• Gian Singh Versus. State of Punjab

  • Head Notes

    • Ss. 482 and 320 Cr.P.C.- Relative scope - Inherent power of High Court under S. 482 to quash criminal proceedings involving non-compoundable offences in view of compromise arrived at between the parties - Whether available - If so, then when may such power be exercised - Social impact of crime in question vis--vis its individual impact, as decisive criterion for exercise of quashment power in such cases - Guidelines for and limitations on exercise of quashment power of High Court in such cases, laid down - Whether S. 320 creates a bar/limits inherent power of High Court under S. 482, examined - Whether B.S. Joshi, (2003) 4 SCC 675, Nikhil Merchant, (2008) 9 SCC 677 and Manoj Sharma, (2008) 16 SCC 1 require reconsideration - Held, power of High Court in quashing a criminal proceeding or FIR or complaint in exercise of its inherent jurisdiction is distinct and different from power of a criminal court of compounding offences under S. 320 - Cases where power to quash criminal proceedings may be exercised where the parties have settled their dispute, held, depends on facts and circumstances of each case - Before exercise of inherent quashment power under S. 482, High Court must have due regard to nature and gravity of the crime and its societal impact - Thus, held, heinous and serious offences of mental depravity, murder, rape, dacoity, etc., or under special statutes like Prevention of Corruption Act or offences committed by public servants while working in their capacity as public servants, cannot be quashed even though victim or victim's family and offender have settled the dispute - Such offences are not private in nature and have a serious impact on society - But criminal cases having overwhelmingly and predominatingly civil flavour stand on a different footing - Offences arising from commercial, financial, mercantile, civil, partnership or like transactions or offences arising out of matrimony relating to dowry, etc. or family disputes where the wrong is basically private or personal in nature and parties have resolved their entire dispute, High Court may quash criminal proceedings - High Court, in such cases, must consider whether it would be unfair or contrary to interest of justice to continue with the criminal proceeding or continuation of criminal proceeding would tantamount to abuse of process of law despite settlement and compromise between parties and whether to secure ends of justice, it is appropriate the criminal case is put to an end - If such question(s) are answered in the affirmative, High Court shall be well within its jurisdiction to quash the criminal proceeding - Hence held, B.S. Joshi, Nikhil Merchant and Manoj Sharma cases are all correctly decided, (2012) 10 SCC 303-A- Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 S. 482 - Quashing of criminal proceedings - Exercise of power by High Court - Quashing of non-compoundable offences in view of compromise arrived at between parties - Guidelines laid down - Categories of cases in which such power can be exercised stated by way of illustration, and not exhaustively, (2012) 10 SCC 303-B Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 Ss. 482 and 320 - Relative scope - Power of High Court under S. 482, for quashing criminal offences and power of compounding of offences under S. 320 - Distinction between - Held, the same materially different and not interchangeable - In compounding of offences, power of a criminal court is circumscribed by provisions contained in S. 320, being guided solely and squarely thereby - On the other hand, formation of opinion by High Court for quashing a criminal offence or criminal proceeding or criminal complaint under S. 482 is guided by the material on record as to whether the ends of justice would justify such exercise of power although ultimate consequence may be acquittal or dismissal of indictment - Hence, quashing of offence or criminal proceedings on the ground of settlement between an offender and victim is not the same thing as compounding of offences, (2012) 10 SCC 303-C Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 S. 320 - Compounding of offences - Scope of - Exhaustive nature of S. 320 - Held, in view of S. 320(9) compounding of an offence has to be in accord with S. 320 and in no other manner, (2012) 10 SCC 303-D- S. 482 - Inherent powers of High Court - Scope and ambit - Reiterated - Inherent power is of wide plenitude with no statutory limitation but has to be exercised to achieve either of twin objectives: (i) to prevent abuse of process of any court, or (ii) to do real, complete and substantial justice - However, inherent power is not to be exercised as against express bar of law in specific provisions of CrPC - No precise and inflexible guidelines can be laid down therefor - Depends entirely upon facts and circumstances of each case, (2012) 10 SCC 303-E Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 S. 482 - Express provisions of CrPC - Exercise of inherent power - Bar on - Reiterated, power under S. 482 is not to be resorted to if there is specific provision in CrPC for redressal of grievance of an aggrieved party - It should be exercised very sparingly and it should not be exercised as against the express bar of law engrafted in any other provision of CrPC, (2012) 10 SCC 303-F- Judgment: Gian Singh vs. State of Punjab, (Crl.) No.8989 of 2010= Criminal Appeal Nos.2107-2125 of 2011, Bench: R M Lodha,  Anil R Dave, Sushansu Jyoti Mukhopadhyaya, JJ, Citation:  (2012) 10 SCC 303.

    Full Judgment

    ITEM NO.16                 COURT NO.6                  SECTION IIA

    S U P R E M E    C O U R T   O F    I N D I A

    RECORD OF PROCEEDINGS

    Petition(s) for Special Leave to Appeal (Crl) No(s).8989/2010

    (From the judgement and order dated 17/09/2010 in           CRM No.

    27367/2010 of The HIGH COURT OF PUNJAB & HARYANA AT CHANDIGARH)

    GIAN SINGH                                          Petitioner(s

    VERSUS

    STATE OF PUNJAB & ANR                           Respondent(s)

    (With appln(s) for ex-Parte stay,exemption from filing c/c of the

    impugned Judgment,exemption from filing O.T.

    Date: 23/11/2010    This Petition was called on for hearing today.

    CORAM :

    HON'BLE MR. JUSTICE MARKANDEY KATJU

    HON'BLE MRS. JUSTICE GYAN SUDHA MISRA

    For Petitioner(s)      Mr. Rajiv Kataria, Adv.for

    M/S. Delhi Law Chambers

    UPON hearing counsel the Court made the following

    O R D E R

    Learned counsel for the petitioner has relied on

    three decisions of this Court, all by two Judge Benches.

    They are B.S.Joshi vs. State of Haryana (2003) 4 SCC 675;

    Nikhil Merchant vs. Central Bureau of Investigation and

    Another (2008) 9 SCC 677; and Manoj Sharma vs. State and

    Others (2008) 16 SCC 1.

    It is true that in the last two decisions, one of

    us, Hon'ble Mr. Justice Markandey Katju, was a member but a

    Judge should always be open to correct his mistakes.      We

    feel that these decisions require re-consideration and hence

    we direct that this matter be placed before a larger Bench

    to reconsider the correctness of the aforesaid three

    Let the papers of this case be placed before Hon'ble

    Chief Justice of India for constituting a larger Bench.

    (Parveen Kr. Chawla)                 ( Indu Satija )

    Court Master                       Court Master

    IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

    CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

    PETITION(S) FOR SPECIAL LEAVE TO APPEAL(CRL.) NO.8989 OF

    2010

    GIAN SINGH                                           ..PETITIONER

    VERSUS

    STATE OF PUNJAB & ANOTHER                            ..RESPONDENTS

    O R D E R

    Heard learned counsel for the petitioner.

    The petitioner has been convicted under Section 420

    and Section 120B, IPC by the learned Magistrate.                  He filed

    an   appeal   challenging      his   conviction   before    the    learned

    Sessions Judge.       While his appeal was pending, he filed an

    application     before      the      learned   Sessions       Judge     for

    compounding the offence, which, according to the learned

    counsel, was directed to be taken up along with the main

    appeal.     Thereafter, the petitioner filed a petition under

    Section 482, Cr.P.C. for quashing of the FIR               on the ground

    of compounding the offence.          That petition under Section 482

    Cr.P.C. has been dismissed by the High Court by its impugned

    order.    Hence, this petition has been filed in this Court.

    Learned    counsel   for   the   petitioner   has    relied    on

    three decisions of this Court, all by two Judge Benches.

    They are B.S.Joshi vs. State of Haryana (2003) 4 SCC 675;

    Nikhil    Merchant     vs.    Central    Bureau    of       Investigation    and

    Another (2008) 9 SCC 677; and Manoj Sharma vs. State and

    -2-

    Others (2008) 16 SCC 1.          In these decisions, this Court has

    indirectly       permitted      compounding        of        non-compoundable

    offences.     One of us, Hon'ble Mr. Justice Markandey Katju,

    was a member to the last two decisions.

    Section 320, Cr.P.C. mentions certain offences as

    compoundable, certain other offences as compoundable with

    the permission of the Court, and the other offences as non-

    compoundable vide Section 320(7).

    Section 420, IPC, one of the counts on which the

    petitioner has been convicted, no doubt, is a compoundable

    offence with permission of the Court in view of Section 320,

    Cr.P.C. but Section 120B IPC, the other count on which the

    petitioner       has   been    convicted,     is        a    non-compoundable

    offence.     Section 120B(criminal conspiracy) is a separate

    offence    and    since   it   is   a    non-compoundable         offence,    we

    cannot permit it to be compounded.

    The Court cannot amend the statute and must maintain

    judicial restraint in this connection.                      The Courts should

    not try to take over the function of the Parliament or

    executive.       It is the legislature alone which can amend

    Section 320 Cr.P.C.

    We are of the opinion that the above three decisions

    require to be re-considered as, in our opinion, something

    which cannot be done directly cannot be done indirectly.       In

    our, prima facie, opinion, non-compoundable offences cannot

    be permitted to be compounded by the Court, whether directly

    or indirectly.      Hence, the above three decisions do not

    appear to us to be correctly decided.

    -3-

    It is true that in the last two decisions, one of

    us, Hon'ble Mr. Justice Markandey Katju, was a member but a

    Judge should always be open to correct his mistakes.           We

    feel that these decisions require re-consideration and hence

    we direct that this matter be placed before a larger Bench

    to   reconsider   the   correctness   of   the   aforesaid   three

    Let the papers of this case be placed before Hon'ble

    Chief Justice of India for constituting a larger Bench.

    ..........................J.

    [MARKANDEY KATJU]

    NEW DELHI;                     ..........................J.

    NOVEMBER 23, 2010              [GYAN SUDHA MISRA]

    IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

    CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

    SPECIAL LEAVE PETITION (CRL.) NO. 8989 OF 2010

    Gian Singh                                              …Petitioner

    Versus

    State of Punjab & Another                                   …Respondents

    WITH

    SPECIAL LEAVE PETITION (CRL.) NO. 6138 OF 2006

     

    SPECIAL LEAVE PETITION (CRL.) NO. 5203 OF 2011

    SPECIAL LEAVE PETITION (CRL.) NO. 259 OF 2011

    SPECIAL LEAVE PETITION (CRL.) NO. 5921 OF 2009

    SPECIAL LEAVE PETITION (CRL.) NO. 7148 OF 2009

    SPECIAL LEAVE PETITION (CRL.) NO. 6324 OF 2009

    CRIMINAL APPEAL NOS. 2107-2125 OF 2011

    JUDGEMENT

    R.M. LODHA, J.

    When the special leave petition  in   Gian  Singh  v.  State  of

    Punjab and another came up for hearing, a two-Judge Bench  (Markandey  Katju

    and Gyan Sudha Misra, JJ.) doubted the correctness of the decisions of  this

    Court in B.S. Joshi and others v. State of Haryana  and  another[1],  Nikhil

    Merchant v. Central Bureau of Investigation and another[2] and Manoj  Sharma

    v. State and others[3] and referred the  matter   to  a  larger  Bench.  The

    reference order reads as follows :

    “Heard learned counsel for the petitioner.

    The petitioner has been convicted under  Section  420  and

    Section 120B, IPC by the learned Magistrate. He filed an  appeal

    challenging his conviction before the  learned  Sessions  Judge.

    While his appeal was pending, he filed an application before the

    learned Sessions  Judge  for  compounding  the  offence,  which,

    according to the learned counsel, was directed to  be  taken  up

    along with the main appeal. Thereafter, the petitioner  filed  a

    petition under Section 482, Cr.P.C. for quashing of the  FIR  on

    the ground of  compounding  the  offence.  That  petition  under

    Section 482 Cr.P.C. has been dismissed by the High Court by  its

    impugned order. Hence, this petition  has  been  filed  in  this

    Learned counsel for the petitioner  has  relied  on  three

    decisions of this Court, all by two Judge Benches. They are B.S.

    Joshi vs. State of Haryana (2003) 4 SCC 675; Nikhil Merchant vs.

    Central Bureau of Investigation and Another (2008)  9  SCC  677;

    and Manoj Sharma vs. State and Others (2008) 16 SCC 1. In  these

    decisions, this Court has indirectly  permitted  compounding  of

    non-compoundable  offences.  One  of  us,  Hon’ble  Mr.  Justice

    Markandey Katju, was a member to the last two decisions.

