Scope and ambit of inherent power under Section 482 vis-à-vis Section 397 CrPC explained

Supreme Court: Deciding the question as to whether availability of alternative remedy of criminal revision under Section 397 Cr.P.C.  can be a good ground to dismiss an application under Section 482 of Cr.P.C., the 3-judge bench of J. Chelameswar, Shiva Kirti Singh and Abhay Manohar Sapre, JJ termed the decision of division bench in Mohit v. State of Uttar Pradesh, (2013) 7 SCC 789 to be bad in law as in that case it was held that when an order under assail is not interlocutory in nature and is amenable to the revisional jurisdiction of the High Court then there should be a bar in invoking the inherent jurisdiction of the High Court.

The Court said that Section 482 CrPC begins with a non-obstante clause to state: “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.” A fortiori, there can be no total ban on the exercise of such wholesome jurisdiction where, in the words of Krishna Iyer, J. “abuse of the process of the Court or other extraordinary situation excites the court’s jurisdiction. The limitation is self-restraint, nothing more.” It was further stated that since Section 397 Cr.P.C. is attracted against all orders other than interlocutory, a contrary view would limit the availability of inherent powers under Section 482 Cr.P.C. only to petty interlocutory orders resulting into a situation wholly unwarranted and undesirable. [Prabhu Chawla v. State of Rajasthan, 2016 SCC OnLine SC 905, decided on 05.09.2016]

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