India: Supreme Court Lays Down 10 Principles For Invoking Inherent Jurisdiction Under Section 482 Of The Code Of Criminal Procedure, 1973

A bench of Hon'ble the Chief Justice of India, Hon'ble Mr. Justice AM Khanwilkar and Hon'ble Mr. Justice DY Chandrachud passed the subject judgment in Criminal Appeal No. 1723 of 2017 against a decision of the Gujarat High Court dismissing an application by the appellants under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (CrPC) seeking quashing of First Information Report (FIR) registered against them for offences punishable under Sections 384, 467, 468, 471, 120-B and 506(2) of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (IPC). The plea for quashing the FIR was advanced on the ground that the Appellants had amicably settled the dispute with the complainant. The Court after discussing various precedents on the subject summarised the broad principles in relation to Section 482 for quashing FIRs. The Court then proceeded to dismiss the appeal holding that the High Court was justified in declining to entertain the application for quashing FIR in the exercise of its inherent jurisdiction.


  • The complainant stated that certain land in Jamnagar city was his ancestral agricultural land. Out of the plots of land carved out of the aforesaid land, Plot Nos. 45-56 were in the joint names of six brothers and a sister- all represented by the complainant.
  • A deal was struck between the first appellant and the complainant, whereby Plot No. 56 was agreed to be sold to the first appellant for a certain consideration, part of which was paid in cash to the complainant.
  • Thereafter, when the complainant followed up, regarding the balance payment, the same was not done and per contra the complainant was threatened to forcibly transfer the land.
  • The complainant subsequently came to know that a sale deed had been registered not only with respect to Plot No. 56 but also in respect of Plot Nos. 45 to 55 on 27 January 2016. The complainant lodged a complaint on 18 June 2016.
  • It was alleged by the complainant that the appellants had conspired to transfer valuable land belonging to him on the basis of forged documents.


  • The High Court held that it was not in the interest of society at large to quash the FIR by accepting the settlement since the case involves extortion, forgery and conspiracy.
  • The prayer to quash the FIR was rejected by the High Court, holding that the charges against the appellants are serious in nature and their activities render them a potential threat to society.


On the basis of precedents, it was urged that the dispute is essentially civil in nature and since the parties have agreed to an amicable settlement, it would be in the proper course for the High Court to quash the FIR in exercise of the jurisdiction conferred on it by Section 482 of the CrPC.


The complainant emphasised that in light of the seriousness of the allegations, the conduct of the appellants- who were absconding, and their criminal antecedents, they were not entitled to the relief of quashing of the FIR, merely because a settlement had been entered into with the complainant.


  • Discussing the precedents set in the cases of Gian Singh v. State of Punjab  (2012) 10 SCC 303, Narinder Singh v. State of Punjab (2014) 6 SCC 466, State of Maharashtra v. Vikram Anantrai Doshi (2014) 15 SCC 29, Central Bureau of Investigation v. Maninder Singh (2016) 1 SCC 389 and in State of Tamil Nadu v. R Vasanthi Stanley (2016) 1 SCC 376- the Supreme Court culled out broad principles governing the inherent powers of the High Court under Section 482 of the CrPC, and summarised them as follows-
    1. The provision does not confer any new powers. It only recognises and preserves powers which inhere in the High Court.
    2. The power to quash under Section 482 is attracted even when the offence is non-compoundable.
    3. In exercising the jurisdiction of quashing under Section 482, the High Court must evaluate whether the ends of justice would justify the exercise of the inherent power.
    4. The inherent power granted to the High Court vide this Section has a wide ambit and plenitude and must be exercised to secure the ends of justice or to prevent an abuse of the process of any Court.
    5. The decision of whether or not an FIR should be quashed on the ground of settlement between the parties, varies based on the facts and circumstances surrounding individual cases and no exhaustive elaboration of principles can be formulated.
    6. In the exercise of the power under Section 482 of the CrPC and while dealing with a plea that the dispute has been settled, the High Court must have due regard to the nature and gravity of the offence. Heinous and serious offences involving mental depravity or offences such as murder, rape and dacoity cannot appropriately be quashed though the victim or the family of the victim have settled the dispute. Such offences have a serious impact upon society. The decision to continue with the trial in such cases is founded on the overriding element of public interest in punishing persons for serious offences.
    7. As distinguished from serious offences, there may be criminal cases which have an overwhelming or predominant element of a civil dispute. Such cases stand on a different footing when it comes to Section 482 of the CrPC.
    8. Criminal cases involving offences which arise from commercial, financial, mercantile, partnership or similar transactions with an essentially civil flavour may in appropriate situations fall for quashing where parties have settled the dispute.
    9. If in view of the compromise between the disputants, the possibility of a conviction is remote and the continuation of a criminal proceeding would cause oppression and prejudice, the High Court must quash a Complaint/FIR.
    10. An exception to the principle set out in propositions (viii) and (ix) above was set out, being- economic offences involving the financial and economic well-being of the state having implications which lie beyond the domain of a mere dispute between private disputants. The High Court would be justified in declining to quash where the offender is involved in an activity akin to a financial or economic fraud or misdemeanour. The consequences of the act complained of upon the financial or economic system will weigh in the balance.
  • Based on the above principles, it was held that the High Court was justified in declining to entertain the application for quashing of the FIR. The case was held to involve allegations implicating serious offences having a bearing on a vital societal interest in securing the probity of titles to or interest in land. The Appeal was consequently dismissed. 


This Judgment rendered by the Supreme Court, after adverting to various precedents has summarised the principles that govern the discretionary power conferred on the High Court vide 482 of the CrPC, thus providing a one stop precedent on the issue. This Judgement provides further clarity on the principles that govern Section 482 of the CrPC, in a concise, succinct and comprehensive manner. 

The content of this document do not necessarily reflect the views/position of Khaitan & Co but remain solely those of the author(s). For any further queries or follow up please contact Khaitan & Co at

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
In association with
Related Topics
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Related Articles
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Mondaq Sign Up
Gain free access to lawyers expertise from more than 250 countries.
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Newsalert
Select Topics
Select Regions
Registration (you must scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of

To Use you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions