Question: What do you understand by inherent powers of the High Court? When can this power be exercised? [MPJ 2010, MPJ 2009] Find the answer on Legal Bites. [What do you understand by inherent powers of the High Court? When can this power be exercised?] Answer The inherent power bestowed upon the courts can be exercised in the… Read More »

Question: What do you understand by inherent powers of the High Court? When can this power be exercised? [MPJ 2010, MPJ 2009] Find the answer on Legal Bites. [What do you understand by inherent powers of the High Court? When can this power be exercised?] Answer The inherent power bestowed upon the courts can be exercised in the following situations: To give effect to any order passed by a subordinate court or the High Court under CrPC. To curb the misuse and abuse of the power of the court...

Question: What do you understand by inherent powers of the High Court? When can this power be exercised? [MPJ 2010, MPJ 2009]

Find the answer on Legal Bites. [What do you understand by inherent powers of the High Court? When can this power be exercised?]

Answer

The inherent power bestowed upon the courts can be exercised in the following situations:

  1. To give effect to any order passed by a subordinate court or the High Court under CrPC.
  2. To curb the misuse and abuse of the power of the court to issue processes.
  3. To do any act that the court deems to be in the interest of justice or vital to meet the ends of justice.

Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure provides for the Saving of inherent powers of the High Court. It states:

“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.”

This section has not given increased powers to the High Court which it did not possess before the section was enacted. It gives no new powers. It only provides that those which the Court already inherently possessed shall be preserved, and is inserted lest it should be considered that the only powers possessed by the Court are those expressly conferred by the Code and that no inherent power had survived the passing of the Code. Though the jurisdiction exists and is wide in its scope, it is a rule of practice that it will only be exercised in exceptional cases.

The Supreme Court has held in Madhu Limaye v. State of Maharashtra, AIR 1978 SC 47 that the following principles would govern the exercise of the inherent jurisdiction of a High Court given by section 482:

  1. 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;
  2. it should be exercised very sparingly to prevent abuse of the process of any Court or otherwise to secure the ends of justice;
  3. it should not be exercised as against the express bar of the law engrafted in any other provision of the Code.

The power under the section should be exercised ex debito justitiae to prevent abuse of process of Court. But it should not be exercised to stifle legitimate prosecution. The power has to be exercised very sparingly and with circumspection and that too in the rarest of the rare cases.

The provisions of Articles 226, 227 of the Indian Constitution, and section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure are meant to advance justice and not to frustrate it. The High Court should not assume the role of a trial Court and embark upon an inquiry as to the reliability of the evidence and sustainability of the accusation on a reasonable appreciation of such evidence. Power should be exercised sparingly, with caution and circumspection. The Supreme Court found an error in the order of the High Court in quashing the complaint in this case.

The Supreme Court said in State of Karnataka v. M Devendrappa, AIR 2002 SC 671:

“In a proceeding instituted on complaint, the exercise of the inherent powers to quash the proceedings is called for only in a case where the complaint does not disclose any offence or is frivolous, vexatious, or oppressive. If the allegations set out in the complaint do not constitute the offence of which cognizance has been taken by the Magistrate, it is open to the High Court to quash the same in exercise of the inherent powers under section 482.

It is not, however, necessary that there should be meticulous analysis of the case before the trial to find out whether the case would end in conviction or acquittal. The complaint has to be read as a whole. If it appears that on consideration of the allegations in the light of the statement made on oath of the complainant that the ingredients of the offence or offences are disclosed and there is no material to show that the complaint is mala fide, frivolous or vexatious, in that event there would be no justification for interference by the High Court.

When information is lodged at the police station and an offence is registered, then the mala fides of the informant would be of secondary importance. It is the material collected during the investigation and evidence led in Court which decides the fate of the accused person. The allegation of mala fides against the informant is of no consequence and cannot by itself be the basis for quashing the proceedings”.


Important Mains/Long Questions for Judiciary, APO & University Exams

Updated On 2022-08-21T05:36:02+05:30
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