    Section  320,  Cr.P.C.  mentions  certain   offences   as

    compoundable, certain other offences as  compoundable  with  the

    permission  of  the  Court,  and  the  other  offences  as  non-

    compoundable vide Section 320(7).

    Section  420,  IPC,  one  of  the  counts  on  which  the

    petitioner has been  convicted,  no  doubt,  is  a  compoundable

    offence with permission of the Court in  view  of  Section  320,

    Cr.P.C. but Section 120B IPC,  the  other  count  on  which  the

    petitioner has been convicted, is  a  non-compoundable  offence.

    Section 120B (Criminal conspiracy) is  a  separate  offence  and

    since it is a non-compoundable offence, we cannot permit  it  to

    be compounded.

    The Court cannot  amend  the  statute  and  must  maintain

    judicial restraint in this connection. The Courts should not try

    to take over the function of the Parliament or executive. It  is

    the legislature alone which can amend Section 320 Cr.P.C.

    We are of the  opinion  that  the  above  three  decisions

    require to be re-considered as, in our opinion, something  which

    cannot be done directly cannot be done indirectly. In our, prima

    facie, opinion, non-compoundable offences cannot be permitted to

    be compounded by the  Court,  whether  directly  or  indirectly.

    Hence, the above three decisions do  not  appear  to  us  to  be

    correctly decided.

    It is true that in the last  two  decisions,  one  of  us,

    Hon’ble Mr. Justice Markandey Katju, was a member  but  a  Judge

    should always be open to correct  his  mistakes.  We  feel  that

    these decisions require re-consideration  and  hence  we  direct

    that this matter be placed before a larger Bench  to  reconsider

    the correctness of the aforesaid three decisions.

    Let the papers of this case be placed before Hon’ble Chief

    Justice of India for constituting a larger Bench.”

    2.          This is how these matters have come up for consideration  before

    3.          Two provisions of the Code  of  Criminal  Procedure,  1973  (for

    short, ‘Code’) which are vital for consideration of the  issue  referred  to

    the larger Bench are Sections 320 and 482. Section 320 of the Code  provides

    for compounding of certain offences punishable under the Indian Penal  Code,

    1860 (for short, ‘IPC’). It reads as follows :

     “S. 320. Compounding of offences.—(1)  The  offences  punishable

    under the sections of  the  Indian  Penal  Code,  (45  of  1860)

    specified in the first two columns of the Table  next  following

    may be compounded by the persons mentioned in the  third  column

    of that Table :

    TABLE

    |Offenc|Section of    |Person by whom offence |

    |e     |the Indian    |may be compounded      |

    |      |Penal Code    |                       |

    |      |applicable    |                       |

    |1     |2             |3                      |

     (2)   The offences punishable under the sections of  the  Indian

    Penal Code (45 of 1860) specified in the first  two  columns  of

    the table next following may, with the permission of  the  Court

    before which any prosecution for such  offence  is  pending,  be

    compounded by the persons mentioned in the third column of  that

    Table:--

    TABLE

    |Offen|Section of       |Person by whom       |

    |ce   |the Indian       |offence may be       |

    |     |Penal Code       |compounded           |

    |     |applicable       |                     |

    |1    |2                |3                    |

     (3)   When an offence is compoundable under  this  section,  the

    abatement of such offence or an attempt to commit  such  offence

    (when such attempt is itself an offence) or where the accused is

    liable under section 34 or  149 of the Indian Penal Code (45  of

    1860)  may be compounded in like manner.

     (4)        (a)     When  the  person  who  would  otherwise   be

    competent to compound an offence under  this  section

    is under the age of eighteen years or is an idiot  or

    a lunatic, any person competent to  contract  on  his

    behalf,  may,  with  the  permission  of  the  Court,

    compound such offence.

     (b)   When the person who would otherwise be  competent  to

    compound an offence under this section is  dead,  the

    legal representative, as defined in the Code of Civil

    Procedure, 1908  of such person may, with the consent

    of the Court, compound such offence.

     (5)   When the accused has been committed for trial or  when  he

    has been convicted  and an appeal is pending, no composition for

    the offence shall be allowed without the leave of the  Court  to

    which he is committed, or, as the case may be, before which  the

    appeal is to be heard.

     (6)   A High Court or Court of Session acting in the exercise of

    its powers of revision under section 401 may allow any person to

    compound any offence which such person is competent to  compound

    under this section.

     (7)   No offence shall be  compounded  if  the  accused  is,  by

    reason of a  previous  conviction,  liable  either  to  enhanced

    punishment or to a punishment  of  a  different  kind  for  such

     (8)   The composition of an offence  under  this  section  shall

    have the effect of an acquittal of the  accused  with  whom  the

    offence has been compounded.

     (9)   No offence shall be compounded except as provided by  this

    section.”

    4.          Section 482 saves the inherent power of the High  Court  and  it

    reads as follows :

    “S. 482.  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.”

    5.          In B.S. Joshi1 , the undisputed facts were these :  the  husband

    was one of the appellants while the wife was respondent no. 2 in the  appeal

    before  this  Court.  They  were  married  on  21.7.1999  and  were   living

    separately  since  15.7.2000.  An  FIR   was   registered   under   Sections

    498-A/323 and 406, IPC at the instance of the wife  on  2.1.2002.  When  the

    criminal case registered at the  instance  of  the  wife  was  pending,  the

    dispute between the husband and wife and their family members was   settled.

    It appears that the wife filed an  affidavit  that  her  disputes  with  the

    husband and the other members of his family had  been  finally  settled  and

    she and her husband had  agreed  for  mutual  divorce.  Based  on  the  said

    affidavit, the matter was taken to the High Court by both  the  parties  and

    they jointly prayed for quashing the criminal proceedings  launched  against

    the husband and his family members on the basis of  the  FIR  registered  at

    the wife’s instance under  Sections  498-A  and  406  IPC.  The  High  Court

    dismissed the petition for quashing the FIR as  in  its  view  the  offences

    under Sections 498-A and 406, IPC were  non-compoundable  and  the  inherent

    powers under Section 482 of  the  Code  could  not  be  invoked  to  by-pass

    Section 320 of the Code. It is from this order that the matter reached  this

    Court. This Court held that the High  Court  in  exercise  of  its  inherent

    powers could quash criminal proceedings or FIR or complaint and Section  320

    of the Code did not limit or affect the powers  under  Section  482  of  the

    Code. The Court in paragraphs 14 and 15 (Pg. 682)  of  the  Report  held  as

    under :

    “14. There is no doubt that the object of introducing Chapter XX-

    A containing Section 498-A in  the  Indian  Penal  Code  was  to

    prevent torture to a woman by her husband or by relatives of her

    husband. Section 498-A was added with  a  view  to  punishing  a

    husband and his relatives who harass  or  torture  the  wife  to

    coerce her or her  relatives  to  satisfy  unlawful  demands  of

    dowry. The hypertechnical view would  be  counterproductive  and

    would act against interests of women and against the object  for

    which this provision was added. There is every  likelihood  that

    non-exercise of inherent power to quash the proceedings to  meet

    the ends of justice would prevent women from  settling  earlier.

    That is not the object of Chapter XX-A of the Indian Penal Code.

    15. In view of the above discussion, we hold that the High Court

    in  exercise  of  its  inherent  powers   can   quash   criminal

    proceedings or FIR or complaint and Section 320 of the Code does

    not limit or affect the powers under Section 482 of the Code.”

    6.          In Nikhil Merchant2, a company,  M/s.  Neemuch  Emballage  Ltd.,

    Mumbai was  granted  financial  assistance  by  Andhra  Bank  under  various

    facilities. On account of default in repayment of loans, the  bank  filed  a

    suit for recovery of the amount payable by the borrower  company.  The  bank

    also filed a complaint against the company, its Managing  Director  and  the

    officials of Andhra Bank for diverse offences, namely,  Section  120-B  read

    with Sections 420, 467, 468, 471 of the IPC  read  with  Sections  5(2)  and

    5(1)(d) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1947  and  Section  13(2)  read

    with Section 13(1)(d) of the Prevention of Corruption Act,  1988.  The  suit

    for recovery filed  by  the  bank  against  the  company  and  the  Managing

    Director of the Company was compromised. The suit was compromised  upon  the

    defendants agreeing to pay the amounts due as per the schedule mentioned  in

    the consent terms. Clause 11 of the consent terms read,  “agreed  that  save

    as aforesaid neither party has any claim against the other  and  parties  do

    hereby withdraw all the allegations  and  counter-allegations  made  against

    each other”. Based on clause 11 of the consent terms, the Managing  Director

    of the Company, the appellant who was accused no. 3 in  charge  sheet  filed

    by CBI, made application for discharge  from  the  criminal  complaint.  The

    said application was rejected by the Special Judge  (CBI),  Greater  Bombay,

    which came to be challenged before the Bombay  High  Court.  The  contention

    before the High Court was that since the subject matter of the  dispute  had

    been settled between the appellant and the bank, it  would  be  unreasonable

    to continue with the criminal  proceedings.  The  High  Court  rejected  the

    application for discharge from the criminal cases. It  is  from  this  order

    that the matter reached this Court  by  way  of  special  leave.  The  Court

    having regard to the facts of the case and  the  earlier  decision  of  this

    Court in B.S. Joshi1, set aside the order of the High Court and quashed  the

    criminal proceedings by consideration of the matter thus:

     “28. The basic intention of the accused in this case appears  to

    have been to misrepresent the financial status of  the  Company,

    M/s Neemuch Emballage Ltd., Mumbai, in order  to  avail  of  the

    credit facilities to an extent to  which  the  Company  was  not

    entitled. In other words, the main intention of the Company  and

    its officers was to cheat the Bank and induce it  to  part  with

    additional amounts of  credit  to  which  the  Company  was  not

    otherwise entitled.

    29. Despite the  ingredients  and  the  factual  content  of  an

    offence of cheating punishable under Section 420 IPC,  the  same

    has been made compoundable under sub-section (2) of Section  320

    CrPC with the leave of the court. Of  course,  forgery  has  not

    been included as one of the compoundable offences, but it is  in

    such cases that the principle  enunciated  in  B.S.  Joshi  case

    becomes relevant.

    30. In the instant case, the disputes between  the  Company  and

    the Bank have been set at rest on the basis  of  the  compromise

    arrived at by them whereunder the dues of  the  Bank  have  been

    cleared and the Bank does not appear to have any  further  claim

    against the Company. What, however, remains  is  the  fact  that

    certain documents were alleged  to  have  been  created  by  the

    appellant herein in order to avail of credit  facilities  beyond

    the limit  to  which  the  Company  was  entitled.  The  dispute

    involved herein has overtones of a civil  dispute  with  certain

    criminal facets. The question which is required to  be  answered

    in this case is whether the power which independently lies  with

    this Court to quash the criminal  proceedings  pursuant  to  the

    compromise arrived at, should at all be exercised?

    31. On an overall view of the facts as indicated hereinabove and

    keeping in mind the decision of this Court in  B.S.  Joshi  case

    and the compromise arrived at between the Company and  the  Bank

    as also Clause 11 of the consent terms filed in the  suit  filed

    by the Bank, we are satisfied that this  is  a  fit  case  where

    technicality should not be allowed to stand in the  way  in  the

    quashing of the criminal proceedings, since, in  our  view,  the

    continuance of the same after the compromise arrived at  between

    the parties would be a futile exercise.”

