Powers of High Court under S. 482 CrPC are distinguished from power to compound offence under S. 320

Himachal Pradesh High Court: A Single Judge Bench comprising of Sandeep Sharma, J., decided a criminal petition filed under Section 482 CrPC, wherein the criminal proceedings pending against the appellants were quashed in the light of settlement between the parties.

The appellants were accused under Sections 147, 149, 323, 506, 452, 427, and 382 IPC. The case arose out of scuffle between appellants and the respondents. Parties to the case submitted before the Court that they have amicably compromised the matter and the concerned FIR and proceedings arising therefrom may be quashed.

The question before the Court was whether it can quash criminal proceedings in light of settlement between the parties. The Court referred to various decisions of the Supreme Court and observed that inherent powers of the High Court under Section 482 of CrPC are different from power to compound offence under Section 320. Under Section 482, the High Court has inherent power to quash criminal proceedings if the parties have settled the matter, even in those cases which are not compoundable. However, such power is to be exercised sparingly and with great caution. Having regard to the facts and circumstances of the case, wherein the parties have amicably settled the matter among themselves and such compromise being found genuine, the Court held that it was a fit case where the FIR and proceedings arising therefrom, were liable to be quashed.

Hence, the petition was allowed and the FIR and criminal proceedings arising therefrom pending adjudication before the trial court, were quashed. [Rajesh Thakur v. Hem Chand, 2018 SCC OnLine HP 336, dated 27.3.2018]

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