0

Only in exceptional cases the High Court may quash an FIR in exercise of its inherent powers : Madhya Pradesh High Court

It was upheld by High Court of Madhya Pradesh in the case of Manish Kumar Kartroliya vs The State Of Madhya Pradesh (MCRC-39483-2021) that only in exceptional cases and where it is found that non interference would result into miscarriage of justice, the High Court, in exercise of its inherent powers under Section 482 Cr.P.C. and/or Article 226 of the Constitution of India, may quash the FIR/complaint/criminal proceedings.

Facts of the Case : An application was filed under Section 482 of CrPC for quashing of FIR for offence under Sections 353, 332, 336, 147, 148, 149 of IPC as well as under Section 3 of Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act, 1984.

On 2nd of April, 2018, a procession was being taken by the members of reserved category against certain provisions of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989. When the procession reached near Lohiya Check Bazar, Lahar, 300 persons who were the members of the procession started trying to forcibly shut down the market. However, those persons were informed that it is illegal to get the market closed, but they did not stop. Manish S/o Shivlal was also one of the members of the procession. When the police requested them not to act in such a manner and tried to restrain the members of the procession from closing down the market, then one person amongst the mob threw a stone on the complainant (SHO), which hit on the right side of his back. When the police tried to disperse the mob, the mob went to the police station and started pelting stones on the police station, as a result, not only, property of the police station damaged, but the constable also suffered an injury below his eye.

It was submitted by the counsel for the applicant that the applicant was not present at the time of procession/agitation and he had gone to Leh and Ladakh and it was requested that in case, if the Court is not inclined to quash the FIR against the applicant, then he may be granted protection from his arrest.

Judgement: Inherent powers under Section 482 include powers to quash FIR, investigation or any criminal proceedings pending before the High Court or any court subordinate to it and are of wide magnitude and ramification. There may be some cases where the initiation of criminal proceedings may be an abuse of process of law. In such cases, and only in exceptional cases and where it is found that non interference would result into miscarriage of justice, the High Court, in exercise of its inherent powers under Section 482 Cr.P.C. and/or Article 226 of the Constitution of India, may quash the FIR/complaint/criminal proceedings and even may stay the further investigation.

It is the statutory right and even the duty of the police to investigate into the cognizable offense and collect the evidence during the course of investigation. There may be a requirement of a custodial investigation for which the accused is required to be in police custody (popularly known as remand). Therefore, passing such type of blanket interim orders without assigning reasons, of not to arrest and/or “no coercive steps” would hamper the investigation and may affect the statutory right/duty of the police to investigate the cognizable offense conferred under the provisions of the Cr.P.C. Therefore, such a blanket order is not justified at all.

Where the investigation is stayed for a long time the subsequent investigation may not be very fruitful for the simple reason that the evidence may no longer be available. Still in case a person is apprehending his arrest in connection with an FIR disclosing cognizable offense, as observed hereinabove, he has a remedy to apply for anticipatory bail under Section 438 Cr.P.C.

In this case, uncontroverted allegations prima facie made out an offense. Considering the totality of the facts and circumstances of the case, no case was made out warranting interference and the application was dismissed.

JUDGMENT REVIEWED BY – SHUBHANGI CHAUDHARY

Click here to view the judgement

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Open chat