Inherent powers under S.482 Cr.P.C. not to be used in quashing FIRs under S.376 IPC: High Court of Delhi

Court cannot be inclined to quash the FIR in which offense under Section 376 IPC has been leveled against the petitioner, for the reasons that an offense under Section 376 IPC is one against the society and High Courts ought not to use the inherent powers under Section 482. This was held in PAWAN GAUR v. STATE (NCT OF DELHI) [CRL.M.C. 981/2021] in the High Court of Delhi by single bench consisting of JUSTICE SUBRAMONIUM PRASAD.

Facts of the case are that FIR was filed for offenses under Sections 376 and 354 IPC against the petitioner. Both parties have entered into amicable settlement. The current petition under Section 482 of the Cr.P.C. has been filed for quashing the FIR .

The Court relied on the judgement of Apex Court in Gian Singh v. State of Punjab to discuss the jurisdiction of the court to quash processing under S.482, which deals with the power of court to secure justice and prevent the abuse of court process, the Apex court in the case had observed as under, “In what cases power to quash the criminal proceeding or complaint or FIR may be exercised where the offender and the victim have settled their dispute would depend on the facts and circumstances of each case and no category can be prescribed. However, before exercise of such power, the High Court must have due regard to the nature and gravity of the crime. Heinous and serious offenses of mental depravity or offenses like murder, rape, dacoity, etc. cannot be fittingly quashed even though the victim or victim’s family and the offender have settled the dispute.”

The court also referred to the Supreme Court in Narinder Singh & Ors. v. State of Punjab & Anr,  wherein it was held that, “Such a power is not to be exercised in those prosecutions which involve heinous and serious offenses of mental depravity or offenses like murder, rape, dacoity, etc. Such offenses are not private in nature and have a serious impact on society. Similarly, for the offenses alleged to have been committed under special statute like the Prevention of Corruption Act or the offenses committed by public servants while working in that capacity are not to be quashed merely on the basis of compromise between the victim and the offender.”

Considering the precedent and the facts of the case High Court stated that, the judgements of the Supreme Court are binding on the High court under Article 141 of the Constitution. The court further stated that as offenses under S.376 of IPC are against the society, they cannot be quashed by the inherent powers, even in cases where the prosecutrix and the alleged offender have entered into a compromise.

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