    7.          In Manoj Sharma3, the Court  was  concerned  with  the  question

    whether an F.I.R. under Sections 420/468/471/34/120-B  IPC  can  be  quashed

    either  under  Section  482  of  the  Code  or  under  Article  226  of  the

    Constitution when the accused  and  the  complainant  have  compromised  and

    settled the matter between themselves. Altamas Kabir, J., who delivered  the

    lead judgment referred to B.S. Joshi1  and the submission made on behalf  of

    the State that B.S. Joshi1 required a second look and held  that  the  Court

    was not inclined to accept the contention made on behalf of the  State  that

    the decision in B.S. Joshi1  required reconsideration, at least not  in  the

    facts of the case. It was held that what was decided  in  B.S.  Joshi1   was

    the power and authority of the High Court  to  exercise  jurisdiction  under

    Section 482 of the Code or under Article 226 of the  Constitution  to  quash

    offences which were not compoundable. The law stated in B.S. Joshi1   simply

    indicated the powers of the High Court to quash any criminal  proceeding  or

    first  information  report  or   complaint   whether   the   offences   were

    compoundable or not. Altamas  Kabir,  J.  further  observed,  “The  ultimate

    exercise of discretion under Section 482 CrPC or under Article  226  of  the

    Constitution is with the court which has to exercise  such  jurisdiction  in

    the facts of each case. It has been explained that the said power is  in  no

    way limited by the  provisions  of  Section  320  CrPC.  We  are  unable  to

    disagree with such statement of law. In any event,  in  this  case,  we  are

    only  required  to  consider  whether  the  High  Court  had  exercised  its

    jurisdiction under  Section  482  CrPC  legally  and  correctly.”   Then  in

    paragraphs 8 and 9      (pg. 5) of the  Report,  Altamas  Kabir,  J.,  inter

    alia, held as under :

     “8. …..Once the complainant decided not  to  pursue  the  matter

    further, the High Court could have taken a more  pragmatic  view

    of the matter. We do  not  suggest  that  while  exercising  its

    powers under Article 226 of  the  Constitution  the  High  Court

    could not have refused to quash the  first  information  report,

    but what we do say is that the matter could have been considered

    by the High Court with greater pragmatism in the  facts  of  the

    9.   ……In the facts of  this  case  we  are  of  the  view  that

    continuing with the criminal proceedings would be an exercise in

    futility………”

    8.          Markandey Katju, J. although concurred with the view of  Altamas

    Kabir, J. that criminal proceedings in that case deserved to be quashed  but

    observed that question may have to be decided in  some  subsequent  decision

    or decisions (preferably by a larger Bench)  as  to  which  non-compoundable

    cases can be quashed under Section 482 of the Code or  Article  226  of  the

    Constitution on the basis that the parties have entered into compromise.  In

    paragraphs 27 and 28 (pg. 10) of the report he held as under:

    “27. There can be no doubt that a case under Section 302 IPC  or

    other serious offences like those under Sections 395, 307 or 304-

    B cannot be compounded and hence proceedings in those provisions

    cannot be quashed by the High Court in  exercise  of  its  power

    under Section 482 CrPC or in writ jurisdiction on the  basis  of

    compromise. However, in some other cases (like those akin  to  a

    civil nature), the proceedings can be quashed by the High  Court

    if the parties have come to an amicable settlement  even  though

    the provisions are not compoundable. Where a line is to be drawn

    will have to be decided in some later decisions of  this  Court,

    preferably  by  a  larger  Bench  (so  as  to   make   it   more

    authoritative). Some guidelines will have to be evolved in  this

    connection and the matter cannot be left at  the  sole  unguided

    discretion  of  Judges,  otherwise  there  may  be   conflicting

    decisions and judicial anarchy. A judicial discretion has to  be

    exercised on some objective guiding principles and criteria, and

    not on the whims and fancies of individual  Judges.  Discretion,

    after all, cannot be the Chancellor's foot.

    28. I am  expressing  this  opinion  because  Shri  B.B.  Singh,

    learned counsel for the respondent  has  rightly  expressed  his

    concern that the decision in  B.S.  Joshi  case  should  not  be

    understood to have meant that  Judges  can  quash  any  kind  of

    criminal case merely because there has been a compromise between

    the parties. After all, a crime is an offence  against  society,

    and not merely against a private individual.”

    9.          Dr. Abhishek  Manu  Singhvi,  learned  senior  counsel  for  the

    petitioner in SLP(Crl.) No. 6324 of 2009 submitted that the  inherent  power

    of the High Court to quash a non-compoundable offence was not  circumscribed

    by any of the provisions of the Code, including Section 320. Section 482  is

    a declaration of the inherent power pre-existing in the High  Court  and  so

    long as the exercise of the inherent power falls within  the  parameters  of

    Section 482, it shall have an overriding effect over any of  the  provisions

    of the Code. He, thus, submitted that in exercise  of  its  inherent  powers

    under Section  482,  the  High  Court  may  permit  compounding  of  a  non-

    compoundable offence provided that in doing so it satisfies  the  conditions

    mentioned therein. Learned senior counsel would submit  that  the  power  to

    quash the criminal proceedings under Section 482 of the Code exists even  in

    non-compoundable offence but its actual exercise will depend on facts  of  a

    particular case. He submitted that some or all of the  following  tests  may

    be relevant to decide  whether  to  quash  or  not  to  quash  the  criminal

    proceedings in a given case; (a) the nature and gravity of  case;  (b)  does

    the dispute reflect  overwhelming  and  pre-dominantly  civil  flavour;  (c)

    would the quashing  involve  settlement  of  entire  or  almost  the  entire

    dispute; (d) the compromise/settlement between parties  and/or  other  facts

    and the circumstances render possibility  of conviction  remote  and  bleak;

    (e) not to quash would cause extreme injustice and would not serve  ends  of

    justice and (f) not to quash would result in  abuse  of  process  of  court.

    10.         Shri P.P. Rao, learned senior  counsel  for  the  petitioner  in

    Special Leave Petition (Crl.) No. 5921 of 2009 submitted  that  Section  482

    of the Code is complete answer to the reference made to  the  larger  Bench.

    He analysed Section 482 and Section 320  of  the  Code  and  submitted  that

    Section 320 did not limit or affect the inherent powers of the  High  Court.

    Notwithstanding Section 320, High Court can  exercise  its  inherent  power,

    inter alia, to prevent abuse of the process of any  court  or  otherwise  to

    secure the ends of justice.  To secure the ends of justice  is  a  wholesome

    and definite guideline. It requires formation of opinion by  High  Court  on

    the basis of material on record as to whether  the  ends  of  justice  would

    justify quashing of a particular criminal complaint, FIR  or  a  proceeding.

    When the Court exercises its inherent power under Section 482 in respect  of

    offences which are not compoundable taking into account the  fact  that  the

    accused and the complainant have  settled  their  differences  amicably,  it

    cannot  be  viewed  as  permitting  compounding  of  offence  which  is  not

    11.         Mr. P.P. Rao, learned senior counsel submitted that in cases  of

    civil wrongs which also constitute criminal offences,  the  High  Court  may

    pass order under Section 482 once both parties  jointly  pray  for  dropping

    the criminal proceeding initiated by one of  them  to  put  an  end  to  the

    dispute and restore peace between the parties.

    12.          Mr.  V.  Giri,  learned  senior  counsel  for  the   respondent

    (accused) in Special Leave Petition (Crl.) No. 6138 of 2006  submitted  that

    the real question  that  needs  to  be  considered  by  this  Court  in  the

    reference is whether Section 320(9) of the Code creates a bar or  limits  or

    affects the inherent powers of the High  Court  under  Section  482  of  the

    Code. It was submitted that Section 320(9) does not create a  bar  or  limit

    or affect the inherent powers of the High Court in the  matter  of  quashing

    any criminal proceedings. Relying upon various decisions of this  Court,  it

    was submitted that it has been consistently held that  the  High  Court  has

    unfettered powers under Section 482 of  the  Code  to  secure  the  ends  of

    justice and prevent abuse of the process of the  Court.  He  also  submitted

    that on compromise between the  parties,  the  High  Court  in  exercise  of

    powers under Section 482 can quash the criminal  proceedings,  more  so  the

    matters arising from matrimonial dispute, property dispute, dispute  between

    close relations, partners or business concerns which  are  predominantly  of

    civil, financial or commercial nature.

    13.         Learned counsel for the petitioner  in  Special  Leave  Petition

    (Crl.) No. 8989 of 2010 submitted that the court should have  positive  view

    to quash the proceedings  once  the  aggrieved  party  has  compromised  the

    matter with the wrong doer. It was submitted  that  if  the  court  did  not

    allow the quashing of FIR or complaint or criminal case  where  the  parties

    settled their dispute amicably, it would encourage the parties to speak  lie

    in the court and witnesses would become hostile and the criminal  proceeding

    would not end in conviction. Learned counsel submitted that the court  could

    also consider the two questions (1) can there be  partial  quashing  of  the

    FIR qua accused  with  whom  the  complainant/aggrieved  party  enters  into

    compromise. (2) can the court quash the proceedings in the cases which  have

    not arisen from the matrimonial or  civil  disputes  but  the  offences  are

    personal in nature like grievous hurt (S.326), attempt  to  murder  (S.307),

    rape (S.376), trespassing (S.452) and kidnapping (S.364, 365) etc.

    14.          Mr.  P.  P.  Malhotra,  learned  Additional  Solicitor  General

    referred to the scheme of the Code. He submitted that in any  criminal  case

    investigated by police on filing the report under Section 173 of  the  Code,

    the  Magistrate,  after  applying  his  mind  to  the  chargesheet  and  the

    documents accompanying the same, if takes cognizance  of  the  offences  and

    summons the accused and/or frames charges and in certain grave  and  serious

    offences, commits the accused to be tried by a court  of  Sessions  and  the

    Sessions Court after satisfying itself and after hearing the accused  frames

    charges for the offences alleged to have been committed  by  him,  the  Code

    provides a remedy to accused to challenge the  order  taking  cognizance  or

    of framing charges. Similar  situation  may  follow  in  a  complaint  case.

    Learned Additional Solicitor General submitted that power under Section  482

    of the Code  cannot  be  invoked  in  the  non-compoundable  offences  since

    Section  320(9)  expressly  prohibits  the  compounding  of  such  offences.

    Quashing of criminal proceedings of the offences which are  non-compoundable

    would negative the  effect  of  the  order  of  framing  charges  or  taking

    cognizance and therefore quashing would amount to taking away the  order  of

    cognizance passed by the Magistrate.

    15.         Learned Additional Solicitor General would submit that when  the

    Court takes cognizance or frames charges,  it  is  in  accordance  with  the

    procedure established by law.  Once the court  takes  cognizance  or  frames

    charges, the method to  challenge  such  order  is  by  way  of  appropriate

    application to the superior court under the provisions of the Code.

    16.          If  power under Section 482 is exercised, in relation  to  non-

    compoundable offences, it will amount to what is prohibited by law and  such

    cases cannot be brought within the parameters ‘to secure ends  of  justice’.

    Any  order  in  violation  and  breach  of  statutory  provisions,   learned

    Additional Solicitor General would submit, would be a case against the  ends

    of justice. He heavily relied upon a Constitution  Bench  decision  of  this

    Court in Central Bureau of Investigation and others v. Keshub  Mahindra  and

    others[4] wherein  this Court held, ‘no decision by any  court,  this  Court

    not excluded, can be read in a manner as to nullify the  express  provisions

    of an Act or the Code.’ With reference to B.S.  Joshi1,  learned  Additional

    Solicitor General submitted that that was  a  case  where  the  dispute  was

    between the husband and wife and the court  felt  that  if  the  proceedings

    were not quashed, it would prevent the woman from settling in life  and  the

    wife  had  already  filed  an  affidavit  that  there   were   temperamental

    differences  and  she  was   not   supporting   continuation   of   criminal

    proceedings. As regards,  Nikhil  Merchant2,  learned  Additional  Solicitor

    General submitted that this Court in State of Madhya  Pradesh  v.  Rameshwar

    and others[5] held that the said decision was a decision under  Article  142

    of the Constitution.  With  regard  to  Manoj  Sharma3,  learned  Additional

    Solicitor General referred to the observations made by Markandey  Katju,  J.

    in paragraphs 24 and 28 of the Report.

    17.         Learned Additional Solicitor General  submitted  that  the  High

    Court has no power to quash criminal proceedings in regard  to  offences  in

    which a cognizance has been taken by the  Magistrate  merely  because  there

    has been  settlement  between  the  victim  and  the  offender  because  the

    criminal offence is against the society.

    18.         More than 65 years back, in Emperor v.  Khwaja  Nazir  Ahmed[6],

    it was observed by the Privy Council that  Section  561A  (corresponding  to

    Section 482 of the Code) had not given increased powers to the  Court  which

    it did not possess before that section was enacted. It  was  observed,  `The

    section gives no new powers, it only provides that  those  which  the  court

    already inherently possess shall be  preserved  and  is  inserted  lest,  as

    their Lordships think,   it  should  be  considered  that  the  only  powers

    possessed by the court   are  those  expressly  conferred  by  the  Criminal

    Procedure Code and that no inherent power had survived the  passing  of  the

    Code’.

    19.         In Khushi Ram v. Hashim and others[7], this Court held as  under:

    “It is unnecessary to emphasise  that the inherent power of  the

    High Court under Section 561A cannot be  invoked  in  regard  to

    matters which are directly covered by the specific provisions of

    the Code…”

    20.         The above view of Privy  Council  in  Khwaja  Nazir  Ahmed6  and

    another decision in Lala Jairam Das  &  Ors.  v.  Emperor[8]  was  expressly

    accepted by this Court in State of Uttar  Pradesh.  v.  Mohammad  Naim[9]  .

    The Court said :

    “7. It is now well settled  that  the  section  confers  no  new

    powers on the High Court.  It  merely  safeguards  all  existing

    inherent powers possessed by a High Court necessary (among other

    purposes) to secure the ends of justice.  The  section  provides

    that those powers which the court inherently possesses shall  be

    preserved lest it be considered that the only  powers  possessed

    by the court are those expressly conferred by the Code and  that

    no inherent powers had survived the passing of the Code………..”

