Quashing of FIR - Criminal Litigation

Quashing of FIR

Quashing of FIR/ Complaints before High Court

Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure provides for the inherent powers of the High Court to quash FIR and criminal complaints. The High Court under this statutory provision is empowered to quash FIR and criminal complaints:

  • To prevent abuse of the process of any Court; or
  • To secure the ends of justice.

What is FIR?

Whenever there is a commission of any offence, then the same can be reported to a police officer in charge of the police station by any aggrieved person. This report is known as First Information Report (FIR). Though there is no specific definition of the term “FIR”, Section 154 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 relates to FIR and states as “information in cognizable cases”.

Frivolous FIRs and Criminal Complaints

It has been observed that in many cases, the complainants are misusing the tool of reporting of FIR and lodging of criminal complaints and many a times, the same is being used against innocent persons if there is a malafide intention to harass them. For example, many times criminal proceedings are maliciously instituted with an ulterior motive for wreaking vengeance on a person or on account of any personal grudge.

Filing Petition under Section 482 of CrPC

Petition under Section 482 of the CrPC can be filed before the Hon’ble High Courts for quashing of the FIR where the Hon’ble High Courts can exercise their inherent powers to secure the ends of justice for the innocent. Considering the rise in number of frivolous FIRs, even the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India in several cases has ruled against the frivolous FIRs, thereby quashing them in the interest of justice.

Hence, in cases where criminal proceedings have been instituted maliciously and with an ulterior motive, then a petition can be instituted under Section 482 of the CrPC, wherein the High Courts can quash such an FIR, while exercising their inherent powers to prevent abuse of the process of law to secure the ends of justice.

Landmark Cases on Quashing of FIR

Ramesh Chandra Gupta vs State Of U.P. [SLP(Crl.) 39 of 2022] – In this case, the Hon’ble Supreme Court held that where allegations in the FIR does not disclose a cognizable offence, justifying an investigation by police officers then the same shall be quashed.

Also where the uncontroverted allegations made in the FIR or complaint and the evidence collected in support of the same do not disclose the commission of any offence and make out a case against the accused.

State of Haryana v. Bhajan Lal [1992 Supp (1) SCC 335]- In this case, the Apex Court observed that the Inherent powers given to the High Court under Section 482 of CrPC was with the object of advancement of justice and if in case the solemn process of Court is sought to be abused by a person with some oblique motive, the the Court has to thwart the attempt at the very threshold.

Hira Lal Hari Lal Bhagwati v. C.B.I and Y. Jose v. State of Gujarat– The Hon’ble Supreme Court held that for establishing the offence of cheating, the complainant is required to show in the FIR that the accused had fraudulent or dishonest intention at the time of making promise of representation, and from his making failure to keep up promise subsequently, such a culpable intention right at the beginning that is at the time when the promise was made cannot be presumed.

Read about Quashing of FIR in Civil Disputes

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