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High Court cannot quash criminal proceedings under Section 482 of Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 without giving speaking and Reasoned Order

May 31, 2022

By Nihit Nagpal and Anuj Jhawar

Introduction

The Hon’ble Supreme Court vide its order dated May 17, 2022 in Satish Kumar Jatav v. State of U.P. & Ors.[1]. has observed that when a clear case is made out against an accused for the alleged offences, then the criminal proceedings against the accused cannot be quashed merely on the ground that “no useful purpose will be served by prolonging the proceedings of the case“. In a catena of decisions, the Hon’ble Supreme Court has emphasized that High Courts must pass a speaking and reasoned order while disposing petitions under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973.

Brief facts

The Ld. Magistrate in Complaint Case No.1199 of 2005 summoned the Accused vide summoning order dated February 04, 2008 to face trial for offences punishable under Sections 307, 504, 506 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 and Section 3(10)(15) of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989. Thereafter, the Accused approached the Hon’ble Allahabad High Court for quashing of proceedings under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973. The Hon’ble Allahabad High Court in Criminal Misc. Application No.14607 of 2008 under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 quashed the criminal proceedings vide its order dated September 16, 2019 merely opining: “that no useful purpose shall be served by prolonging the proceedings of the case” and allowed the petition.

Supreme Court’s Judgment

The Hon’ble Supreme Court observed that the impugned judgment and order passed by the Hon’ble Allahabad High Court vide its order dated September 16, 2019 is a cryptic, non-speaking order and there appears to be no independent application of mind by the Hon’ble Allahabad High Court on the legality and validity of the order passed by the Ld. Magistrate summoning the Accused. The Hon’ble Supreme Court observed that the Hon’ble Allahabad High Court in a most cursory and casual manner has set aside the summons issued vide Ld. Magistrate’s summoning order dated February 04, 2008 against the Accused, even after considering the statements of the complainant as well as the witnesses recorded under Sections 200 and 202 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 and after considering the evidence on record, including the injury certificate.

The Hon’ble Supreme Court noted that the Hon’ble Allahabad High Court has observed that no useful purpose will be served by prolonging the proceedings of the case which cannot be a good ground or in fact any ground at all to quash the criminal proceedings when a clear case has been made out for the alleged offences. The Hon’ble Supreme Court further observed that the Hon’ble Allahabad High Court has not made any observations on how the order passed by the Ld. Magistrate summoning the Accused may have been wrong and/or erroneous, and the manner in which the Hon’ble Allahabad High Court has disposed of the application under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 and has quashed the criminal proceedings is deprecated. The Hon’ble Supreme Court held that the Hon’ble Allahabad High Court ought to have been more cautious and circumspect while considering the application under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 and quashing the criminal proceedings, when serious allegations for the offences under Sections 307, 504, 506 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 and Section 3(10)(15) of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 had been made out against the Accused.

Conclusion

The Hon’ble Supreme Court observed that the Hon’ble Allahabad High Court had not discussed the allegations made against the Accused persons or even the legality and validity of the order passed by the Ld. Magistrate in summoning the accused. The High Courts must pass a speaking and reasoned order while disposing petitions under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, especially in cases where a clear case has been prima facie made out against the Accused.

[1] CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 770 of 2022;

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