    21.         In Pampathy v. State of Mysore[10], a three-Judge Bench of  this

    Court stated as follows :

    “ The inherent power of the  High  Court  mentioned  in  Section

    561A, Criminal Procedure Code can be exercised only  for  either

    of the three purposes specifically mentioned in the section. The

    inherent power cannot  be  invoked  in  respect  of  any  matter

    covered by the specific provisions of the Code. It  cannot  also

    be invoked if its exercise would be inconsistent with any of the

    specific provisions of the Code. It is only  if  the  matter  in

    question is not covered by any specific provisions of  the  Code

    that s. 561A can come into operation…….”

    22.         In State of Karnataka v. L. Muniswamy and others[11],  a  three-

    Judge Bench of this Court referred  to  Section  482  of  the  Code  and  in

    paragraph 7 (pg. 703) of the Report held as under :

    “7.  …….. In the exercise of  this  wholesome  power,  the  High

    Court is entitled to quash a  proceeding  if  it  comes  to  the

    conclusion that allowing the proceeding to continue would be  an

    abuse of the process of the Court or that the  ends  of  justice

    require that the proceeding ought to be quashed. The  saving  of

    the High Court's inherent powers, both  in  civil  and  criminal

    matters, is designed to achieve a salutary public purpose  which

    is that  a  court  proceeding  ought  not  to  be  permitted  to

    degenerate into a weapon of  harassment  or  persecution.  In  a

    criminal case, the veiled object behind a lame prosecution,  the

    very nature of the  material  on  which  the  structure  of  the

    prosecution rests and the like would justify the High  Court  in

    quashing the proceeding in the interest of justice. The ends  of

    justice are higher than the ends of mere law though justice  has

    got  to  be  administered  according  to  laws   made   by   the

    legislature.  The  compelling   necessity   for   making   these

    observations is that without a proper realisation of the  object

    and purpose of the provision which seeks to  save  the  inherent

    powers of the High Court to do justice between the State and its

    subjects, it would be impossible to  appreciate  the  width  and

    contours of that salient jurisdiction.”

    23.         The Court then observed that the considerations  justifying  the

    exercise of inherent powers for securing the ends of justice naturally  vary

    from case to case and a jurisdiction as wholesome as the  one  conferred  by

    Section 482 ought not to be encased  within  the  straitjacket  of  a  rigid

    24.         A three-Judge Bench of this Court in Madhu Limaye v.  The  State

    of Maharashtra[12], dealt  with  the  invocation  of  inherent  power  under

    Section 482 for quashing interlocutory order   even  though  revision  under

    Section 397(2) of the Code was prohibited. The Court noticed the  principles

    in relation to the exercise of the inherent  power  of  the  High  Court  as

    under :

    “(1)  That 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)   That it should be  exercised  very  sparingly  to  prevent

    abuse of process of any Court or otherwise to secure the ends of

    justice;

     (3)   That it should not be exercised as against the express bar

    of law engrafted in any other provision of the Code.”

    25.         In Raj Kapoor and others v.  State  and  others[13],  the  Court

    explained the width and amplitude of the inherent power of  the  High  Court

    under Section 482 vis-à-vis revisional power under Section 397 as follows:

    “10.  …….The  opening  words  of  Section  482  contradict  this

    contention because nothing of the Code, not  even  Section  397,

    can affect the amplitude of the inherent power preserved  in  so

    many terms by the language of Section 482. Even  so,  a  general

    principle pervades this branch of law when a specific  provision

    is made: easy resort to inherent power is not right except under

    compelling  circumstances.  Not  that  there   is   absence   of

    jurisdiction but that inherent power should not invade areas set

    apart for specific power under the same Code. In Madhu  Limaye’s

    case this Court has exhaustively and, if I may say so with great

    respect, correctly  discussed  and  delineated  the  law  beyond

    mistake. While it is true  that  Section  482  is  pervasive  it

    should not subvert legal interdicts written into the same  Code,

    such, for instance, in Section  397(2).  Apparent  conflict  may

    arise in some situations between the two provisions and a  happy

    solution

     “would be to say that the bar provided in sub-section (2)  of

    Section 397 operates only in exercise of the revisional power

    of the High Court, meaning thereby that the High  Court  will

    have no power of revision in relation  to  any  interlocutory

    order. Then in accordance with one or  the  other  principles

    enunciated above, the inherent power  will  come  into  play,

    there being no other provision in the Code for the redress of

    the grievance of the aggrieved party. But then, if the  order

    assailed is purely of an interlocutory character which  could

    be corrected in exercise of the revisional power of the  High

    Court under the 1898 Code, the  High  Court  will  refuse  to

    exercise its inherent power. But in case the  impugned  order

    clearly brings about a situation which is  an  abuse  of  the

    process of the Court or for the purpose of securing the  ends

    of justice interference  by  the  High  Court  is  absolutely

    necessary, then nothing contained in Section 397(2) can limit

    or affect the exercise of the  inherent  power  by  the  High

    Court. But such cases would be few and far between. The  High

    Court must exercise the inherent power  very  sparingly.  One

    such case would be the desirability  of  the  quashing  of  a

    criminal proceeding initiated illegally,  vexatiously  or  as

    being without jurisdiction”.

    In short, there is no total ban  on  the  exercise  of  inherent

    power  where  abuse  of  the  process  of  the  court  or  other

    extraordinary situation excites the  court's  jurisdiction.  The

    limitation is self-restraint, nothing more. The  policy  of  the

    law is clear that interlocutory orders, pure and simple,  should

    not be taken up to  the  High  Court  resulting  in  unnecessary

    litigation and delay. At the other  extreme,  final  orders  are

    clearly capable of being  considered  in  exercise  of  inherent

    power, if glaring injustice stares the court  in  the  face.  In

    between is a tertium quid, as Untwalia, J. has  pointed  out  as

    for example, where it is more than a purely interlocutory  order

    and less than a final disposal. The  present  case  falls  under

    that category where the accused complain of  harassment  through

    the court's process. Can we state that in  this  third  category

    the inherent power can be exercised? In the words  of  Untwalia,

    J.: (SCC p. 556, para 10)

     “The answer is obvious that  the  bar  will  not  operate  to

    prevent the abuse of the  process  of  the  Court  and/or  to

    secure the ends of justice. The label of the  petition  filed

    by an aggrieved party  is  immaterial.  The  High  Court  can

    examine the matter in an appropriate case under its  inherent

    powers. The present case undoubtedly falls  for  exercise  of

    the power of the High Court in accordance with Section 482 of

    the 1973 Code, even assuming, although  not  accepting,  that

    invoking  the  revisional  power  of  the   High   Court   is

    impermissible.”

    I am, therefore clear in my mind that the inherent power is  not

    rebuffed in the case situation before us. Counsel on both sides,

    sensitively responding to our allergy for  legalistics,  rightly

    agreed that the fanatical insistence on the formal filing  of  a

    copy of the order under cessation need not take up this  court's

    time. Our conclusion concurs with the concession of  counsel  on

    both sides that merely because a copy of the order has not  been

    produced, despite its presence in the records in the  court,  it

    is not possible for me to hold that the  entire  revisory  power

    stands frustrated and the inherent power stultified.”

    26.         In Simrikhia  v.  Dolley  Mukherjee  and  Chhabi  Mukherjee  and

    another[14], the Court considered the scope of Section 482 of the Code in  a

    case where on dismissal of petition under Section  482,  a  second  petition

    under Section 482 of the Code was made. The  contention  before  this  Court

    was that the  second  petition  under  Section  482  of  the  Code  was  not

    entertainable; the exercise of power under Section 482 on a second  petition

    by the same party on the same ground virtually amounts  to   review  of  the

    earlier order and is contrary to the spirit of Section 362 of the  Code  and

    the High Court was in error in having quashed the  proceedings  by  adopting

    that course. While accepting this argument, this Court held as follows :

    “3.    ……The inherent power under Section  482  is  intended  to

    prevent the abuse of the process of the court and to secure ends

    of justice. Such power cannot be exercised to do something which

    is expressly barred under the Code. If any consideration of  the

    facts by way of review is not permissible under the Code and  is

    expressly barred, it is  not  for  the  court  to  exercise  its

    inherent power to reconsider the matter and record a conflicting

    decision. If there had been change in the circumstances  of  the

    case, it would be in order for the High Court  to  exercise  its

    inherent  powers  in  the  prevailing  circumstances  and   pass

    appropriate orders to secure the ends of justice or  to  prevent

    the abuse of the process of the court. Where there  is  no  such

    changed circumstances and the decision has to be arrived  at  on

    the facts that existed as on the date of the earlier order,  the

    exercise of the power to reconsider the same materials to arrive

    at  different  conclusion  is  in  effect  a  review,  which  is

    expressly barred under Section 362.

    5. Section 362 of the Code expressly provides that no court when

    it has signed its judgment or final order disposing of  a  case,

    shall alter or review the same except to correct a  clerical  or

    arithmetical error save  as  otherwise  provided  by  the  Code.

    Section 482 enables the High Court to make such order as may  be

    necessary to give effect to any  order  under  the  Code  or  to

    prevent abuse of the process of any court or otherwise to secure

    the ends of justice. The inherent powers, however, as  much  are

    controlled by principle and precedent as are its express  powers

    by statute. If a matter is covered by an express letter of  law,

    the court cannot give a go-by to the  statutory  provisions  and

    instead  evolve  a  new  provision  in  the  garb  of   inherent

    7. The inherent jurisdiction of the High Court cannot be invoked

    to override bar of review  under  Section  362.  It  is  clearly

    stated in Sooraj Devi v. Pyare Lal, that the inherent  power  of

    the  court  cannot  be  exercised  for  doing  that   which   is

    specifically prohibited by the Code. The law is therefore  clear

    that the inherent power cannot be exercised for doing that which

    cannot be done on account of the bar under other  provisions  of

    the Code. The court is not empowered to review its own  decision

    under the purported exercise of inherent power. We find that the

    impugned order in this case  is  in  effect  one  reviewing  the

    earlier order on a reconsideration of the  same  materials.  The

    High Court has grievously erred in doing so. Even on merits,  we

    do not find any compelling reasons to quash the  proceedings  at

    that stage.”

    27.         In Dharampal & Ors. v.   Ramshri  (Smt.)  and  others[15],  this

    Court observed as follows :

    “……It is now well settled that the inherent powers under Section

    482 of the Code cannot be utilized for exercising  powers  which

    are expressly barred by the Code…….”

    28.         In Arun Shankar Shukla v. State of Uttar Pradesh and ors.[16]  ,

    a two-Judge Bench of this Court held as under :

     “….It is true that under Section 482 of the Code, the High Court

    has inherent powers to make such orders as may be  necessary  to

    give effect to any order under the Code or to prevent the  abuse

    of process of any court or  otherwise  to  secure  the  ends  of

    justice. But the expressions “abuse of the process  of  law”  or

    “to  secure  the  ends  of  justice”  do  not  confer  unlimited

    jurisdiction on the High Court and  the  alleged  abuse  of  the

    process of law or the ends of justice could only be  secured  in

    accordance with law including procedural law and not  otherwise.

    Further, inherent powers are  in  the  nature  of  extraordinary

    powers to be used sparingly for achieving the  object  mentioned

    in Section 482 of the Code in cases where there  is  no  express

    provision empowering the High Court to achieve the said  object.

    It is well-neigh settled  that  inherent  power  is  not  to  be

    invoked in respect of any matter covered by specific  provisions

    of the Code or if  its  exercise  would  infringe  any  specific

    provision of the Code. In  the  present  case,  the  High  Court

    overlooked the procedural  law  which  empowered  the  convicted

    accused to prefer statutory appeal  against  conviction  of  the

    offence. The High Court has intervened at an uncalled for  stage

    and soft-pedalled the course of justice at a very crucial  stage

    of the trial.”

    29.         In G. Sagar Suri and another v. State of  U.P.  and  others[17],

    the Court was concerned with  the  order  of  the  High  Court  whereby  the

    application under  Section  482  of  the  Code  for  quashing  the  criminal

    proceedings under Sections 406 and 420 of the IPC pending in  the  Court  of

    Chief Judicial Magistrate, Ghaziabad was dismissed. In paragraph     8  (pg.

    643) of the Report, the Court held as under:

    “8. Jurisdiction under  Section  482  of  the  Code  has  to  be

    exercised with great care. In exercise of its  jurisdiction  the

    High Court is not to examine the matter superficially. It is  to

    be seen if a matter, which is essentially of a civil nature, has

    been given a cloak of criminal offence. Criminal proceedings are

    not a short cut of  other  remedies  available  in  law.  Before

    issuing process a criminal court has to exercise a great deal of

    caution. For the accused it is a serious matter. This Court  has

    laid certain principles on the basis of which the High Court  is

    to exercise its jurisdiction under  Section  482  of  the  Code.

