What Are The Inherent Powers Of High Court Under CrPC?

Before the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) was enacted ,Courts possessed the power to quash an FIR (First Information Report) is among the inherent powers of the High Courts of India which was added as Section 482 by an amendment in 1923.

Section 482 particularly deals with the saving of inherent powers of the High Court which read as follows -

"Saving of inherent power of High Court- Nothing in this Code shall be deemed to limit or affect the inherent powers of the High Court to make such orders as may be necessary to give effect to any order under this Code, or to prevent abuse of the process of any Court or otherwise to secure the ends of justice."

- The inherent power oh High Court can be exercised:

  • To give effect to an order under the Code; or

  • To prevent abuse of the process of Court; or

  • To secure the ends of justice.

The Supreme Court in Madhu Limaye v. State of Maharashtra has held that the following principles would govern the exercise of inherent jurisdiction of High Court given by section 482:

  • The power is not to be resorted to if there is a specific provision in the Code for the redress of the grievance of the aggrieved party;

  • It should be exercised very sparingly to prevent abuse of the process of any Court or otherwise to secure to the ends of justice;

  • It should not be exercised as against the express bar of the law en-grafted in any other provision of the Code.

Conditions for Use of Inherent Power -

  • The jurisdiction is completely discretionary and the court can refuse to use the power.

  • The jurisdiction is not limited to cases that are pending before the High Court. It can consider any case that comes to its notice.

  • This power can be invoked only in an event when the aggrieved party is being unnecessarily harassed and has no other remedy open to it.

  • The High Court has the power to provide relief to the accused even if he/she has not filed a petition under section 482.

  • The power under Section 482 is not intended to scuttle justice at the threshold but to secure justice.

  • This power has to be exercised sparingly with circumspection and in the rarest of rare cases, but cannot be held that it should be exercised in the rarest of rare cases – The expression rarest of rare case may be exercised where death penalty is to be imposed under Section 302 of IPC but this expression cannot be extended to a petition under Section 482 CrPC.

- The power conferred by section 482 should be exercised ex debito justitiae,meaning - "what a person is entitled to as of right" . In State of Maharashtra v. Arun Gulab Gawali, the Court held that the provisions of section 482 are meant to advance justice and not to frustrate it. The High Court should not assume the power of the trial court and this power should be exercised cautiously.

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