid down in above mentioned case, the inherent power of court can be exercised keeping in mind the  facts such as injuries sustained, nature of weapons used, etc. The court deciding on the facts of the present case quashed the proceedings whilst directing community service.

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