    Jurisdiction under this section has to be exercised  to  prevent

    abuse of the process of any court or  otherwise  to  secure  the

    ends of justice.”

    30.         A three-Judge Bench of this Court in State of  Karnataka  v.  M.

    Devendrappa and  another[18]  restated  what  has  been  stated  in  earlier

    decisions that Section 482 does not  confer  any  new  powers  on  the  High

    Court, it only saves the inherent power which  the  court  possessed  before

    the commencement of the Code. The Court went on to explain the  exercise  of

    inherent power by the High Court  in paragraph 6 (Pg.94) of  the  Report  as

    under :

    “6.   ………It  envisages  three  circumstances  under  which   the

    inherent jurisdiction may be  exercised,  namely,  (i)  to  give

    effect to an order under the Code, (ii) to prevent abuse of  the

    process of court, and (iii) to  otherwise  secure  the  ends  of

    justice. It is neither possible nor desirable to  lay  down  any

    inflexible rule which would  govern  the  exercise  of  inherent

    jurisdiction. No legislative enactment  dealing  with  procedure

    can provide for all  cases  that  may  possibly  arise.  Courts,

    therefore, have inherent powers apart from express provisions of

    law which are necessary for proper discharge  of  functions  and

    duties imposed upon them by law.  That  is  the  doctrine  which

    finds expression in the  section  which  merely  recognizes  and

    preserves inherent  powers  of  the  High  Courts.  All  courts,

    whether civil or criminal possess, in the absence of any express

    provision, as inherent in their constitution, all such powers as

    are necessary to do the right and to undo a wrong in  course  of

    administration of justice on the principle  quando  lex  aliquid

    alicui concedit, concedere videtur et id sine quo res ipsae esse

    non potest (when the law gives a person anything  it  gives  him

    that without which it cannot  exist).  While  exercising  powers

    under the section, the court does not function  as  a  court  of

    appeal or revision.  Inherent  jurisdiction  under  the  section

    though wide has to be exercised sparingly,  carefully  and  with

    caution and only when such exercise is justified  by  the  tests

    specifically laid down in  the  section  itself.  It  is  to  be

    exercised ex debito justitiae to do real and substantial justice

    for the administration of which alone courts exist. Authority of

    the court exists for advancement of justice and if  any  attempt

    is made to abuse that authority so as to produce injustice,  the

    court has power to prevent  abuse.  It  would  be  an  abuse  of

    process of the court to allow any action which would  result  in

    injustice and prevent promotion of justice. In exercise  of  the

    powers court would be justified to quash any  proceeding  if  it

    finds that initiation/continuance of it amounts to abuse of  the

    process  of  court  or  quashing  of  these  proceedings   would

    otherwise serve the ends of justice……..”

    The Court in paragraph 9 (Pg. 96) further stated :

     “9.  ………the powers possessed by the High Court under Section 482

    of the Code are very wide and the very plenitude  of  the  power

    requires great caution in its exercise. Court must be careful to

    see that its decision in exercise of  this  power  is  based  on

    sound principles. The inherent power should not be exercised  to

    stifle a  legitimate  prosecution.  The  High  Court  being  the

    highest court of a State should normally refrain from  giving  a

    prima facie decision in  a  case  where  the  entire  facts  are

    incomplete and hazy, more so when  the  evidence  has  not  been

    collected and produced before the Court and the issues involved,

    whether factual or legal, are of magnitude and cannot be seen in

    their true perspective without sufficient material.  Of  course,

    no hard-and-fast rule can be laid down in  regard  to  cases  in

    which  the  High   Court   will   exercise   its   extraordinary

    jurisdiction of quashing the proceeding at any stage……”

    31.         In Central Bureau of Investigation v. A. Ravishankar Prasad  and

    others[19], the Court observed in paragraphs 17,19,20 and 39 (Pgs. 356,  357

    and 363) of the Report as follows :

    “17. Undoubtedly, the High Court possesses inherent powers under

    Section 482 of the Code of Criminal  Procedure.  These  inherent

    powers of the High Court are meant to act ex debito justitiae to

    do real and substantial justice, for the administration of which

    alone it exists, or to prevent  abuse  of  the  process  of  the

    19.  This  Court  time  and  again   has   observed   that   the

    extraordinary power under Section 482 CrPC should  be  exercised

    sparingly and with great care and caution. The  Court  would  be

    justified in exercising the  power  when  it  is  imperative  to

    exercise the power in order to prevent injustice.  In  order  to

    understand the nature and scope of power under Section 482  CrPC

    it has become necessary to recapitulate the ratio of the decided

    20. Reference to the  following  cases  would  reveal  that  the

    Courts have consistently taken the view that they must  use  the

    court's extraordinary power only to prevent injustice and secure

    the ends of justice. We have largely inherited the provisions of

    inherent powers from the English  jurisprudence,  therefore  the

    principles decided by the English courts would be  of  relevance

    for us. It is generally agreed that the Crown Court has inherent

    power to protect its process from abuse. The English courts have

    also used inherent power to achieve the same objective.

    39. Careful analysis of all these judgments clearly reveals that

    the exercise of inherent powers would  entirely  depend  on  the

    facts  and  circumstances  of   each   case.   The   object   of

    incorporating inherent powers in the Code is to prevent abuse of

    the process of the court or to secure ends of justice.”

    32           In  Devendra  and  others  v.  State  of  Uttar   Pradesh   and

    another[20], while dealing with the question whether a  pure  civil  dispute

    can be subject matter of a criminal proceeding under Sections 420, 467,  468

    and 469 IPC, a two-Judge Bench of this Court observed that  the  High  Court

    ordinarily would exercise its jurisdiction under Section 482 of the Code  if

    the allegations made in the First Information Report,  even  if  given  face

    value and taken to be correct  in  their  entirety,  do  not  make  out  any

    33.          In  Sushil  Suri  v.  Central  Bureau  of   Investigation   and

    another[21], the Court considered  the  scope  and  ambit  of  the  inherent

    jurisdiction of the High Court and made the following observations  in  para

    16 (pg. 715) of the Report:

    “16. Section 482 CrPC itself envisages three circumstances under

    which the inherent jurisdiction may be  exercised  by  the  High

    Court, namely, (i) to give effect to an order under  CrPC;  (ii)

    to prevent an abuse of  the  process  of  court;  and  (iii)  to

    otherwise secure the ends of justice. It is trite that  although

    the power possessed by the High Court under the  said  provision

    is very wide but it is not unbridled. It  has  to  be  exercised

    sparingly, carefully and cautiously, ex debito justitiae  to  do

    real and substantial justice for which alone the  Court  exists.

    Nevertheless, it is neither feasible nor desirable to  lay  down

    any inflexible rule which would govern the exercise of  inherent

    jurisdiction of the Court. Yet, in numerous  cases,  this  Court

    has laid down certain broad principles which  may  be  borne  in

    mind while  exercising  jurisdiction  under  Section  482  CrPC.

    Though it is emphasised that exercise of inherent  powers  would

    depend on the facts and circumstances  of  each  case,  but  the

    common thread which  runs  through  all  the  decisions  on  the

    subject is that the Court would be  justified  in  invoking  its

    inherent  jurisdiction  where  the  allegations  made   in   the

    complaint or charge-sheet, as the case may be,  taken  at  their

    face value and accepted in their entirety do not constitute  the

    offence alleged.”

    34.         Besides B.S. Joshi1, Nikhil Merchant2 and Manoj  Sharma3,  there

    are other decisions of this Court where the scope of Section  320  vis-à-vis

    the inherent power of the High Court under Section 482 of the Code has  come

    up for consideration.

    35.         In Madan Mohan Abbot v.  State  of  Punjab[22],  in  the  appeal

    before this Court which arose from an order of the High  Court  refusing  to

    quash the FIR against the appellant lodged under  Sections  379,  406,  409,

    418,  506/34,  IPC  on  account  of  compromise  entered  into  between  the

    complainant and the accused, in paragraphs 5 and 6 (pg. 584) of the  Report,

    the Court held as under :

     “5. It is on the basis of this compromise that  the  application

    was filed in the High Court for quashing  of  proceedings  which

    has been dismissed by the  impugned  order.  We  notice  from  a

    reading of the FIR and the other documents on  record  that  the

    dispute was purely a personal one between two contesting parties

    and that it arose out of  extensive  business  dealings  between

    them and that there was absolutely no public policy involved  in

    the nature of the allegations made against the accused. We  are,

    therefore, of the opinion that no useful purpose would be served

    in  continuing  with  the  proceedings  in  the  light  of   the

    compromise  and  also  in  the  light  of  the  fact  that   the

    complainant has on 11-1-2004 passed away and the possibility  of

    a conviction being recorded has thus to be ruled out.

    6. We need to emphasise that it is  perhaps  advisable  that  in

    disputes where the question involved is  of  a  purely  personal

    nature, the court should ordinarily  accept  the  terms  of  the

    compromise even in criminal proceedings as  keeping  the  matter

    alive  with  no  possibility  of  a  result  in  favour  of  the

    prosecution is a luxury which the courts,  grossly  overburdened

    as they are, cannot afford and that the time  so  saved  can  be

    utilised in deciding more effective and  meaningful  litigation.

    This is a common sense approach to the matter based on ground of

    realities and bereft of the technicalities of the law.”

    36.         In Ishwar Singh v. State of Madhya Pradesh[23],  the  Court  was

    concerned with a case where  the  accused  –  appellant  was  convicted  and

    sentenced by the Additional Sessions Judge for an offence  punishable  under

    Section 307, IPC. The High Court dismissed the appeal from the judgment  and

    conviction.  In the appeal, by special leave, the injured – complainant  was

    ordered to be joined as party as it  was  stated  by  the  counsel  for  the

    appellant that mutual compromise has been arrived at  between  the  parties,

    i.e. accused on the one hand and the complainant – victim on the other  hand

    during the pendency of the proceedings before this Court. It was  prayed  on

    behalf of the appellant that the appeal be  disposed  of  on  the  basis  of

    compromise between the parties. In para 12 (pg.  670)  of  the  Report,  the

    Court observed as follows :

     “12. Now, it cannot be gainsaid that an offence punishable under

    Section 307 IPC is not a compoundable offence.  Section  320  of

    the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 expressly  states  that  no

    offence shall be compounded if it is not compoundable under  the

    Code. At  the  same  time,  however,  while  dealing  with  such

    matters, this  Court  may  take  into  account  a  relevant  and

    important consideration about compromise between the parties for

    the purpose of reduction of sentence.”

    37.         The Court also referred to the earlier decisions of  this  Court

    in Jetha Ram v. State of Rajasthan[24], Murugesan  v.  Ganapathy  Velar[25],

    Ishwarlal  v. State of M.P.[26] and Mahesh  Chand  &  another  v.  State  of

    Rajasthan[27] and noted in paragraph 13 (pg. 670) of the Report as  follows:

     “13. In Jetha Ram v. State of Rajasthan, Murugesan v.  Ganapathy

    Velar and Ishwarlal v. State of M.P. this  Court,  while  taking

    into account the fact of compromise between the parties, reduced

    sentence imposed on the appellant-accused to already  undergone,

    though the offences were  not  compoundable.  But  it  was  also

    stated that in Mahesh Chand v. State of Rajasthan  such  offence

    was ordered to be compounded.”

    Then, in paragraphs 14 and 15 (pg. 670) the Court held as under :

     “14. In our considered opinion, it would not be  appropriate  to

    order compounding of an offence not compoundable under the  Code

    ignoring  and  keeping  aside  statutory  provisions.   In   our

    judgment, however, limited submission of the learned counsel for

    the  appellant  deserves  consideration  that   while   imposing

    substantive sentence,  the  factum  of  compromise  between  the

    parties is indeed a relevant circumstance which  the  Court  may

    keep in mind.

    15. In the instant case, the incident  took  place  before  more

    than fifteen years; the parties are residing in one and the same

    village and they are also relatives. The appellant was about  20

    years of age at the time of commission  of  crime.  It  was  his

    first offence. After conviction, the petitioner was  taken  into

    custody. During the pendency of appeal before the High Court, he

    was enlarged on bail but, after the decision of the High  Court,

    he again surrendered and is in jail at present.  Though  he  had

    applied for bail, the prayer was not  granted  and  he  was  not

    released  on  bail.  Considering  the  totality  of  facts   and

    circumstances, in our opinion, the ends of justice would be  met

    if  the  sentence  of  imprisonment  awarded  to  the  appellant

    (Accused 1) is reduced to the period already undergone.”

