Aditi Kumari, Galgotias University
In order to identify a good weapon of the accused party in any case, the research resulted in this article about the provision 482 of CrPC.
The inherent powers of High Courts that shall be known to people- There are many laws and many Acts which a layman is not going to read or know easily. In reality, a person who is suffering from the long going on judicial proceedings may use many of the legal provisions to reduce their legal liabilities to some extent. Also, a person who has been charged with many of the offences which might not be very true can seek some relief.
The inherent power of the High Court- The higher courts hold some powers on the proceedings being conducted in the subordinate courts. One of them is detailed under section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. Under the same provision, the high court is granted with the inherent power of quashing the charges framed by the subordinate courts in a criminal matter. But keep in mind this power is a discretionary provision and not a mandatory one. "Discretionary" here means such powers or provisions which are not compulsorily applicable but can be applied on the pleasure or desire of the holder of that power. Similarly, the high court may on it's on desire when it feels correct to quash few of the charges of the applicant he may quash them. The reason to believe the charges able to be quashed has to be justified. It works as a relief granting process to an accused who has been prosecuted for some criminal act and the court has framed his charge sheet with charges some of which are not meant to be there. In those cases only, the high may oversee the charge sheet along with the statement of facts of the case and analyse whether the charges are justifiable or not. The bare language is although not easily understandable by a layman but a brief of the provision could be-
Section 482- the section talks about the inherent power of the high court to oversee and reduce the charges of the applicant who is being prosecuted in the lower court for commission of any criminal offence. The power is inherited to the court and is not compulsorily exercised but exercised only if the court feels it needed.
It means the high court is not at all bound to pardon an accused with some of his charges but will do the same in accordance with its own beliefs. The reason here could be just to avoid any misuse of such opportunity by any accused. The provision acts as an opportunity for the accused to get some relief from the criminal liabilities and their resulting punishments.
Quashing of charges means- Now, it is clear about the provision but one thing which needs to be clarified as well as the term "quashing". A person can use the above-mentioned provision for grant of quashing of charges. Here, quashing of charges means brushing off charges. Quash simply means removing something. Using the similar simple meaning of it we say the removing of charges as quashing of charges. After the charge is quashed by the higher court the same remains with no legal value. Hence, it benefits the accused in order to avoid either any extra criminal liability or any unnecessary raise in punishment or harm to reputation.
The procedure of quashing of charges framed- Although the whole Code of Criminal Procedure talks about the processes of implementing the laws in criminal cases but this particular provision and its procedure is not easy to understand by an ordinary man. The person accused of any criminal offence if truly feels his/her charge sheet carries few charges are baseless; he/she may file an application to the high court of his/she states under section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure regarding the reduction in charges. Such application to the high court may be filed by the accused through his legal representative. Lawyers are fully capable of legal skills and strategies so it's good to take the help of a lawyer. A person may choose this way to get relief of a long list of charges framed, an already delayed long-running criminal proceedings to reach its end as soon as possible, to reduce his/her criminal liabilities and any other reason which the accused feels necessary. The provision though has more than one application. A person who has committed a crime and is charged with another related offence as well in which there is some sort of fear to get arrested by the police officer or to have an increase in the range of punishment or there is a doubt of malice prosecution being practised by the opposition party is free to approach the high court regarding their issues. The high court may quash those charges which are either fake or baseless in its view. The second application could be if a person feels his case is pending in the lower court since a very long while or it is having an unnecessary delay in getting its judgment, the person may again approach the high court using the same provision. Furthermore, if there is a case of any case against a crime which is not affecting the public at large but affecting the opposition party and they decide to compromise then also they may go to the high court to get a permission for the same. Due to any of the reasons, the high court on the application so filed may take an overview of the case which is being proceeded in the lower court. On the deserving points, it may quash some of the charges, may send a written order to the court to wrap up the proceedings without any further delay, or send a written order to the investigating officer to avoid any extraordinary actions such as arrest when not needed. That is how the provision is practised. And that is how the same is applied or used as legal relief.