    38.           In Rumi Dhar (Smt.) v. State of West Bengal and another[28]

    , the Court was concerned with applicability of Section 320 of  the  Code

    where the accused was being prosecuted for commission of  offences  under

    Sections 120-B/420/467/468/471 of the IPC along with  the  bank  officers

    who were being prosecuted under Section 13(2) read with Section  13(1)(d)

    of Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988. The accused   had paid the  entire

    due amount as per the settlement with the bank in the matter of  recovery

    before the Debts Recovery Tribunal. The accused  prayed for her discharge

    on the grounds (i) having regard to the settlement arrived at between her

    and the bank, no case for proceeding against her has been made out;  (ii)

    the amount having already been paid  and  the  title  deeds  having  been

    returned, the criminal proceedings should be dropped on the basis of  the

    settlement and (iii) the dispute between the parties were purely civil in

    nature and that she had not fabricated any document or cheated  the  bank

    in any way whatsoever and charges could not have been framed against her.

    The CBI contested the application for discharge on the ground that  mere

    repayment to the bank could not exonerate the accused from  the  criminal

    proceeding. The two-Judge Bench of this Court referred to Section 320  of

    the Code and the earlier decisions of this Court in CBI v.  Duncans  Agro

    Industries Limited[29], State of Haryana  v.  Bhajan  Lal[30],  State  of

    Bihar v. P.P. Sharma[31], Janata Dal v.  H.S.  Chowdhary[32]  and  Nikhil

    Merchant2 which followed the decision  in  B.S.  Joshi1   and  then  with

    reference to Article 142 of the Constitution and Section 482 of the  Code

    refused to quash the charge against the accused by holding as under:

    “24. The jurisdiction of the Court  under  Article  142  of  the

    Constitution of India is not in dispute. Exercise of such  power

    would, however, depend on the facts and  circumstances  of  each

    case. The High Court, in  exercise  of  its  jurisdiction  under

    Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, and  this  Court,

    in terms of Article 142 of the Constitution of India, would  not

    direct quashing of a case involving crime  against  the  society

    particularly when both the learned Special  Judge  as  also  the

    High Court have found that a prima facie case has been made  out

    against the appellant herein for framing the charge.”

    39.         In Shiji alias Pappu and  others  vs.  Radhika  and  another[33]

    this Court considered the exercise of  inherent  power  by  the  High  Court

    under Section 482 in a matter where the offence was not compoundable as  the

    accused was already involved in commission of the offences punishable  under

    Sections 354 and 394 IPC. The High Court  rejected  the  prayer  by  holding

    that the offences with    which appellants were charged  are  not  ‘personal

    in nature’ to justify quashing the criminal proceedings on the  basis  of  a

    compromise arrived at between  the  complainant  and  the  appellants.  This

    Court considered earlier decisions of this Court, the  provisions  contained

    in Sections 320 and 394 of the Code and in paragraphs 17, 18  and  19  (pgs.

    712 and 713) of the Report held as under:

    “17. It is manifest  that  simply  because  an  offence  is  not

    compoundable under Section 320 CrPC is by itself no  reason  for

    the High Court to refuse exercise of its power under Section 482

    CrPC. That power can in our opinion be exercised in cases  where

    there is no chance of recording a conviction against the accused

    and the entire exercise of a trial is destined to be an exercise

    in futility. There is a subtle distinction  between  compounding

    of offences by the parties before the trial court or  in  appeal

    on the one hand and the exercise of power by the High  Court  to

    quash the prosecution under Section 482 CrPC on the other. While

    a  court  trying  an  accused  or  hearing  an  appeal   against

    conviction, may not be competent to  permit  compounding  of  an

    offence based on a settlement arrived at between the parties  in

    cases where the offences are not compoundable under Section 320,

    the High Court may quash the prosecution even in cases where the

    offences  with  which  the  accused  stand  charged   are   non-

    compoundable. The  inherent  powers  of  the  High  Court  under

    Section 482 CrPC are not for that purpose controlled by  Section

    320 CrPC.

    18. Having said so, we must hasten to add that the plenitude  of

    the power under Section 482 CrPC by itself, makes it  obligatory

    for the High Court to exercise the same  with  utmost  care  and

    caution. The width and the nature of the  power  itself  demands

    that its exercise is sparing and only in cases  where  the  High

    Court is, for reasons to be recorded, of  the  clear  view  that

    continuance of the prosecution would be nothing but an abuse  of

    the process of law. It is neither necessary nor proper for us to

    enumerate the situations in which the exercise  of  power  under

    Section 482 may be justified. All that we need to  say  is  that

    the exercise of power must be for securing the ends  of  justice

    and only in cases where  refusal  to  exercise  that  power  may

    result in the abuse of the process of law. The High Court may be

    justified in declining interference if  it  is  called  upon  to

    appreciate  evidence  for  it  cannot  assume  the  role  of  an

    appellate court while dealing with a petition under Section  482

    of the Criminal Procedure Code. Subject to the above,  the  High

    Court will have to consider the facts and circumstances of  each

    case to determine whether it is a fit case in which the inherent

    powers may be invoked.

    19. Coming to the case at hand, we are  of  the  view  that  the

    incident in question had its genesis in a  dispute  relating  to

    the access to the two plots which are adjacent to each other. It

    was not a case of broad daylight robbery for gain. It was a case

    which has its origin in the civil dispute between  the  parties,

    which dispute has, it appears, been resolved by them. That being

    so, continuance of the prosecution where the complainant is  not

    ready to support the allegations which are now described by  her

    as arising out of some “misunderstanding and misconception” will

    be  a  futile  exercise  that  will  serve  no  purpose.  It  is

    noteworthy that the two alleged eyewitnesses,  who  are  closely

    related to the complainant, are also no longer supportive of the

    prosecution version. The continuance of the proceedings is  thus

    nothing but an empty formality. Section 482 CrPC could, in  such

    circumstances, be justifiably  invoked  by  the  High  Court  to

    prevent abuse of the process of law  and  thereby  preventing  a

    wasteful exercise by the courts below”.

    40.          In  Ashok  Sadarangani  and  Anr.  vs.  Union  of   India   and

    others[34],  the issue under consideration was whether an offence which  was

    not compoundable under the provisions of the Code could be  quashed.    That

    was a case where   a  criminal case   was  registered  against  the  accused

    persons under Sections 120-B, 465, 467, 468 and 471 of IPC.  The  allegation

    was  that  accused  secured  the  credit  facilities  by  submitting  forged

    property documents  as  collaterals   and  utilized  such  facilities  in  a

    dishonest and fraudulent manner by opening Letters of Credit in  respect  of

    foreign supplies of goods, without actually bringing any goods but  inducing

    the Bank to negotiate the Letters of Credit in favour of  foreign  suppliers

    and also by misusing the cash credit facility.   The  Court  considered  the

    earlier  decisions of this Court including B.S.  Joshi1,  Nikhil  Merchant2,

    Manoj Sharma3, Shiji alias Pappu33, Duncans Agro Industries Limited29,  Rumi

    Dhar (Smt.)28 and  Sushil  Suri21   and  also  referred   to  the  order  of

    reference in one of  the cases before us.  In paragraphs 17, 18, 19  and  20

    of the Report it was held as under:-

    “17. Having carefully considered the facts and circumstances  of

    the case, as  also  the  law  relating  to  the  continuance  of

    criminal cases where the complainant and the accused had settled

    their differences and had arrived at an amicable arrangement, we

    see no reason to differ with the views that had  been  taken  in

    Nikhil Merchant's case or Manoj Sharma's  case  (supra)  or  the

    several decisions that have come thereafter. It is, however,  no

    coincidence that the golden thread which runs  through  all  the

    decisions  cited,  indicates  that  continuance  of  a  criminal

    proceeding after a compromise has been arrived  at  between  the

    complainant and the  accused,  would  amount  to  abuse  of  the

    process of court and an exercise in futility,  since  the  trial

    could be prolonged and ultimately, may conclude  in  a  decision

    which may be of any consequence to any  of  the  other  parties.

    Even in Sushil Suri's  case  on  which  the  learned  Additional

    Solicitor General had relied, the learned Judges who decided the

    said case, took note of the decisions in  various  other  cases,

    where it had been  reiterated  that  the  exercise  of  inherent

    powers would depend entirely on the facts and  circumstances  of

    each case. In other words, not that there is any restriction  on

    the power or authority vested in the Supreme Court in exercising

    powers under Article  142  of  the  Constitution,  but  that  in

    exercising such powers the Court has to be circumspect, and  has

    to exercise such power sparingly in  the  facts  of  each  case.

    Furthermore, the issue, which has  been  referred  to  a  larger

    Bench in Gian Singh's case (supra) in relation to the  decisions

    of this Court in B.S. Joshi's case, Nikhil Merchant's  case,  as

    also Manoj  Sharma's  case,  deal  with  a  situation  which  is

    different from that of the present  case.  While  in  the  cases

    referred to hereinabove, the main question was whether  offences

    which were not compoundable, under Section 320 Cr.P.C.  could be

    quashed under Section 482 Cr.P.C.,  in  Gian  Singh's  case  the

    Court was of the view that a non-compoundable offence could  not

    be compounded and that the Courts should not try  to  take  over

    the function of the Parliament or executive. In fact, in none of

    the cases referred to in  Gian  Singh's  case,  did  this  Court

    permit compounding of non-compoundable offences.  On  the  other

    hand, upon taking various factors into consideration,  including

    the futility of continuing with the criminal  proceedings,  this

    Court ultimately quashed the same.

    18. In addition to the above, even with regard to  the  decision

    of this Court in Central Bureau of Investigation v. Ravi Shankar

    Prasad and Ors. : [(2009) 6 SCC 351], this Court  observed  that

    the High Court can exercise power under Section 482  Cr.P.C.  to

    do real and substantial justice and  to  prevent  abuse  of  the

    process of Court when exceptional  circumstances  warranted  the

    exercise of such power. Once the circumstances in a  given  case

    were held to be such as to attract the provisions of Article 142

    or Articles 32 and 226 of the Constitution, it would be open  to

    the Supreme Court to exercise  its  extraordinary  powers  under

    Article 142 of the Constitution to quash  the  proceedings,  the

    continuance whereof would only amount to abuse of the process of

    Court. In the instant case the dispute between  the  petitioners

    and the Banks  having  been  compromised,  we  have  to  examine

    whether the continuance of the criminal  proceeding  could  turn

    out to be an exercise  in  futility  without  anything  positive

    being ultimately achieved.

    19. As was indicated in  Harbhajan  Singh's  case  (supra),  the

    pendency of a reference to a larger Bench, does  not  mean  that

    all other proceedings involving  the  same  issue  would  remain

    stayed till a  decision  was  rendered  in  the  reference.  The

    reference made in Gian Singh's case (supra) need not, therefore,

    detain us. Till such time as the decisions cited at the Bar  are

    not modified or altered in any way, they continue  to  hold  the

    20. In the present case, the fact situation  is  different  from

    that  in  Nikhil  Merchant's  case  (supra).  While  in   Nikhil

    Merchant's case the accused  had  misrepresented  the  financial

    status of the company in question in order to  avail  of  credit

    facilities to an extent to which the company was  not  entitled,

    in the instant case, the allegation is that as part of a  larger

    conspiracy, property acquired on lease from a person who had  no

    title to  the  leased  properties,  was  offered  as  collateral

    security for loans obtained. Apart from the  above,  the  actual

    owner of the property has filed  a  criminal  complaint  against

    Shri Kersi V. Mehta who had held himself out as the Attorney  of

    the owner and his family members. The ratio of the decisions  in

    B.S. Joshi's case and in Nikhil  Merchant's  case  or  for  that

    matter, even in Manoj Sharma's case, does not help the  case  of

    the writ petitioners. In Nikhil Merchant's case, this Court  had

    in the facts of the case observed that the dispute involved  had

    overtures of a civil dispute with criminal facets. This  is  not

    so in the instant case,  where  the  emphasis  is  more  on  the

    criminal intent of the Petitioners  than  on  the  civil  aspect

    involving the dues of the Bank in respect of which a  compromise

    was worked out.”

    The Court distinguished  B.S. Joshi1 and  Nikhil  Merchant2    by  observing

    that those cases  dealt with different fact situation.

    41.         In Rajiv   Saxena  and  others  v.  State  (NCT  of  Delhi)  and

    another[35],  this Court allowed  the   quashment  of  criminal  case  under

    Sections 498-A and 496 read with Section 34 IPC  by a brief order.   It  was

    observed  that  since  the  parties  had  settled  their  disputes  and  the

    complainant agreed that the criminal  proceedings  need  not  be  continued,

    the criminal proceedings could be quashed.

    42.         In a very recent judgment decided by this Court in the month  of

    July,  2012  in  Jayrajsinh  Digvijaysinh  Rana  v.  State  of  Gujarat  and

    another[36], this Court was again concerned with the question  of  quashment

    of an FIR alleging offences punishable under Sections  467,  468,  471,  420

    and 120-B IPC. The High Court refused  to  quash  the  criminal  case  under

    Section 482 of the Code.  The question for consideration was  that  inasmuch

    as all those  offences,  except  Section  420  IPC,   were  non-compoundable

    offences  under  Section 320 of the Code, whether it would  be  possible  to

    quash the FIR by the High Court under Section 482 of the  Code  or  by  this

    Court under  Article  136  of  the  Constitution  of  India.     The   Bench

    elaborately considered the decision of this Court  in  Shiji  alias  Pappu33

    and by invoking  Article  142  of  the  Constitution  quashed  the  criminal

    proceedings.  It was held  as under:-

    “10. In the light of the principles mentioned above, inasmuch as

    Respondent No. 2  -  the  Complainant  has  filed  an  affidavit

    highlighting the stand taken by the Appellant  (Accused  No.  3)

    during the pendency of the appeal  before  this  Court  and  the

    terms of settlement as stated in the said affidavit, by applying

    the same analogy and in  order  to  do  complete  justice  under

    Article  142  of  the  Constitution,  we  accept  the  terms  of

    settlement insofar as the Appellant herein (Accused  No.  3)  is

    11.   In view of the same, we quash and set aside  the  impugned

    FIR No. 45/2011 registered with Sanand Police Station, Ahmedabad

    for offences punishable Under Sections 467, 468,  471,  420  and

    120-B of IPC  insofar  as  the  Appellant  (Accused  No.  3)  is

    concerned.  The  appeal  is  allowed  to  the  extent  mentioned

    above”.

    43.         In Y. Suresh Babu v. State of A. P.[37]  decided  on  April  29,

    1987, this Court allowed the compounding of an  offence  under  Section  326

    IPC  even though such compounding was not permitted by Section  320  of  the

    Code.     However, in Ram Lal and Anr. v. State of J & K[38]  ,  this  Court

    observed that  Y. Suresh Babu37 was per  incuriam.   It  was  held  that  an

    offence which law declares to be non-compoundable cannot  be  compounded  at

    all even with the permission of the Court.

    44.         Having surveyed the decisions of this Court  which  throw  light

    on the question raised before us, two decisions, one given  by  the   Punjab

    and Haryana High Court and the other by  Bombay High  Court  deserve  to  be

    45.         A five-Judge Bench of the  Punjab  and  Haryana  High  Court  in

    Kulwinder Singh and others v. State of Punjab  and  another[39]  was  called

    upon to determine, inter alia, the question whether the High Court  has  the

    power under Section 482 of the Code to quash  the  criminal  proceedings  or

    allow the compounding  of  the  offences   in  the  cases  which  have  been

    specified as non-compoundable offences under the provisions of  Section  320

    of the Code.  The five-Judge Bench referred to  quite  a  few  decisions  of

    this Court including the decisions in Madhu Limaye12 ,  Bhajan  Lal30  ,  L.

    Muniswamy11 , Simrikhia14, B.S.  Joshi1   and  Ram  Lal38   and  framed  the

    following guidelines:

     “a. Cases  arising  from  matrimonial  discord,  even  if  other

    offences are introduced for aggravation of the case.

    b.  Cases  pertaining  to  property   disputes   between   close

    relations, which are predominantly civil in nature and they have

    a  genuine  or  belaboured  dimension  of  criminal   liability.

    Notwithstanding a touch of criminal  liability,  the  settlement

    would bring lasting  peace  and  harmony  to  larger  number  of

    c. Cases of dispute between old partners  or  business  concerns

    with dealings over a long period which are  predominantly  civil

    and are given or acquire a criminal dimension  but  the  parties

    are essentially  seeking  a  redressal  of  their  financial  or

    commercial claim.

    d. Minor offences as under Section 279, IPC may be permitted  to

    be compounded on the basis of legitimate settlement between  the

    parties. Yet another offence which remains non- compoundable  is

    Section  506  (II),  IPC,  which  is  punishable  with  7  years

    imprisonment. It is the  judicial  experience  that  an  offence

    under Section 506 IPC  in  most  cases  is  based  on  the  oral

    declaration with different shades of intention. Another  set  of

    offences, which ought to be liberally compounded,  are  Sections

    147 and 148, IPC, more particularly  where  other  offences  are

    compoundable. It may be added here  that  the  State  of  Madhya

    Pradesh vide M.P. Act No.  17  of  1999  (Section  3)  has  made

    Sections 506(II)  IPC,  147  IPC   and   148,  IPC  compoundable

    offences by amending the schedule under Section 320, Cr.P.C.

    e. The  offences  against  human  body  other  than  murder  and

    culpable homicide  where  the  victim  dies  in  the  course  of

    transaction would fall in the category where compounding may not

    be permitted. Heinous offences like highway robbery, dacoity  or

    a case involving clear-cut allegations of rape should also  fall

    in  the  prohibited  category.  Offences  committed  by   Public

    Servants purporting to act in that  capacity  as  also  offences

    against public servant while  the  victims  are  acting  in  the

    discharge of their duty must remain  non-compoundable.  Offences

    against the State enshrined in Chapter-VII  (relating  to  army,

    navy and air force) must remain non-compoundable.

    f. That as a broad guideline the  offences  against  human  body

    other than murder and culpable homicide may be permitted  to  be

    compounded when the court is in the position to record a finding

    that the settlement between the parties is voluntary and fair.

    While parting with this part, it appears necessary to  add  that

    the settlement or compromise must satisfy the conscience of  the

    court. The settlement must be just and fair besides  being  free

    from the undue pressure, the court must  examine  the  cases  of

    weaker and vulnerable victims with necessary caution."

    To conclude, it can safely be said that there can never  be  any

    hard and fast category which can be  prescribed  to  enable  the

    Court to exercise its power under Section 482 of the Cr.P.C. The

    only principle that can be laid down is the one which  has  been

    incorporated in the Section itself, i.e., "to prevent  abuse  of

    the process of any Court" or "to secure the ends of justice".

    It was  further held as under :

    “23. No embargo, be in  the  shape  of  Section  320(9)  of  the

    Cr.P.C., or any other such curtailment,  can  whittle  down  the

    power under Section 482 of the Cr.P.C.

    25. The only inevitable conclusion from the above discussion  is

    that there is no statutory  bar  under  the  Cr.P.C.  which  can

    affect the inherent power  of  this  Court  under  Section  482.

    Further, the same cannot be limited to matrimonial  cases  alone

    and the Court has the wide power to quash the  proceedings  even

    in  non-compoundable  offences  notwithstanding  the  bar  under

    Section 320 of the Cr.P.C., in order to prevent the abuse of law

    and to secure the ends of justice. The power under  Section  482

    of the Cr.P.C. is to be exercised ex-debito Justitiae to prevent

    an abuse of process of Court. There can neither be an exhaustive

    list nor the defined para-meters  to  enable  a  High  Court  to

    invoke or exercise its inherent powers. It  will  always  depend

    upon the facts and circumstances of each case. The  power  under

    Section 482 of the Cr.P.C. has  no  limits.  However,  the  High

    Court will exercise  it  sparingly  and  with  utmost  care  and

    caution. The exercise of power has to be with circumspection and

    restraint. The Court is a vital and an extra-ordinary  effective

    instrument to maintain and control social order. The Courts play

    role of paramount importance in  achieving  peace,  harmony  and

    ever-lasting congeniality in society. Resolution of a dispute by

    way of a  compromise  between  two  warring  groups,  therefore,

    should attract the immediate and prompt  attention  of  a  Court

    which should endeavour to give full effect to  the  same  unless

    such compromise  is  abhorrent  to  lawful  composition  of  the

    society or would promote savagery.”

    46.         A three-Judge Bench of the Bombay High Court in  Abasaheb  Yadav

    Honmane v. State of Maharashtra[40] dealt with the  inherent  power  of  the

    High Court under Section 482 of the  Code  vis-à-vis  the  express  bar  for

    compounding of the non-compoundable offences in Section 320(9) of the  Code.

    The High Court referred to various decisions of  this  Court  and  also  the

    decisions of the various High Courts and then stated as follows :

    “The power of compounding on one hand and quashing of  criminal

    proceedings in exercise of inherent powers  on  the  other,  are

    incapable  of  being  treated  as  synonymous  or  even   inter-

    changeable in law. The conditions precedent and satisfaction  of

    criteria in each of these cases are distinct and different.  May

    be, the only aspect where  they  have  any  commonality  is  the

    result of exercise of such power in favour of  the  accused,  as

    acquittal is the end result in  both  these  cases.  Both  these

    powers are to be exercised  for  valid  grounds  and  with  some

    element of objectivity. Particularly, the power of quashing  the

    FIR or criminal proceedings by the Court by taking  recourse  to

    inherent powers is expected to be used sparingly  and  that  too

    without losing sight of impact of such  order  on  the  criminal

    justice delivery system. It may be obligatory upon the Court  to

    strike a balance between the nature of the offence and the  need

    to pass an order in exercise of inherent powers, as  the  object

    of criminal law is protection of public by  maintenance  of  law

    and order.”

    47.         Section 320 of the Code articulates public  policy  with  regard

    to the compounding of offences. It catalogues the offences punishable  under

    IPC which may be compounded by the parties without permission of  the  Court

    and the composition of certain offences with the permission  of  the  court.

    The offences punishable under  the  special  statutes  are  not  covered  by

    Section 320.   When an offence is compoundable under Section 320,  abatement

    of such offence or an attempt to commit such offence or  where  the  accused

    is liable under Section 34 or 149 of the IPC can also be compounded  in  the

    same manner. A person who is under 18 years of age  or  is  an  idiot  or  a

    lunatic is not competent to contract compounding of  offence  but  the  same

    can be done on his behalf with the permission of the court.  If a person  is

    otherwise  competent  to  compound   an   offence   is   dead,   his   legal

    representatives may also compound the offence with  the  permission  of  the

    court.  Where the accused has been  committed  for  trial  or  he  has  been

    convicted and the appeal is pending, composition can only be done  with  the

    leave of the court to which he has been committed or with the leave  of  the

    appeal court, as the case may be.  The revisional court  is  also  competent

    to allow any person to compound any offence who is  competent  to  compound.

    The consequence of the  composition  of  an  offence  is  acquittal  of  the

    accused. Sub-section (9) of Section 320 mandates that no  offence  shall  be

    compounded except as provided by this Section. Obviously,  in  view  thereof

    the composition of an offence has to be in accord with Section  320  and  in

    no other manner.

    48.         The question is with regard to the inherent power  of  the  High

    Court in quashing the criminal  proceedings  against  an  offender  who  has

    settled his dispute with the victim of the crime but the crime in  which  he

    is allegedly involved is not compoundable under Section 320 of the Code.

    49.         Section 482 of the Code, as its very  language  suggests,  saves

    the inherent power of the High Court which it has by virtue of  it  being  a

    superior court to prevent abuse of the process of any court or otherwise  to

    secure the ends of justice. It begins  with  the  words,  ‘nothing  in  this

    Code’ which means that the provision  is  an  overriding  provision.   These

    words leave no manner of doubt that none  of  the  provisions  of  the  Code

    limits or restricts the inherent power. The guideline for exercise  of  such

    power is provided in Section 482  itself  i.e.,  to  prevent  abuse  of  the

    process of any court or otherwise to secure the ends  of  justice.   As  has

    been repeatedly stated that Section  482  confers  no  new  powers  on  High

    Court; it merely safeguards  existing  inherent  powers  possessed  by  High

    Court necessary to prevent abuse of the process of any Court  or  to  secure

    the ends of justice.   It is equally well settled that the power is  not  to

    be resorted to if there is specific provision in the Code  for  the  redress

    of the grievance  of  an  aggrieved  party.  It  should  be  exercised  very

    sparingly and it should not be exercised as against the express bar  of  law

    engrafted in any other provision of the Code.

    50.         In different situations, the inherent power may be exercised  in

    different ways to achieve its ultimate objective. Formation  of  opinion  by

    the High Court before it exercises  inherent  power  under  Section  482  on

    either of the twin objectives, (i) to prevent abuse of the  process  of  any

    court or (ii) to secure the ends of justice, is a sine qua non.

    51.         In the very nature of  its  constitution,  it  is  the  judicial

    obligation of the High Court to undo a wrong in course of administration  of

    justice or to prevent continuation of unnecessary judicial process. This  is

    founded on the legal maxim quando lex aliquid  alicui  concedit,  conceditur

    et id sine qua res ipsa esse non  potest.   The  full  import  of  which  is

    whenever anything is authorised, and especially if, as  a  matter  of  duty,

    required to be done by law, it is found impossible to do that  thing  unless

    something else not authorised in express terms be also  done,  may  also  be

    done, then that something else will be supplied  by  necessary   intendment.

    Ex debito justitiae is inbuilt in such exercise; the whole  idea  is  to  do

    real, complete and substantial  justice  for  which  it  exists.  The  power

    possessed by the High Court under  Section  482  of  the  Code  is  of  wide

    amplitude but requires exercise with great caution and circumspection.

    52.         It needs no emphasis that exercise  of  inherent  power  by  the

    High Court would entirely depend on the  facts  and  circumstances  of  each

    case. It is neither permissible nor  proper  for  the  court  to  provide  a

    straitjacket formula  regulating  the  exercise  of  inherent  powers  under

    Section 482. No precise and inflexible guidelines can also be provided.

    53.         Quashing of offence or criminal proceedings  on  the  ground  of

    settlement between  an  offender  and  victim  is  not  the  same  thing  as

    compounding  of  offence.  They  are  different  and  not   interchangeable.

    Strictly speaking, the power of compounding of offences  given  to  a  court

    under Section 320 is materially different  from  the  quashing  of  criminal

    proceedings by the High Court in exercise of its inherent  jurisdiction.  In

    compounding of offences, power of a criminal court is circumscribed  by  the

    provisions contained in Section 320 and  the  court  is  guided  solely  and

    squarely thereby while, on the other hand, the formation of opinion  by  the

    High Court for quashing  a   criminal  offence  or  criminal  proceeding  or

    criminal complaint is guided by the material on record  as  to  whether  the

    ends of justice would justify such exercise of power although  the  ultimate

    consequence may be acquittal or dismissal of indictment.

    54.         Where High Court quashes a criminal proceeding having regard  to

    the fact that dispute between the  offender  and  victim  has  been  settled

    although offences are not compoundable,  it  does  so  as  in  its  opinion,

    continuation of  criminal proceedings will  be an exercise in  futility  and

    justice in the case demands that the dispute between the parties is  put  to

    an end and peace is restored;  securing  the  ends  of  justice  being   the

    ultimate guiding factor. No  doubt,  crimes  are  acts  which  have  harmful

    effect on the public and consist in wrong  doing  that  seriously  endangers

    and threatens well-being of society and it is not safe to leave  the  crime-

    doer only because he and the victim have settled  the  dispute  amicably  or

    that the victim has been paid compensation, yet  certain  crimes  have  been

    made compoundable in law, with or  without  permission  of  the  Court.   In

    respect of serious offences  like  murder,  rape,  dacoity,  etc;  or  other

    offences of mental depravity under IPC or offences of moral turpitude  under

    special  statutes,  like  Prevention  of  Corruption  Act  or  the  offences

    committed by public servants while working in that capacity, the  settlement

    between offender and victim can have no legal sanction  at  all.    However,

    certain offences which overwhelmingly and predominantly bear  civil  flavour

    having arisen out of civil, mercantile, commercial,  financial,  partnership

    or such  like  transactions  or  the  offences  arising  out  of  matrimony,

    particularly relating to dowry, etc.  or  the   family  dispute,  where  the

    wrong is basically to victim and the offender and victim  have  settled  all

    disputes between them amicably, irrespective of the fact that such  offences

    have not been made compoundable, the High Court may within the framework  of

    its inherent power, quash the criminal proceeding or criminal  complaint  or

    F.I.R if it is satisfied that on the  face  of  such  settlement,  there  is

    hardly any likelihood of offender being convicted and by  not  quashing  the

    criminal proceedings, justice shall be  casualty and  ends of justice  shall

    be defeated. The above list is illustrative and not exhaustive.   Each  case

    will depend on  its  own  facts  and  no  hard  and  fast  category  can  be

    55.         B.S. Joshi1, Nikhil Merchant2, Manoj  Sharma3  and  Shiji  alias

    Pappu33 do illustrate the principle  that  High  Court  may  quash  criminal

    proceedings or FIR or complaint in exercise  of  its  inherent  power  under

    Section 482 of the Code and Section 320 does not limit or affect the  powers

    of the High Court under Section  482.  Can  it  be  said  that  by  quashing

    criminal proceedings in B.S. Joshi1, Nikhil  Merchant2,  Manoj  Sharma3  and

    Shiji  alias  Pappu33,  this  Court  has  compounded  the   non-compoundable

    offences indirectly? We do not think so.  There does exist  the  distinction

    between compounding of an offence  under  Section  320  and  quashing  of  a

    criminal case by the High Court in exercise of inherent power under  Section

    482.   The  two  powers  are  distinct  and  different   although   ultimate

    consequence may be same viz., acquittal  of  the  accused  or  dismissal  of

    56.    We find no  incongruity  in  the  above  principle  of  law  and  the

    decisions  of  this  Court  in  Simrikhia14,   Dharampal15,   Arun   Shankar

    Shukla16, Ishwar Singh23, Rumi Dhar (Smt.).28 and Ashok  Sadarangani34.  The

    principle propounded in Simrikhia14 that the inherent  jurisdiction  of  the

    High Court cannot be invoked to override express bar provided in law  is  by

    now well settled. In Dharampal15, the Court observed  the  same  thing  that

    the inherent powers under Section 482 of the Code  cannot  be  utilized  for

    exercising  powers  which  are  expressly  barred  by  the  Code.    Similar

    statement of law is made in Arun Shankar Shukla16. In  Ishwar  Singh23,  the

    accused was alleged to have committed an offence  punishable  under  Section

    307, IPC and with reference to Section 320 of the Code,  it  was  held  that

    the offence punishable under Section 307 IPC was  not  compoundable  offence

    and there  was  express  bar  in  Section  320  that  no  offence  shall  be

    compounded if it is not compoundable under the Code. In Rumi  Dhar  (Smt.)28

    although the accused had paid the entire due amount as  per  the  settlement

    with the bank in the matter of recovery before the Debts Recovery  Tribunal,

    the accused was being  proceeded  with  for  commission  of  offences  under

    Section 120-B/420/467/468/471 of the IPC along with the  bank  officers  who

    were being prosecuted under Section 13(2) read with 13(1)(d)  of  Prevention

    of Corruption Act. The  Court  refused  to  quash  the  charge  against  the

    accused by holding that the Court would not quash a case involving  a  crime

    against the society when a prima facie case has been made  out  against  the

    accused for framing the charge. Ashok Sadarangani34  was again a case  where

    the  accused  persons  were  charged  of  having  committed  offences  under

    Sections 120-B, 465, 467, 468 and 471, IPC and  the  allegations  were  that

    the accused  secured the credit facilities  by  submitting  forged  property

    documents as collaterals and utilized such facilities in  a   dishonest  and

    fraudulent manner by  opening  letters  of  credit  in  respect  of  foreign

    supplies of goods, without actually bringing  any  goods  but  inducing  the

    bank to negotiate the letters of credit in favour of foreign  suppliers  and

    also by misusing the cash-credit  facility.  The  Court  was  alive  to  the

    reference made in one of the present matters and also the decisions in  B.S.

    Joshi1, Nikhil Merchant2 and  Manoj  Sharma3  and  it  was  held  that  B.S.

    Joshi1, and Nikhil Merchant2 dealt with different factual situation  as  the

    dispute involved had overtures  of  a  civil  dispute  but  the  case  under

    consideration in Ashok Sadarangani34 was more on the  criminal  intent  than

    on a civil aspect.  The decision in Ashok Sadarangani34  supports  the  view

    that the criminal matters involving overtures of a civil dispute stand on  a

    different footing.

    57.         The position that emerges  from  the  above  discussion  can  be

    summarised thus:  the power  of  the  High  Court  in  quashing  a  criminal

    proceeding or FIR or complaint in exercise of its inherent  jurisdiction  is

    distinct and different  from  the  power  given  to  a  criminal  court  for

    compounding the offences under Section 320 of the Code.  Inherent  power  is

    of wide plenitude with no statutory limitation but it has  to  be  exercised

    in accord with the guideline engrafted in such power viz; (i) to secure  the

    ends of justice or (ii) to prevent  abuse of the process of  any  Court.  In

    what cases power to quash the criminal proceeding or complaint or F.I.R  may

    be exercised where the offender and victim have settled their dispute  would

    depend on the facts and circumstances of each case and no  category  can  be

    prescribed. However, before exercise of such  power,  the  High  Court  must

    have due regard to the nature and gravity of the crime. Heinous and  serious

    offences of mental depravity or offences like murder,  rape,  dacoity,  etc.

    cannot be fittingly quashed even though the victim or  victim’s  family  and

    the offender have settled the dispute. Such  offences  are  not  private  in

    nature and  have  serious  impact  on  society.  Similarly,  any  compromise

    between the victim and offender  in relation to the offences  under  special

    statutes like Prevention of Corruption Act  or  the  offences  committed  by

    public servants while working in that capacity etc; cannot provide  for  any

    basis for quashing criminal proceedings involving  such  offences.  But  the

    criminal cases having  overwhelmingly  and  pre-dominatingly  civil  flavour

    stand on different footing for the purposes of  quashing,  particularly  the

    offences arising from commercial, financial, mercantile, civil,  partnership

    or such like transactions or the offences arising out of matrimony  relating

    to dowry, etc. or the family disputes where the wrong is  basically  private

    or personal in nature and the parties have resolved  their  entire  dispute.

    In this category of cases, High Court may quash criminal proceedings  if  in

    its view, because of the compromise between the  offender  and  victim,  the

    possibility of conviction is remote and bleak and continuation  of  criminal

    case would put  accused  to  great  oppression  and  prejudice  and  extreme

    injustice would be caused to him by not quashing the criminal  case  despite

    full and complete settlement  and  compromise  with  the  victim.  In  other

    words, the High Court must consider whether it would be unfair  or  contrary

    to the interest of justice to  continue  with  the  criminal  proceeding  or

    continuation of  the  criminal  proceeding  would  tantamount  to  abuse  of

    process of law despite settlement and  compromise  between  the  victim  and

    wrongdoer and whether to secure the ends of justice, it is appropriate  that

    criminal case is put to an end and if the answer to  the  above  question(s)

    is in affirmative, the High Court shall be well within its  jurisdiction  to

    quash the criminal proceeding.

    58.         In view of the above,  it  cannot  be  said  that  B.S.  Joshi1,

    Nikhil Merchant2  and Manoj Sharma3  were not correctly decided.  We  answer

    the reference accordingly. Let  these  matters  be  now  listed  before  the

    concerned Bench(es).

    ………….J.

    (R.M. Lodha)

    ………….J.

    (Anil R. Dave)

    …………….J.    

    (Sudhansu

    Jyoti Mukhopadhaya)

    NEW DELHI.

    SEPTEMBER 24, 2012.

    -----------------------

    [1]     (2003) 4 SCC 675

    [2]     (2008) 9 SCC 677

    [3]     (2008) 16 SCC 1

    [4]     (2011) 6 SCC 216

    [5]     (2009) 11 SCC 424

    [6]     (1945) 47 Bom. L.R. 245

    [7]     AIR 1959 SC 542

    [8]     AIR 1945 PC 94

    [9]     AIR 1964 SC 703

    [10]    1966 (Suppl) SCR 477

    [11]    (1977) 2 SCC 699

    [12]    (1977) 4 SCC 551

    [13]    (1980) 1 SCC 43

    [14]    (1990) 2 SCC 437

    [15]    1993 Crl. L.J. 1049

    [16]    AIR 1999 SC 2554

    [17]    (2000) 2 SCC 636

    [18]    (2002) 3 SCC 89

    [19]    (2009) 6 SCC 351

    [20]    (2009) 7 SCC 495

    [21]    (2011) 5 SCC 708

    [22]    (2008) 4 SCC 582

    [23]    (2008) 15 SCC 667

    [24]    (2006) 9 SCC 255

    [25]    (2001) 10 SCC 504

    [26]    (2008) 15 SCC 671

    [27]    1990 (supp) SCC 681

    [28]    (2009) 6 SCC 364

    [29]    (1996) 5 SCC 591

    [30]    1992 Supp (1) SCC 335

    [31]    1992 Supp (1) SCC 222

    [32]    (1992) 4 SCC 305

    [33]   (2011) 10  SCC 705

    [34]    JT 2012  (3) SC  469

    [35]   (2012) 5 SCC 627

    [36]    JT 2012 (6) SC 504

    [37]   (2005) 1 SCC 347

    [38]   (1999 2 SCC 213

    [39]    (2007) 4 CTC 769

    [40]     2008 (2) Mh.L.J.856

     

     

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